Stimulating conversation on EDI: Words by a facilitator

by Allison Rosenthal, Project Manager, Independent Facilitator and Senior Associate at AKD.

 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) is finally getting its long-awaited day in the light. From the #metoo campaign to BBC gender pay gaps and now the frequent political shuffles, which have been brought about by sexual harassment and racism…

 

…the time to start conversations is now.

 

As a facilitator, EDI is a subject I am personally passionate about and committed to facilitating. I deeply believe in inclusive societies, fairness and respecting the differences between all individuals. Perhaps it was my traditional yet unconventional Jewish parents who sparked my interest in the subject matter.

 

It started when my parents relocated from Liverpool to Pakistan in the early fifties. This is where I was born and raised for the first few years of my life. Like most expatriates living in Pakistan, my family had servants however my older brothers and I were banned from speaking English to them and well all became fluent in Urdu as a result. Being brought up in a culturally diverse environment has helped to shape my core beliefs.

 

“How does one take such a multifaceted and complex subject and present it in a way that creates space to start the conversations that need to be had, not stifle them?”

 

But not everyone has had similar space to develop their own views on EDI, and that is always the challenge I face when facilitating it. How does one take such a multifaceted and complex subject and present it in a way that creates space to start the conversations that need to be had, not stifle them? For me, the Equally Yours learning solution creates the opportunity for us facilitators to have that open discussion in a fun way, within a safe environment where people are engaged with the subject at hand. It lays the foundations for talking about diversity issues, questioning and challenging injustices and our own unconscious bias.

 

“As a facilitator I leave with more to think about and changes I want to make to ensure that I am always inclusive and supportive to others”

 

I love the discussions that occur when facilitating Equally Yours. They are conversations that create an understanding about differences, an understanding about what it means to be living in a diverse community, and even as a facilitator I leave with more to think about and changes I want to make to ensure that I am always inclusive and supportive to others.

 

I remember meeting Akin Thomas from AKD many years ago when working in Waltham Forest. I absolutely loved the company and the vision he had for making training fun. This was about creating an opportunity for open communication, not just e-learning or a half day course on a complicated topic. Equally Yours creates a fun and exciting environment which stimulates people to think differently and challenge themselves about the preconceptions they have.