Every congregation, district, organization, or group has its own culture and way of scheduling young adult programming. The eight workshops of Building the World We Dream About for Young Adults are best done sequentially, but can be used in a variety of ways. Here are some possibilities:
- Offer eight two-hour sessions on a regular weekly or bi-weekly schedule
- Offer the entire program as a weekend or week-long conference program
- Offer the program in two separate full-day events.
Workshops 1 and 2 offer participants practice in understanding how perspectives are shaped by life experience and by racial and ethnic identity, and introduce protocols and practices that support multicultural sharing. Workshops 3 and 4 introduce the concept of "White privilege" and explore its manifestations in individual, group, and community contexts. Workshops 5 through 8 build participants' multicultural competency skills. Workshop 5 offers views of "Whiteness" from the perspective of Unitarian Universalist People of Color and those marginalized by race or ethnicity and invites participants to meet in racial/ethnic identity-based reflection groups. It offers alternate plans for small groups which are not racial/ethnic identity based. Workshops 6 and 7 offer real-life stories of Unitarian Universalist young adults engaging in antiracism, antioppression, multicultural work as personal and spiritual practice, as well as an opportunity to build skills by through role-playing and reflection. Workshop 8 invites participants to commit to further learning, initiatives, and projects to build their own multicultural skills as well as build and strengthen multicultural inclusion in communities of which they are a part.
If you are interested in offering only part of the program, note that Workshops 1 and 2 can each stand alone as a 2-hour workshop experience. Workshops 1, 2, and 3 together can be offered as a single 6-hour program. Workshops 1, 2, 3, and 4 can be offered as a single 8-hour program. Workshops 5, 6, 7, and 8 should only be offered after participants have participated in the first four workshops.
Creating Reflection Groups
Participants gather in small groups for sharing and processing in several different configurations. Sometimes they gather according to specific experiences or interests, as indicated in the activity descriptions. In Workshop 5 and 8, participants meet in race- and identity-based groups. On all other occasions, participants should meet in a consistent, intentionally diverse small reflection group created by co-facilitators. Take time to carefully consider each participant and create reflection groups of about five people that will convene periodically throughout the program. Consider a variety of attributes, such as each participant's racial, ethnic, and cultural identity; age; gender identity; temperament (e.g., introvert/extravert); and any gifts, challenges, and life experiences of which you are aware. Avoid placing family members together in a group. Reconfigure the small groups only if necessary to keep the group functioning well.
Note: Although it is strongly recommended that groups in Workshops 5 and 8 be formed on the basis of racial/ethnic identity to create safe space for conversation and exploration, there are situations where, due to the lack of diversity in the group, small size of the group, or lack of maturity of participants, formation of such groups is not appropriate. For such cases, participants should gather in their established small reflection groups.