2.5 - Developing our “Both/And” Skill Set – Constructing a Solid Anti-racist Self

2.5 – Creating our “Both/And” Skill Set – Constructing a Solid Anti-racist Self (55 minutes)

Materials needed: Video set up to display TEDx Talk, by Shelly Tochluk, speakers, TEDx Talk Notes Sheet, pens and pencils

Purpose of piece:  To consider the use of “both/and” thinking and its relationship to shame, emotional reactivity, and one’s personal stake in racial justice.

Say to group: The author of Living in the Tension delivered a TEDx Talk that attempts to utilize the kind of “both/and” thinking discussed in the book. Jot down thoughts that come to you while watch. We’ll stop periodically to do a few quick pair shares about what’s coming up for us as we listen. We’ll then have a longer group discussion afterward.

  • Segment 1 – beginning -7:50
  • Segment 2 – 8:00-10
  • Segment 3 – 10-15:35
  • Segment 4 – 15:35- end

Pair shares (5 minutes) after each segment.

  1. How is “both/and” thinking used in each section of the talk?
  2. How do each of the segments support our ability to create positive cross-race relationships?
  3. How can the concepts discussed help us avoid rejecting someone’s words because of our discomfort?

Facilitator’s Note: The talk is easy to find online by doing a google search for Shelly Tochluk TEDx. It is posted on YouTube.

Large group discussion: (15 minutes)

  1. In what ways can the four concepts described in the talk help us engage in the conversations within our community that challenge us?
  2. In what ways can the four concepts described in the talk help us build the kind of strong sense of self we need to stay engaged when things get difficult?
  3. How do we develop a positive sense of self without moving into arrogance?

Wrap up: Both/and thinking lies at the core of the 1) ability to avoid shame responses, 2) resilience to persevere while feeling the heat of critique, and 3) standing firm, with humility, when discussing one’s personal investment in racial justice.

Handouts