Teaching Allies about Listening

I was asked to lead a training for white activists who had signed on to be allies to global majority leaders who were presenting at combating-racism events. My part of the training was to teach them “deep listening skills,” so they could handle people who were interrupting or disrupting when the presenters were doing their jobs.

I talked about the benefits of being listened to. I said how it can help us unwind from the tensions we carry from growing up and living in an oppressive society and can let our minds heal and organize themselves. And I said that when we listen to someone else, we can understand more of who they are—their struggles and their brilliance.

After some basic instruction on good listening, we looked at how racism against people of African heritage had affected our lives and did mini-sessions. These allies were eager to work. I remembered that when people are well thought about, they are excited to engage with each other on things that move us forward as a community.

Liz Knaeble

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list for leaders of women

(Present Time 190, January 2018)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00