EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION can only occur when we understand hidden attitudes and how they affect our behavior.

In the workshops, participants are introduced to new ways of looking at oppression (or ways we have been hurt), and behavior, in a safe, supportive environment.

The focus will be on how we internalize misinformation from oppression and act it out in the way we perceive and relate to others. As we begin to understand how internalized oppression affects our thinking and attitudes, we see how the resulting patterns of behavior affect communication between individuals, within groups, and between groups.

The ultimate goal of the workshops is to increase self-awareness and establish common ground with others, for the key to opening our appreciation of others is a better understanding of ourselves. When we can define and recognize forms of oppression that affect all of us, we begin to relate to each other as individuals and build alliances.

With a focus on better understanding each other and building alliances, workshop participants will:

EXPLORE early conditioning to see how it affects our perceptions and behavior.

IDENTIFY patterned behavior and misconceptions that limit our ability to communicate, so that we can begin to unlearn and discard them.

DIFFERENTIATE between true expressions of cultural heritage and self-defeating behaviors that arise from oppression.

LEARN how internalized oppression can create conflict and anger, divide groups, deter development of leadership, and dilute our power.

RECOGNIZE racism and other forms of oppression so that we can overcome fear and guilt in order to become allies.

FOCUS on the positive qualities and traditions of our cultural backgrounds, to help us understand ethnic pride.

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