Workshop and Teach-in Details
Workshop and Teach-in Details
Diversity and Inclusion can be measured by metrics and checklists; they even have their own ISO standard. Equity is a mindset. Anti-racism is a practice (this applies to other-isms as well). Justice is an aspiration and an outcome. Mindsets, practices, and outcomes require inner work.
The key difference between "DEI" workshops and Brave Sis facilitations is: I help participants tap into something intimate, personal, and generative (in a safe, supportive, and fun environment). If participants leave these sessions with a few aha moments about their own blind-spots, implicit biases, and how over-centering a default whiteness narrative only shows a partial view of the world, then the work is a success.
The Brave Sis practice centers on little-known BIPOC she-roes in history. There is great joy and possibility in finding common ground and deeper insights from these remarkable women whose lives and stories have been obscured and/or erased. From this point of departure, participants will enhance their mindset around inclusion, representation, love, and power.
This is the beginning of an inner shift that makes change more sustainable and authentic. My aim with Brave Sis Project is to move people—you and those you know—away from performative postures and towards a joyful and sustainable practice of creating aware, authentically inclusive and caring communities. Or to put it more directly: just being a better person and co-citizen of this world.
All workshop attendees receive a follow-up recording with additional tools, resources, and a digital version of the original Brave Sis Journey-Journal, for note-keeping, ideating, and building your practice with joy and inspiration.
Be Brave Like Her – Drawing from the lives of Ada Blackjack, the heroic Inupiat woman who survived a year alone north of the Arctic Circle in a failed colonial expedition; Ella Baker, the overlooked matriarch of the Civil Rights Movement; or dozens of other women celebrated though Brave Sis Project or Our Brave Foremothers, I will facilitate an experience that will leave participants uplifted, inspired, and encouraged.
Through this teach-in, featuring 1-3 foremothers, participants will learn about lesser-known she-roes, followed by individual responses to prompts and/or breakout sessions to foster co-creation, learning, and celebration of these Brave Foremothers and how they can inspire the lives we are building. Outcome: Originally conceived for women’s groups, Black History Month, AAPI Heritage Month, and Women’s History Month events, these sessions are evergreen opportunities to learn, grow, and celebrate.
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Brave Sis participatory sessions create avenues for building trust, belonging, and personal growth through storytelling and story-sharing.They give teams great points of reference for further co-creating and shared learning. Whether a 60-minute lunch-and-learn (light touch intro/overview of the topic) to a 90-minute full topic teach-in, or half- or full-day experience covering 1-3 topics, with group and creative work, these experiences provide a stepping-off place for more learning and celebration: perhaps incorporating my book Our Brave Foremothers, journaling with the Brave Sis Perpetual Journal, or even simply learning more about inspiring she-roes on one's own. There are four group work experiences proposed. All begin with the origin story of Brave Sis Project, to focus our minds on: hearing the ancestors, de-centering default narratives, and celebrating ourselves.
Micro-aggression Movie – Long ago, I used to answer questions like "why is it not OK to say Obama is ‘articulate’?” How 2010s that was! Today, I invite participants to do their own awareness-building and blind-spot correcting, looking at two dozen+ phrases often expressed by progressively minded (generally, but not always) white women and met with disdain, dismissal, or worse. We'll explore better ways of showing appreciation, inviting curiosity and creating mutuality. Outcome: Sensitize participants to micro-aggressions and ways to avoid them, as well as slipping into defensiveness, deflection… or worse, tears and shame.
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The Privilege Staircase – Exploring typical levers of privilege (race, gender, class, and economic status) lesser-expected ones (body type, ability) and a few deep cuts (voting rights, autonomy over the hours of our day). From the bottom of the staircase to the top, we explore and discuss how “privilege” is a multi-sided die, and how the way we cast it has such an enormous impact on our selves, our interpersonal relationships, and how we see and build community. Outcome: Build a deeper, nuanced understanding of intersectionality, privilege, and how systemic harms perpetuate.
