There are two workshops I have led on dealing with diversity. I can tailor one to fit your congregation or school’s specific needs. The approach I take is that at the heart of most conflict is a lack of relationship and trust between people of diverse background.
Through this training, my end goal gives you the tools needed to begin to have an open and honest conversation with people different backgrounds.
The training is designed to start the conversation. “Nothing will ever improve if we cannot, or refuse to have honest and authentic interactions with those who do not look and think like us.” And this is true not just in the areas of race relations, but true when it comes to political views, issues of sexual preference, immigration tension. We cannot and will not understand the other side if we refuse to engage in relationship building. I am not arrogant enough to believe I can solve the race issue plaguing America. I just want to get people talking. I want to challenge false stereotypes and break down walls of prejudice on both sides.
Steps in the Healing Process
- Know the “truth.”
A relationship that has been severely damaged, incorrect or based on partial information serves as a detriment to getting beyond the hurt. Race in America is driven by erroneous perceptions about each other. To begin to heal, we need to see the past accurately. The reality of the current landscape can change. But it is a process to work through. It’s the beginning part of the healing process. We need to acknowledge the current struggles. Face the painful realities. And shed light on what needs to be fixed so we can begin to deal with the current pain.
- The regaining of trust takes both sides working together.
When it comes to conflict, our natural inclination is to get defensive. Being transparent is hard. For this nation to move forward, we all must be willing to make progress beyond the typical ways of operation. There must be a sincere effort to work out the issues, or the walls will never come down. The angrier we are, the less we can hear what the offended person must say. The longer we ignore this deep hurt in our society the worse relationships will get.
- It takes time.
The divide did not happen overnight, and it can’t be solved quickly. The process will take time. Think of it in these terms; it is like a marriage where one member cheats on the other. You don’t just get back to business as usual. You need to see repentance, a change of attitude. You need to take small steps forward. You look for little windows of progress, and along the way, there will be setbacks. But if the relationship is worth saving you don’t give up. The real question in all this: “Is the racial divide worth repairing?” If we as a nation don’t think so, then all is lost even before we begin.
The cost for me to come and host a workshop is $500 plus travel expense.
My contact information is email firstname.lastname@example.org
Cell Phone: 708-305-4241.