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About the event

To register please email: jsevitt@gradcenter.cuny.edu  The same workshop runs on both days. Participants may join for either or both days.

A workshop for community organizers and anyone interested in further developing their skills in facilitating productive conversations about difficult and divisive issues such as immigration, racism and economic inequality. The workshop will be led by Harriet Protheroe-Davies, a community organizer with HOPE Not Hate (HNH) in Merthyr Tydfil, UK – a post-industrial, former steel town in the heart of the Welsh Valleys that has been heavily targeted by right wing populists since 2015. The workshop techniques are inspired by the work of Los Angeles LGBT, an organization who has mobilized LGBT campaigners to engage voters on their front doorsteps in transformative conversations around transgender rights using a combination of empathetic listening and Socratic questioning techniques, as well as sharing personal experiences.

The goal of the workshop is for participants engaged in similar work in and around NYC to learn about HNH's particular techniques and how they could be applied to their own organizing work. Participants will discuss their own experiences with techniques that have and have not worked and investigate what a 'productive' conversation means and looks like, by rethinking who is an 'ally' and who is the 'opposition' and the role of facts in having productive conversations.

So far in 2017, HNH have trained over 2000 community leaders, faith groups, trade unions, political parties, and grassroots campaign groups in these basic techniques, helping campaigners and community organizers to have productive conversations about immigration, Brexit and other divisive issues where prejudiced opinions are common. This workshop also has its basis in research: The National Conversation on immigration - the biggest project of its kind - has established focus groups across the UK to find out the opinions of the majority of people on issues of identity, culture, migration and multiculturalism. http://nationalconversation.uk

HNH combines cutting-edge research and community organizing in the UK to build resilience against racism and the far-right. Their work focuses on communities targeted by the far-right and right-wing populists through elections so as to bring people together and undercut racist narratives.

HNH's Fear and HOPE research - which has released 4 comparative reports since 2011 - provides further context for the key narratives behind anti-immigration and anti-Muslim opinion in the UK. http://hopenothate.org.uk/fear-hope-2017-overview/

Participants