Open, honest and uncomfortable conversations about race
Key question: How might we engage in open, honest, and uncomfortable conversations about race to lead towards healing and thriving?
The Open, honest and uncomfortable conversations about race - reflections table document has been produced as a tool to support staff within schools and early years settings to have conversations about race in a way that is supportive, honest, and ultimately leads to a more positive relationship going forward whether that is between staff, or with pupils or parents. It is designed as a tool to aid reflection and encourage all parties to be able to have conversations about race and the impact of racism in a way that is supportive and allows all parties to move forward, positively together.
Purpose: This document can be used:
- To strengthen the existing relationship between parties (whether one or more party has stated a need for change / improvement)
- In circumstances whereby there has been a breakdown in a current and / or historical relationship between two or more parties
- To support the genuine, open, honest, and often uncomfortable conversations required in regard to race to lead towards well-informed and well-considered effective actions for change of policy, practice and experiences.
- As a tool towards developing and ensuring positive, sustained long-term change to occur leading to the improved and sustained (long-term) daily lived experiences, positive outcomes, and life chances for Black Caribbean people in Ealing and beyond
- To begin to create a paradigm shift in the way in which we communicate with each other in Ealing about race, in a deeper and more meaningful way, to affect long-lasting positive change
Definition of healing: the process of making or becoming sound or healthy again
Definition of thriving: to progress toward or realise a goal despite, or because of, circumstances; to flourish
Rationale: The process of healing truly begins by ‘placing everything on the table’ (the factors/issues) to embrace truth to enable each party to:
- ‘see’ and know all the factors and issues that exist or are at play
- view all the factors/ issues from all different angles and perspectives;
- view all the factors / issues through the different lens of each party;
- explore the individual and collective motivations and intentions for change
- explore the repositioning / moving the factors around ‘on the table’ to imagine and re-conceptualise (individually and collectively) a different / new realm of possibility
- co-construct: a shared vision and the intended outcomes
- agree actions for change of policy and practice towards that vision; and consider who else might need to be involved?
- agree checking-in, monitoring and evaluation points to ensure remaining on track towards the shared vision and intended outcomes. Agree whether all parties able to be part of that process to enable a shared and holistic perspective?
- Shared Planning of our Conversations
- Psychologically Contracting our Conversations
- Communication Styles
- Physical Environment
- Having our conversation
- Supportive Tools
Please note, that the term ‘Black Caribbean’, aligns with School Census ethnicity terminology. It is acknowledged that many Black people of Caribbean heritage may identify themselves as African / African-Caribbean / Black / Black British, as opposed to the term ‘Black Caribbean’.