Activities for Engaging Your Members in Conversations about Diversity and Inclusion

This is a part of the AAUW Diversity and Inclusion Tool Kit.

(Includes full citations).

A critical part of making your branch more diverse and inclusive is to engage members in a dialogue. One of the best strategies is to help your members examine and understand their own iden­tities, attitudes, and beliefs about diversity. Talking about these issues shows your members that diversity and inclusion are serious priorities and that you are open to having difficult but necessary discussions on these topics.

In addition, spending time discussing diversity and inclusion indicates to your members that their identi­ties, particularly those that are not part of the majority, do matter and allows for space to create under­standing, respect, and appreciation for diversity.

The activities below will help you celebrate the diversity of your members, as well as engage in deeper conversations on power and privilege.

Social Identity Wheel

Overview
In this activity, participants will reflect on and discuss the identities that are most important to them. The activity will help participants get to know each other better and allow members to express important parts of their identities that may otherwise not be known. Participants will also be asked to reflect on the value of their identities by considering which of those is most and least important to them and why that may be. Participants can expect to better understand how the world around them allows or does not allow them to make choices about what identities are most important.

Time Needed
90 minutes

Materials


Story of My Name: Who am I? The Question of Identity

Overview
In this activity, participants will get to know each other better and share the stories of their names. Participants will also reflect on how their names affect their day-to-day experiences and position them in our society. This activity can serve as an introductory conversation to begin a discussion of power, privilege, and oppression.

Time Needed
90 minutes

Materials


Identity Walk

Overview
In this activity, participants will be asked to share their own identities and will analyze and discuss the level of diversity in their branch. The Identity Walk will help branches identify which groups are dominant and which are marginalized or unknown. It will also give participants an opportunity to talk about how their identity affects their branch experience and what it may feel like to be inside or outside the dominant branch culture. This activity will open conversation about the need to diversify and become more inclusive as a branch and will create space to discuss actionable changes that can be made.

Time Needed
90 minutes

Materials


Mainstream and Margin

Overview
In this activity, participants will be asked to explore their own experiences in mainstream and marginal roles as an entry point to discussing the experiences of dominant and marginalized groups. Members will also be introduced to the concepts of power, privilege, and oppression.

Mainstream and Margin explores more advanced concepts and should only be done after your branch has spent time completing the activities listed above or having in-depth conversations about diversity and inclusion.

Time Needed
90 minutes

Materials


Creating Inclusive Spaces: Case Studies

Overview
In this activity, participants will work through case studies that deal with issues of power, privilege, and oppression. The scenarios will help participants think critically about changes they can make to create a more inclusive space.

This activity builds on the frameworks established in previous activities. It should be done only after your branch has spent time completing the activities listed above or having in-depth conversations about diversity and inclusion.

Time Needed
90 minutes

Materials


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