| Diversity and Inclusion Partnership |

Lungi-chene.

We are proud to announce that all our diversity and inclusion work is now also available in diverse online formats: facilitated online workshops, a self-discovery journey with pre-recorded videos and assignments as well as a collection of questions with beautiful photos that can be used to open up conversations around diversity and inclusion. We also facilitate online workshops for leadership teams focusing on the re-authoring ideas and practices around inclusive leadership. 

Please contact Chené chene@transformations.co.za or Lungi lungiemolamu@gmail.com for more information

Re-authoring Diversity & Inclusion Facilitated Online Workshops           

Our 12-hour online Re-authoring Diversity and Inclusion workshops can be facilitated over different time frames to accommodate the unique contexts of organisations, schools and communities: two days, one day or divided into smaller segments that can be stretched over a period of time. We also work with leadership teams in co-creating an inclusive culture within their organisations. 

How will we learn? In all of these journeys we learn through conversation and the movement between content and life experiences wherein the learning experience seeks to ignite the beauty and dignity of all who participates. We always do our best to make our time together as engaging as possible with enough breaks to keep the attention, small group conversations, content pieces, individual work, large group conversations and sharing reflections.

What will we learn? In our time together, we will explore how our capacity as story-makers and meaning-makers influence our way of being with the “other”. We will also discover how the gifts of dignity, human connectedness and hospitality can open up possibilities in our relationships to “unother” the “other”. In this 12-hour online workshop programme, we cover the following important themes:

  • The construction of the other through:

Cultural identity and in particular language

– The stories we tell

– Societal beliefs and ideas

  • Privilege and power
  • Discrimination
  • Practices of inclusion

Who should attend? Leaders, managers, HR and OD practitioners, coaching professionals, educators, learners, social workers, facilitators of group-work, activists and healthcare professionals.

Invite us to adapt and facilitate this workshop for you in order to acknowledge and weave in the needs of your particular context.

Re-authoring Diversity and Inclusion Ideas and Practices for Leaders

We have also adapted our Re-authoring Diversity and Inclusion online workshop to focus on inclusive leadership ideas and practices because they are important in the transformation agenda. All the content mentioned above are therefore applied to the field of leadership with the following possible outcomes:

At the end of our time together, leaders will:

  • be able to work with practices that welcome and embrace diverse perspectives
  • know what to do to contradict the discrimination or ISMs because these get in the way of us living the organisation/company/committee’s values
  • be able to confront their own biases
  • have developed a common understanding and talked about and identified unfair discrimination
  • have an understanding of how the cycle of prejudice works
  • be able to create platforms where re-authoring relationships with the “other” becomes possible in the transformation of organisational culture
  • understand how inclusive leadership will help participants to thrive in their increasingly diverse environment.

In all our online workshop we work with a very skilled online host who is our right hand in creating the welcome and inclusion in this space.

13 + 3 =

Self-Discovery Course: Re-authoring Diversity and Inclusion

$130.00

How can we re-author our relationship to the other? How can we un-other the other? Discover and learn how:

  • the role of culture, language and narratives construct the “other”
  • practices of dignity can welcome and include the “other”

Contact me for more information or coupon codes if you are registering as a participant from the NPO/NGO sector and/or citizens living on the African continent:chene@transformations.co.za

 

Additional information

Table Conversations

 

In most cultures, the table or fire is the place for gathering, for telling stories and sharing wisdom and teachings. We are currently working on a collection of reflecting questions around diversity and inclusion that want to provide individuals, communities or groups with the opportunity to connect, weave meaning and share stories in ways that fascinate and transport through the naming of that which matters to people dearly.

Here is our previous collection of questions called Reflecting questions at the end of the year in the time of a Pandemic.

Table Conversations: Pandemic Reflections

$10.00

The 31 reflecting questions also come with guiding practices as you reflect on these questions individually or collectively.

Additional information

Re-authoring Diversity and Inclusion Facilitated Processes

We also offer processes and experiences with invitations and practices that re-humanise school and work communities through the telling, retelling and witnessing of the multiple stories of our lived experiences.

Re-authoring work provides ways of seeing and doing that invite individuals, communities and organisations to move through because it

  • Builds human connections with the “other” that honours their beauty, dignity and knowledges
  • Co-creates team/communal stories that we want more of
  • Assists in separating from team/communal stories that we want less of
  • Facilitates conversations where the problem is the problem
  • Invites ownership in co-authoring a different future
  • Allows for the invitation of one to really listen to the story of the other
  • Opens up actions of what we want to do differently as a school/work community

Lungi and Chené are also available to provide coaching in the field of diversity and inclusion.

