training discrimination awareness seminar workshop

Seminars and Workshops

We understand our training offers as prevention work – that is, work that helps people become aware of racism and other forms of discrimination so that they themselves try not to discriminate or try to critically reform potentially discriminatory structures. Awareness trainings should enable participants to take on and adapt to the challenges of a “multicultural” society through a personal confrontation with their own learned images about themselves and others and with the reflection of their own social position. We always develop our trainings with the specific needs and the concrete organisational context of the client in mind,  in order to help them develop an antidiscriminatory perspective on their work environment.

Our empowerment workshops are about strengthening people who are affected by discrimination, in particular by racism.

The substantive and methodical focus of our educational work is reflecting on one’s own position, socialization and actions. For this reason we work with an experience-oriented approach that is based on the idea that each individual is the expert for his or her own experience. Space is provided for critical reflection and exchange of these personal experiences in order to allow different perspectives to be represented, heard and respectfully considered and also to present different perspectives as such as a valuable element making up democracies. To allow for this, it is important for the trainer to create the conditions for an open learning atmosphere where the participants trust that their experiences and perspectives will be treated with respect and confidentiality. That means that everything that is shared during a training session is not communicated to people outside of the session.

In addition, the participants are given the opportunity to bring their own issues and interest into the process, contributing to the democratic participatory character of these trainings. The trainers bring many years of experience and expertise in the field of anti-discrimination to the discussion when dealing with these topics.

In order to ensure the high quality of our training services, we usually offer our training sessions with two trainers. We attach great importance to these two trainers having different gender identities and different social positions with regard to racism, in order to ensure that the trainers are able to consider and represent different social perspectives during the training. However, this may sometimes not be appropriate or possible depending on the topic, target group or specific time capacities.

The focus of our awareness workshops and seminars is on the development of personal skills to constructively deal with “difference” and develop awareness of the connections between one’s own social positioning and one’s own perspective that arises from it.

The central focus of our awareness seminars include the further development of skills such as self-reflection, openness to see and consider other social perspectives, empathy and the ability to face uncertainty in a constructive way. We aim to support participants to broaden their own personal and professional behavioural repertoire and understanding through the development of alternative ways of understanding and acting.

The content of our intercultural competence training and continuing education is not the teaching of specific cultural knowledge. This may be of great importance for certain target groups in some situations, for example, for the deployment of employees to certain countries. However, in order to avoid that these training sessions simply lead to the reproduction of useless stereotypes, it is advisable to first offer these trainees a space for self-reflection so that the participants can deal with culturally specific information carefully and critically. If such stereotypes are acted upon uncritically, these tend to lead to conflict escalation instead of de-escalation.

We are also concerned with understanding social structures, how they are constructed and our own positioning within them. Historically, discrimination runs through the whole of society. For this reason, by just living our lives within the common, everyday structures, we tend to reproduce racist structures, even unintentionally. Therefore, overcoming discrimination can only take place when self-reflective people not only work on themselves, but also try to change these structures. Therefore, we offer not only awareness seminars, but also consultation in diversity organisational development (See “Diversity Organisational Development” below).

To change discrimination structures, we need to include the perspective of those people who are affected most by them. Victims of discrimination need to be empowered to articulate their position, give constructive feedback on discriminatory structures – and if necessary, to speak up when they, themselves, have been discriminated against. Our empowerment trainings are designed for people affected by discrimination, especially racism. The aim is to support the participants in reflecting on internalised as well as consciously experienced discriminatory education, structures and actions and in strengthening themselves emotionally and with information in dealing with them. These trainings can be generally oriented towards racism and other forms of discrimination or focus specifically on certain target groups or topics. Self-organised community groups can contact us, but we also offer empowerment workshops to large organisations and companies that want to offer their affected employees an opportunity to strengthen themselves in dealing with discrimination.

Diversity Organisational Development

It is difficult to change an organisation from the individual perspective. For this reason, we offer not only awareness training but also consultation in the development of organisational structures which deal with diversity and discrimination in an inclusive and sensitive way.

The more levels of the organization are involved in this process, the more effective it will be. We first sit down to identify the specific needs of the organisation. Then we develop a concept together with the organisation to critically examine different aspects and areas of work step by step and develop a strategy for dealing with them appropriately.

In doing so, BDB offers its own long-standing expertise and experience in developing new, creative solutions that are appropriate and effective for the individual organisational context. You are welcome to contact us about this.