Affordable Diversity Training for Your Church or Christian Ministry
I have endeavored to create diversity training for Christian organizations that is affordable and effective. My goal is a diversity program for churches and Christian ministries that will bring people of different races together and help them have a healthy dialog on racial issues. I want to allow the congregation or Christian ministry members to move away from racial alienation and toward true racial unity.
The philosophy driving this program can be found in my book – Beyond Racial Division. Rather than a traditional antiracism program, this program is based on the development of collaborative conversations among people of different racial groups. Such conversations allow individuals to build on the ideas of each other to accomplish goals and find solutions that include people from different groups. This program will help Christians not only learn how to have these conversations but also to practice engaging in those conversations with each other.
I am still in the process of learning more about developing a healthy racialized atmosphere. At this point, I am looking to beta-test what I have learned thus far. This allows Christian organizations to try out this program at very little cost. On this page are the basic instructions for implementing the program.
1) Sign up and form groups of interested participants.
The first step is to find the members of your church/organization who want to participate in this program. These individuals have to commit to meeting six times (for example, maybe once a week for six weeks) to engage in conversation with each other. Once individuals have signed up, then groups of 5 to 8 people need to be set up. Those groups should include a mix of individuals with different racial identities and political ideologies if possible. Each group should select a leader who will lead the group conversations. A time should be found to allow the individuals to meet.
1A) Organizing discussion groups.
An important aspect of this program is the organization of the groups. To maximize the benefits of this program it is useful to have groups with a sufficient mix of individuals with racial identities and attitudes on racial issues. Most churches will do this themselves given that they know their church members. However, some churches may not feel comfortable organizing their small groups, particularly if they have several groups to organize. After the beta stage, I will offer a service, at a price, by which I can arrange for those small groups to be organized in a manner that increases the opportunity for success. Currently, I am willing to organize those groups if a church agrees to work with me so that I can collect and use the data from their experience in my research. Contact me at email@example.com or use the email tool below if you want to pursue that option.
To learn how to engage each other in productive conversations all respondents will be asked to undergo online training at https://george-yancey-s-school.teachable.com/purchase?product_id=4592232. All respondents are expected to take the course named “Collaborative Conversation Discussions in Churches.” Those who are going to lead the group also need to take the course “Leading Collaborative Conversation Discussions in Churches.” That course can be found here - https://george-yancey-s-school.teachable.com/purchase?product_id=4592254. Both courses are free as of today.
In addition to online training, respondents will also have to download a workbook from Amazon. The workbook is titled “Collaborative Conversation Workbook for Churches.” This is the only cost to the program as the workbook will cost about 4 dollars for every download. In the workbook are further instructions, and the exercises needed for the program. Each respondent will need access to a workbook to complete the program.
3) Execution of the program.
Once everyone in a group has gotten access to a workbook and done the necessary online training then the group will be ready to start meeting together. My recommendation is that the group plans on meeting weekly for six weeks. However, circumstances may dictate that the group can only meet biweekly or monthly. The key is that the group needs to meet six times to complete the program.
At each meeting, individuals will discuss the topic in the workbook following the format discussed in the workbook. This will allow all members of the group to discuss the issue productively and to find commonalities in how the members of the group think about the issue. After the sixth meeting, the group will be officially done. The respondents will then be in a position to have better conversations with each other and others in the church/organization.
4) Beyond the program.
Once a church/organization has had groups undergo this training, I expect that this will change the racialized atmosphere of that church/organization. There will be individuals skilled in using collaborative conversations with each other. If there is a racial incident, such individuals are positioned to help others to engage in productive dialog. They are also better able to create an atmosphere where individuals in different racial groups are more likely to feel accepted and heard. Of course, this program is not a panacea that will solve all racial problems in your organization. But the early research looks promising.
This is a beta program that I plan to continue to develop. After your church/organization has had a group of individuals go through it, you can discuss their experience with them. If you think that the experience was worth it, then you can recruit other members to set up more groups. In time I expect to move out of beta mode and start charging a nominal fee (about $7-8 per individual) for the online training. However, I will keep prices low enough for this diversity training to remain affordable.
Finally, whether you find the training useful or not, I would like to hear from you. That is particularly important at this stage of the program development so that I can know what works and what is not working. Using the email feature below, you can inform me about your experience with the program. Your identity will be kept confidential; however, I reserve the right to publicly use your statement as an anonymous comment in a future advertisement of the program.
If you have any questions, please contact me through the email feature of the website. I will endeavor to answer your question as soon as possible. Blessings and I hope you find my work to be of use. God bless and have wonderful conversations.