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Hacking Allyship, Honestly – Whether due to personal or societal blind spots, hidden biases, or other externalities, we often get in the way of our best intentions. Unpacking uncomfortable truths around white centrism, appropriation and intent vs. impact, how power is wielded and shared, and more — with moments of self- and group-reflection and discussion — participants will begin to forge a deeper sense of self-knowledge, trust, awareness of each of us as “the Other,” and how we can progress in our work and lives without the self-congratulatory progressive blinders of "being a good person.”
Minimum half-day; incorporates the full Privilege Staircase and an abridged version of the Microaggression Movie workshops. Outcome: Envision a roadmap for interrogating white saviorism, blind spots, tone deafness, and other factors that get in the way of doing real equity and engendering co-creative allyship.
The XYZ of DEI - Beyond the “ABCs,” this framework moves past metrics and towards how people feel and live together in spaces. “Hacking Allyship, Honestly,” we will begin to see ways to advance towards a world with fewer isms and more mutuality, respect, love, and justice.
Full day: incorporates the Privilege Staircase, Microaggression Movie, and Hacking Allyship, Honestly, with ample solo reflection and group interaction. Outcome: Engender a deeper awareness of how to build an equity, DEI-aligned, ally-forward mindset and practice without being superficial or performative.
Now That We Are All Here, Let's Get to Work, or – Building a Beloved Community of Brave Sisses, No Fake Allies Allowed
A ~30-minute keynote address providing an honest glimpse into the ways white feminism and progressivism historically and systemically fail to engage or even convince many Black, Brown, and other women of color. I share my own personal transformation from someone migrating from a bubble of Black exceptionalism, intellectualism, and privilege to an awakening and shift away from patient and cheerful complicity with the status quo of white womanhood. To avoid the deep harm of checkbox DEI and false allyship, we have to come face to face with trenchant blind spots, points of confusion, bad history, and sometimes even plain stupidity around race, privilege, class, and the default whiteness narrative. Delivered honestly, but without flagellation, and revealing the Nine Offenses of Failed Allyship, this talk invites all of us to open our eyes and hearts more fully. This keynote is for would-be allies, wannabe bad-ass feminists, and even us Black and BIPOC women who still have to live and operate in this deeply flawed society of white-centrism and divisiveness. The Beloved Community is within our reach, if we choose to do the work. Contact me for more information.
Testimonials and Comments
“Yesterday was an amazing session that I know our division really loved and benefited from.”— Gender Equality Group of Private Grantmaking Foundation
“Best one-hour transformative training to understand intersectionality” — Gabrielle Durana, President, Ecole Française Bay Area
”Rozie was an amazing facilitator and great to work with...” “I was able to learn a lot from the speaker and also check my own bias when it comes to women in history.” — staff comments, Material+, global, multi-office design firm
"Our students were very excited to hear from this revolutionary woman, a Brearley alum, who has committed her life's work to making the world a better place, sharing the stories of so many pioneers who have been left out of history texts. She shared so much wisdom that everyone yearned for more." —Coy Dailey, Director of Equity and Community Engagement, the Brearley School, New York, NY
" Rozella’s XYZ of DEI talk gave the team valuable insights on how to connect the dots between individual awareness and systemic change. This is valuable to us in advancing our mission of health equity and access." — Daniel Shattuck, PhD, Co-Chair New Mexico Chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network (SSN)
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss which program best suits your needs.
Partial List of Groups Who Have Received Brave Sis Talks, Workshops, or Facilitations
- Ecole Française Bay Area
- Employee Resource Group of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
- Higher Heights for America
- Material+ Design Firm
- Minerva Strategies
- New Mexico Chapter of the Scholars Strategy Network (SSN)
- City of Albuquerque
- Opportunity Collaborative
- Skoll Foundation
- The Brearley School
- United Way of Ames, Iowa
- WTS International, San Francisco Bay Area Chapter
Rozella Kennedy is the founder of Brave Sis Projec and the author of Our Brave Foremothers: Celebrating 100 Black, Brown, Asian, and Indigenous Women Who Changed the Course of History (Workman/Hachette, 2023.) She is also the Director of Impact & Equity for global social advisory consultancy Camber Collective.