Examining the story of a woman who is caught in a web of interconnected forces and power dynamics that keep her oppressed, helps participants name the ways that different forms of power affect their lives and community participation. This realization provides a basis for developing strategies that get at root causes and promote both solidarity and a readiness to act in the face of these dynamics.
This activity uses storytelling as a process of empowerment in which participants’ voices and experiences are affirmed and we build community and solidarity. It is also an introduction to listening and documenting skills.
This activity helps activists explore and deepen their understanding of self-care, inviting them to reflect about their sustainability and resilience given the many challenges and risks of activism.
The Dialogue Process: Codes and Questions - "But Why?"
2 Hr 30Min
Dialogue processes -- focused on critical thinking and problem-solving and grounded in values of equality, solidarity and the common good -- are crucial aspects of social justice and movement-building work. Facilitation of these consciousness-raising processes require a range of skills that include the ability to: form safe, inspiring climates of trust and solidarity, develop compelling and creative ways to generate discussion and analysis, and master the art of questioning to probe beyond the surface and encourage deeper awareness, connection, reflection and action.
The Holds - Tools for Calming and Wellbeing
1 Hr 20Min
This practice consists of several simple energy holds that may be done on oneself or another person for anxiety, emotional or physical pain, strong emotions such as anger, fear, and insomnia and for deep relaxation. Through the energy of our hands we have the power to bring harmony and healing to body, mind and heart. This is useful for introducing heart-mind-body as a critical part of movement building, by creating space for this type of practice during each day of a workshop but also to respond to any deep feelings/outside influence that is affecting the dynamic in the space.
The House of Multiple Oppressions
The House of Multiple Oppressions is an advanced and more in-depth version of The Master’s House activity. It encourages analysis and dialogue among participants regarding what patriarchy is and how it works, and how it intersects with other systems of domination and discrimination.
The Identity Flower
1 Hr 45Min
Exploring a person’s multiple characteristics in a group setting helps build personal and collective awareness as well as solidarity with one another. This exploration of the complexities and intersections of people’s identities can also help participants see how their differences and commonalities can serve to strengthen alliances and movements.
Understanding "Power Over": An Introduction to Power Analysis
This activity explores different forms of power – formal (visible), shadow (hidden) and invisible power - and how they are exercised to gain and maintain power over others. Participants gain insight into the complexities of power and the need for a range of strategies to successfully respond to “power over.” This activity creates the framework for Power Analysis for Strategy.
Using "The Onion" as a Tool of Analysis
1 Hr 30Min
Overcoming conflict in complex and ever changing circumstances presents considerable challenges to the people and groups involved, whether they are part of organizations, movements or alliances. The “Onion” framework illustrates certain key elements at play in conflicts and helps us analyze them so they can inform our strategies. This tool also is useful for organizations and alliances in sorting out internal differences and conflicts to strengthen their work together. We strongly recommend beginning with the “How Do We Negotiate?” activity in preparation for The Onion.
Vote With Your Feet
Having people explore their beliefs about sex, gender, and feminism in a game type format can help them question some of their prejudices and misunderstandings and expand their thinking. By physically moving around the room in response to a set of statements, the process gets participants off their feet, renews their energy and encourages greater openness.
Women's Rights and Other Social Movements: Situating Ourselves in History
2 Hr +
The activity leads a group through the development of a timeline that reflects an overall history and our place in it and focuses a discussion on the impact on our lives and issues of concern. The activity is useful for many things. It can track the interconnections between economic, political, social and cultural trends and it also brings to life the story of movement building within that context.