Tips for Leading an Introduction to RC

Dear Barbara [Barbara Love, the International Liberation Reference Person for African Heritage People],

I’m a certified RC teacher living in Bangkok, Thailand. Next week I’m going to lead a two-hour workshop in Solo, Indonesia, introducing RC. The workshop will be called Listening Partnerships for Living Fully and Leading with Integrity in a Time of Crisis. It will be part of a broader and very interesting conference called Civic Engagement 4.0—Justice, Dignity, Sustainability.

I feel confident leading the workshop as I’ve had a lot of experience leading classes, doing workshops, and offering introductory lectures in the region. Yet it would be great to know of any lessons you’ve learned about leading RC workshops (such as with United to End Racism and Sustaining All Life) within a larger event—as I haven’t done that before.

A young Indonesian and a young Kayah woman from Myanmar will be assisting me. They have gone through basic RC fundamentals, though in a naturalized form.

I would appreciate any thoughts you could share.

Ted Mayer

Bangpakok, Ratburana, Thailand

Dear Ted,

Congratulations on having the opportunity to lead a workshop introducing RC in Indonesia. I will share a few thoughts. Some will be obvious; hopefully some will be helpful.

  1. Do use what we have learned in RC about language liberation.

Arrange for interpretation into the languages of the people present if those languages differ from the language in which you will be presenting.

Plan time out and attention for the interpreters every twenty minutes.

Plan time out (one minute every twenty minutes) for all the participants—so that they can rest their brains and absorb what they have been listening to.

Speak loudly.

Speak slowly.

Speak clearly.

Use everyday language.

Avoid RC jargon.

Explain everything. Do not take for granted that the listeners will understand any shortcut language.

Avoid cultural references that may not be familiar to an audience that does not share your cultural background.

Find examples and references from the background of the group to whom you are presenting.

  1. Highlight Indigenous faces and voices.

It’s great that you will have an Indonesian and a Kayah woman assisting you. Prepare an outline of your presentation in advance. Also have the two of them prepare their presentations in advance. That will increase the probability that their presentations will be experienced as important parts of the overall presentation and not as a gratuitous show. Advance preparation can also help them feel confident about what they are presenting.

  1. KISS: Keep it simple and straightforward.
  2. Provide lots of opportunities for people to practice—lots of mini-sessions. I find it totally worthwhile to spend the extra time explaining the guidelines for mini-sessions and setting them up, making sure everyone has a partner, and so on.
  3. Explain discharge early on, along with its benefits.
  4. Don’t try to do too much. You can’t give them the whole thing. Don’t try to. Aim to leave them feeling like they got something worthwhile and wanting more. Be sure to prepare instructions in advance that tell them how to get more.
  5. Find a way to connect the workshop to their topic: Civic Engagement 4.0—Justice, Dignity, Sustainability.

Look at the workshops we’ve been doing on climate change (see the RC website, ) for ideas on how to relate the theory and practice of RC to various topics. Make it clear to people that using RC will help them do better what they want to do.

Have fun. I would love to hear how it goes.

Barbara Love

International Liberation Reference
Person for African Heritage People

Amherst, Massachusetts, USA


Last modified: 2019-10-18 23:00:52+00