If you were born before 1950, you may have experienced the era of Senator McCarthy and intense anti-Communism first-hand. If so, recall what it was like for you. What is your understanding of the "Red Scare?" What impressions did you get from the media at the time? Did you know your family's opinions? Did you agree, or disagree?
If you did not live through this era yourself, talk with someone who did. It is easy to forget the sense of imminent danger from Communism that prevailed after World War II. Read the first-hand accounts in the workshop handouts, and assess your reaction to their emotionally charged language and passionate engagement. Because events explored in this workshop likely occurred during the lifetimes of some members of the group, some may wish to share personal experiences; workshops such as this one sometimes generate unexpected emotional responses. Encourage participants to claim their own stories without imposing them on others. Be ready to respond with compassion and without judgment.
Before you lead the workshop, take time to complete this sentence: "At the end of this workshop, I hope the participants leave feeling... "