Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Building the World We Dream About: An Anti-racism Multicultural Program

Activity 1: Simulation, Part One

Activity time: 115 minutes

Materials for Activity

Preparation for Activity

  • Copy Handout 1, Simulation Scenario and Process, for all participants. Make six copies of Handout 2, Simulation Descriptions - Minister and Board. Make eight copies of Handout 3, Simulation Descriptions - Social Justice Working Group. Make five copies of Handout 4, Simulation Descriptions - White Allies and six copies of Handout 5, Simulation Descriptions - Caucus for People of Color and People from Marginalized Racial or Ethnic Groups.
  • There are 17 specified roles in the simulation. If the group has more than 17 participants, some will craft their own role using Handout 6, Simulation Descriptions - Random Congregants. Make enough copies of Handout 6 for everyone who may need a role plus one for each facilitator.
  • Make two copies of Leader Resource 1, Job Candidates; Leader Resource 2, Wild Cards; and Leader Resource 3, Getting Unstuck.
  • Make seven copies of each congregational document.
  • Create a folder for each facilitator. Include a copy of each handout and congregational document as well as Leader Resource 1, Job Candidates; Leader Resource 2, Wild Cards; and Leader Resource 3, Getting Unstuck. Carefully read all the information and instructions to be sure you can explain the simulation and answer questions.
  • Create a folder for each committee or group in your simulation (Minister and Board, Social Justice Working Group, White Allies, Caucus for People of Color and People from Marginalized Racial or Ethnic Groups, Random Congregants). Folders should include:
    • Enough copies of Handout 1, Simulation Scenario and Process, for each member of the group to have one
    • Enough copies of the appropriate Simulation Descriptions handout for each member to have one
    • A single copy of each congregational document
  • Arrange for each group or committee to have a private meeting space or room. Make a sign for each one and post it outside the space or room.

Description of Activity

Read Handout 1, Simulation Scenario and Process to the group and answer general questions. Explain that the more energy participants put into their roles, the greater the learning. Encourage participants to really get into the characters and have fun with the process. Emphasize that this simulation is a learning experience where people can make "mistakes" in a relatively safe context.

Invite participants to choose roles, or assign roles so each group has the proper number of participants:

  • Minister and Board (1 senior minister, 3 board members)
  • Social Justice Working Group (6 people)
  • White Allies (3 people)
  • Caucus for People of Color and People from Marginalized Racial or Ethnic Groups (4 people)
  • Random Congregants (remaining persons)

Indicate the space/room where each group will meet, identified by the signs you have posted. Give each group the folder you have prepared for them. Explain that although the characters in each committee or group have been assigned genders; gender assignments may be changed for the simulation. The descriptions are provided as a starting place; participants should adjust their roles so they feel comfortable "being" that person and using that lens for a time.

Invite participants to move to their assigned group or committee spaces and begin the simulation.

Your role during the simulation is to monitor all areas of activity and keep a running record of interesting observations for processing at the end of the simulation. Note:

  • How are participants acting in antiracist ways?
  • How are participants demonstrating multicultural competencies?
  • Are they being accountable to each other and to oppressed persons?
  • How are participants avoiding conflict or responding poorly to incidents or new information?

Use Leader Resource 1, Job Candidates, Leader Resource 2, Wild Cards, and Leader Resource 3, Getting Unstuck for suggestions and information to liven up the simulation and keep participants engaged.

Continue the simulation until just before the workshop's ending time.

Including All Participants

Invite other members of the group to read character descriptions to a blind or visually impaired participant. Encourage those who are reluctant or shy to make a character their own and to inhabit that person in a way that feels comfortable for them, while still paying attention to the lens that particular character would bring to the situation.