Anti-Oppression Working Group Meeting Minutes 01/04/12

Anti-oppression working group 1/4/2011 5:30-7 pm

Paul LaVack: Facilitator
Tiffany Holland: Time keeper
Maria Rosales: Notetaker
Isabell Moore: Stack keeper

 

9 participants, not recorded

 

Agenda:
–Recap of previous meeting
–Announcements
–Discussion points:
–Reflection time suggestions
–Time-outs
–Gender pronouns
–Action of solidarity for Marriage Discrimination Amendment opponents
–Time change for working group meetings
–House of one people
–Whole selves
–Review of all ground rules from an anti-oppression perspective and with the goal of clarifying what “no oppressive language” means.  Maybe work with Education and Enrichment on this.

 

note taker: Maria Rosales rosmarster@gmail.com

 

Next Meeting:

Next meeting: John will facilitate, Paul will do stack, Tiffany will take notes.

Discussion points to take up next time:
–Gender pronouns
–Action of solidarity for Marriage Discrimination Amendment opponents
–Time change for working group meetings
–House of one people
–Whole selves
–Review of all ground rules from an anti-oppression perspective and with the goal of clarifying what “no oppressive language” means.  Maybe work with Education and Enrichment on this.

 

Reflection time suggestions:
–recapped possible use of diamond of opposites and plus/delta.
–new ideas: asking people to share insights they came to during meeting or to frame responses in terms of head/heart/and feet (where head equals knowledge, heart equals feelings, and feet equals actions one is taking from the meeting)
Discussion of use of time-outs in GAs
Importance of bringing our “whole selves” but also not harming others.  Not okay to excuse oppressive speech or behavior in the name of being oneself—others will respond to that oppressive behavior or speech, and to say that they shouldn’t is saying that one person’s “whole self” matters more than that of others—similar to excusing oppressive speech by calling on “freedom of speech” while trying to silence those who critique one’s speech.
If all of us our leaders, as we say, all need to develop that leadership.
Would be good to learn how to frame discussions so that we encourage each other to transform into the leaders we can be.
How do we build in opportunities for growth?
Focus on the system of the community as a whole—when a time-out occurs, it isn’t between two people, but is about the whole group.
How should we deal with people who break our agreed-upon norms?
–We’ve agreed we will assume their good intentions and have faith in our ground rules.
Our movement is transforming us as individuals, as well as us as a community and will transform the larger society.
–important not only to provide space and encouragement of that transformation, but also to protect ourselves and each other from harm as we transform.
Time-outs are a collective responsibility—maybe we should have a moment of silence after any time-out, to allow all time to reflect on how they want to respond.
Spend time at facilitator training on time-outs—maybe some role plays of potential situations.  Maybe checklist for facilitators to look at with some reminders about possible responses—could be especially useful for stressful situations.
There have only been four time-outs in 36 GAs, so they are definitely used infrequently.  Maybe, given the seriousness with which people take time-outs, having ten minutes rather than three minutes per time-out would be more effective.
AORTA—Anti-Oppression Resource Training Alliance—has some facilitation ideas, including specific ways to interrupt power dynamics, and encouragement of people (facilitators, but also everyone in the room) to name tone and body language as well as things like interrupting.  Goal of collective empowerment—all stepping up as leaders (though this will take a long time).
Time change:
Next meeting Monday January 9th at 7 pm.  Bring dinner if you’d like, or we could have an informal potluck.
Then we’ll meet on Friday, January 20th at 5:30 pm.  After that we’ll assess whether we’d prefer to meet on Monday or Fridays.
Reflection:
We used the head/heart/feet model.  I forgot to keep taking notes on specific things people said, but I thought it worked very well.