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Workshop Reflection

Sasha De La Cruz's picture

            My group’s final project was a workshop that touched on different types of oppression and ways in which different groups are silenced on campus. We explore voice and Jody’s by educating people on the different ways in which privilege appears on campus. We used the discussion-based way of teaching/learning in our workshop. We explore the notion of vision and Barbs class by making the participants think about their niches on campus and where it is that they feel comfortable and where they do not. We used silence in our workshop by having silent discussions and giving people time to reflect on what they have seen on the posters before commenting. We also had a Delpit way of “teaching”. Throughout most of the workshop (i.e. cross the line activity) our point would get across depending on how the participants interpreted the activity. Throughout that activity, we included questions that touched on religion, gender and sexuality and race with the hopes that the participants would make the connections themselves.

            After some one the activity such as the trivia, we did not give people the space to reflect on what they have learned because in silence class we learned how to do/complete activities without necessarily having to comment and reflect on it. When we first came up with the idea of putting together a workshop, I do not believe we were automatically thinking about these disciplines. It was not until we remembered we had to write this reflection and began finding connections between each activity and the disciplines. It did take us a lot of thinking since we did not intentionally create these activities with the disciplines in mind.

            Our workshop wanted to primarily focus on privilege I terms of race on campus, but it did touch on a variety of privilege/oppression (gender &sexuality, religion, etc.) with the hopes that the participants would become more aware about the injustices that still take place on campus. I think our workshop gave people some space to begin to have these conversations that are not taking place on campus. A lot of the people who participated in the workshop admitted that they are ready to sit on the information for a while, to take it in. I would say that even if there would not be any direct or obvious actions taken by these individuals, but that is okay. 

            Just like when reading a trauma novel, a lot of the times there is not much one can do but to simply sit with the information for a while. I think a lot of the people are now more interested in participating more in these type of conversations. I think our workshop served as a reminder and also as an eye opener for a lot of people. When we broke up into smaller groups to have discussions about the silent activity questions, I facilitated the group who wanted to speak about the poster “In regards to Perry House, I have questions about…” Within our group there were a lot of questions in regards to the language and to the communication between students and administration. When we opened the conversation to the rest of group and the topic that was spoken a lot was the Perry House issue. A lot of people looked really interested in the continuation of this conversation and are expecting next steps.