Story of Us

Our co-facilitation journey started in 2008 when we were both invited to participate as facilitators in a big change initiative at one of the platinum mining groups here in South Africa. The 4-year journey taught me how powerful stories are to “unother” the other, how willing and open participants are to have difficult conversations if the space for dignity is created and how the taken-for-granted beliefs and ideas about one another are so influential in what we think and do.

Most important of all, this work gave me the gift of beautiful friendships that grew out of hours of driving, talking, dreaming and working together.

It is here where I met Lungi Molamu, my dear friend and co-facilitator. Our work is built on a deep friendship, years of experience in the evolution of the field of Diversity and Inclusion.  In the last couple of years, narrative re-authoring ideas and practices have influenced how we create a re-dignifying space where our conversations invite stories that build bridges to the other.

Meet Lungi Molamu

Lungi Molamu is an Organisational Development Consultant from South Africa having worked for over twenty years in the area of Diversity and Inclusion. She completed a two- year Advanced Diploma in Narrative Ideas in 2016 and has been incorporating these ideas in her work.

The gifts she brings to her work on Diversity and Inclusion as a Narrative Therapist, drives her to examine and to question the social conditioning we have taken for granted, the various roles we have created for ourselves and others over time, and the realisation that we have choices in re-authoring these narratives. This re-authoring constitutes a new relationship with life and the world that enables one the creation and recreation of the self as a character in one’s own on-going story. Narrative re-authoring work has a transformational character which is critical in Diversity and Inclusion processes.

What is the role of the re-authoring ideas and practices in diversity and inclusion work?

Re-authoring work facilitates ways of seeing and doing that invites individuals, communities and organisations to take back the pen in the authoring of their lives and their worlds. It builds on the human capacity to weave meaning into narratives in our given world. As we do this work, the beauty, dignity and knowledges of individuals and communities are deeply honoured. Re-authoring work opens up new possibilities and imagined futures wherein human beings co-author their relationships with everything we are in a relationship with.

In diversity and inclusion work, through the re-authoring lens, all who participate, are seen as “respectworthy” because they “possess the greatest kind of value, not because they are useful for bringing about somebody else’s goals or desires, but simply because they live a human life. They matter. They have dignity and we owe them respect”. (Hilde Lindemann Nelson, 2001, Damaged Identities: Narrative Repair)

Diversity and inclusion work that grows from the re-authoring approach, understands that the way we see and act towards people who are different from us in terms of race, gender, age, culture, language, etc. are shaped and maintained through narratives, and the histories that have shaped these narratives and the taken-for-granted beliefs and ideas that support them.

Here are some of the reflections of the participants:

“The blessings of a space being created whereby I could verbalize thoughts that I normally keep to myself and to be heard and accepted for them. Also, the magic in small moments when others make space for you to be included as an equal…with no apologies.

How easy it is to feel when you take time to listen to somebody’s story how there are these real basic feelings with manifestations in a million different ways and how easy it is to relate to them and feel a connection or a spark.

The joy possible when we un”other” ourselves, and become adventurers – rather than strangers.

Our paths have collided and our experiences in our hearts, body and spirit wished to be heard”

The diversity workshop is a necessary and very useful programme for anyone who works with individuals of a diverse background or just wants to be a more minded person. We were challenged in our assumptions and encouraged to see the “other’s” perspective. I made a lot of progress on several issues that I had facing me just by narrating them to others. I will recommend this programme to anyone who lives in this multicultural world!

 

The workshop helped me see more clearly how I want to be connected to the world – to people who are similar or different from me. It went way beyond the topic of diversity to really open new opportunities for me to connect with others. The Narrative practices we learned will be useful in all aspects of my life.

 

I came to the workshop believing that I was an open-minded person. I left feeling as though I had a revelation that would forever change me. I was surprised that I was in fact a close-minded person. However, the workshop helped me identify ways to change my story, to change the path that I’m on, to open my eyes to things, people and stories that have been in front of me so long. Amazing!

This workshop has revealed a new way of thinking about and experiencing of diversity. While I understand the nature of divergent group processes (because of my work), I didn’t know how diversity topics such as gender, culture, race, etc. could be discussed in a safe and constructive manner. This workshop was the answer to my doubts about effective diversity work. I also learned a great deal about my own language patterns and those of the world. I am a more complete person after this workshop.

 

 The workshop gave me tools to broaden what I already considered to be a broad perspective and worldview. While I already considered myself to be open-minded, particularly where “diversity” was concerned, the two-day communal session helped me shine lights on areas that needed opening and just shift further, perspectives that could be broadened just a bit more. Brilliant!

