'What Are They Thinking?' Anti-bias, compassion-building events
Newington Green Alliance
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ABOUT THE PROJECTThe 'What Are They Thinking?' (WATT) project fights bias and builds understanding a compassion. It works by bringing together people to listen to people who are different from themselves share about their own lived experiences.Each session brings together two groups with significant differences and imperfect understanding of each other. Some examples are Black/White, Male/Female, Theist/Atheist, Immigrant/Native UK, and Straight/Gay. Each group has a turn to listen and a turn to speak. The speaking amongst each group is in response to questions from the facilitators or from the listening group. Later, each group has a chance to process on their own and then reconvene with the other group to reflect on their experiences and it's impacts.We have found this to be a remarkably powerful format. Most participants find it to change their understanding and perspectives. The project is currently being run on-line and we may wish to expand to include in-person sessions in the future.We also plan to add an exciting new component to WATT: inviting participants to join a 'WATT Community' to explore and participate further in the individual and communal work of fighting bias and building understanding and compassion across difference.VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIESWATT needs volunteers to help withSession organising/planningParticipant communication and supportSession facilitationWATT community creation and supportResource developmentIn-person event development and supportVOLUNTEER SPECIFICATIONThese skills and attributes are required of all WATT volunteers:Compassionate non-judgemental outlook on people different from oneselfOrganised and responsible working habitsAble to commit to the volunteering role for at least 6 months and at least 2.5 hours per weekWorks well in a team environmentWilling to try and learn new thingsThe variety of types of work involved in WATT require a variety of strengths. These skills and attributes are required on the team but not every volunteer must have all of them:Comfortable with reaching out to organisations, groups, businesses, local government, etc. to represent and promote WATTFacilitation skillsConflict reduction and transformation skillsAn understanding of the psychology and sociology of individual and group responses to differenceSkills in leading online workshopsResearch skills especially with regard to differences in how different types of people and groups are treated by governments, law enforcement, business, etcSkills in online group moderation and facilitationSkills in building online communitiesPersuasive writing
Basic IT skills - internet & email, Organising & Planning
These skills and attributes are required of all WATT volunteers:
- Compassionate non-judgemental outlook on people different from oneself
- Organised and responsible working habits
- Able to commit to the volunteering role for at least 6 months and at least 2.5 hours per week
- Works well in a team environment
- Willing to try and learn new things
The variety of types of work involved in WATT require a variety of strengths. The following skills and attributes are required on the team but not every volunteer must have all of them:
- Comfortable with reaching out to organisations, groups, businesses, local government, etc. to represent and promote WATT
- Facilitation skills
- Conflict reduction and transformation skills
- An understanding of the psychology and sociology of individual and group responses to difference
- Skills in leading online workshops
- Research skills especially with regard to differences in how different types of people and groups are treated by governments, law enforcement, business, etc
- Skills in online group moderation and facilitation
- Skills in building online communities
- Persuasive writing
2-3 hours per week for with a commitment of at least 6 months
Further location details may be provided below.
In future, additional in-person events are to be run in Hackney, London
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You need to commit to a regular volunteering opportunity of around an hour a week. The table below shows the commitment required for each level of the DofE.
Minimum time: 3 or 6 monthsYou must do one of your volunteering, Physical or Skills sections for 6 months, the others for 3.
Minimum time: 6 or 12 monthsIf you heven't achieved your Bronze Award, you must extend your volunteering or the longer of your Physical or Skills sections to 12 months.
Minimum time: 12 or 18 monthsIf you heven't achieved your Silver Award, you must extend your volunteering or the longer of your Physical or Skills sections to 18 months.