 

The diversity workshop through the Narrative lens makes the practice of engaging effectively in diverse relationships accessible and doable. These two days were guided with the solidity and assuredness of work that is ensconced in the theory and practice of the emerging creative dynamics of group processes.  

What struck my imagination are the opportunities that are hidden by not openly addressing issues of cultural diversity.

The conversation took me to my responsibility to reflect on the current (governmental) explanations how history and cultural beliefs have informed me – and to take a bold stand to speak up in conversations where small “othering” comments are made.

What struck me is how I / we move between othering and unothering.

What became clear is the limitation or destructive divisions that can be created by a single story.

Creating a welcoming space for the other is an embodied act of inner hospitality / inner act of embodied hospitality. Inclusion is a communal act – even if the experience is very personal.

 

 

A journey into my experience of being “othered” and of “othering others”. Feeling the pain that I experienced reminding me of the pain that I create by my othering. Gives me ways to disconnect the cycle and hold open opportunities for that fresh air of discovery to come in.  Also, opportunity for me to reflect on how to use my privilege to open doors and rooms of decision making.

Many of us are continuing to learn about different perspectives and trying to relate to/connect/define our cultures. Our perspectives are evolving. By allowing each other to speak of our curiosities and engage in conversations we are empowered and it is very impactful

What became clear to me was the magic that was there, being woken up by the shared longing and healing of our relations.

I’m always struck by – and sad – to notice how hard it is for me to put my finger on my cultural identity. I think it is one of the great losses that comes with white identity.

What keeps striking me again and again is how we are similar inside despite our cultural struggles and beauties.

Was reminded of the powerful impact of culture on our mindsets, filters, beliefs. How often I may not challenge what the culture brings with it, even though I know better. How often I also don’t make explicit to myself the gifts of my culture.

Creating a stage that invites people together to explore their stories of inclusion, through the portal of moments and senses opened up a lightness. The stories of when we have been included can be portals to exploring life purpose. Being seen and accepted is so powerful.

How beautiful this time in the world so we can re-think and re-do the way we see and act towards other people.

What struck my imagination are the opportunities that are hidden by not openly addressing issues of cultural diversity. Are people even aware of how cultural intolerance is destroying the human race?

The conversation took me to my responsibility to reflect on the current (governmental) explanations how history and cultural beliefs have informed me – and to take a bold stand to speak up in conversations where small “othering” comments are made.

What struck me is how I / we move between othering and unothering. If left unchecked the hurt and sadness it could bring.

What became clear is the limitation or destructive divisions that can be created by a single story.

Creating a welcoming space for the other is an embodied act of inner hospitality / inner act of embodied hospitality. Inclusion is a communal act – even if the experience is very personal.

Humanness is necessary for another humanness to happen and to be seen.

Maintain the seeds of wonder and mystery of the other.

Diversity makes a beautiful tapestry where all the different threads are equally valuable.

Humanness is necessary for another humanness to happen and to be seen.

Diversity makes a beautiful tapestry where all the different threads are equally valuable.

It was a magical afternoon filled with our “different lives,” “different languages,” and the “different places we live in”. It also became clear how the “customs and ideas of the cultures that we live in shape our lives”. Together we “created a vibrant weave of stories and was reminded of the value of holding space for one another.”

These conversations “put me in the middle of what we’re in the middle of. How to keep dignity and curiosity in the face of what seems horrible values and actions?”

“I appreciated this idea in our group that I’m going to keep reflecting on: The pandemic has ecological roots, which it hides from us.  It also pretends it’s ‘over there’ when in many ways it is ‘right here.’”

Lungi spoke about how inclusion is a commitment and not an event and how inclusion is a process that values the contributions of all.

“Thank you Chené Swart and Lungie Molamu for your ‘radical’ welcoming and ‘unconditional’ hosting of honest, daring stories and conversations about such important topics.

In sameness we connect, in diversity we grow.” (Virginia Satir). It’s one of the #19thoughts about leadership I work with. It’s the first time I myself took a plunge in the deep waters of that thought.

‘How have I discriminated/am I discriminating?’

‘How have I been discriminated?’

‘How do I own my privilege & power, earned and unearned?’

‘What are the effects of discrimination on me, my relations, work and community?’

Powerful questions that led to less travelled territories in work & life. Territories where hurt hides in many forms. Territories where reconciliation and healing is needed with self and others.

This was the 4th journey of 2 days I took in the good company of Chené Swart and fellow travellers and again I experienced the healing qualities of narrative work and the dignity/inclusion practices.”

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