New: Video of Ally Skills Workshop from Frame Shift Consulting

You can now watch a video of the popular diversity and inclusion training course, the Ally Skills Workshop, from Frame Shift Consulting:

Note: Participants’ comments have been edited out to protect the privacy of participants and are instead summarized by the facilitator.

The Ally Skills Workshop teaches simple everyday ways for people to use their privilege and influence to support people who are targets of systemic oppression in their workplaces and communities.

Watching this video is a poor substitute for participating in a live workshop. That’s because most of the benefit of the workshop comes from having discussions with other participants, which involves practicing ally skills such as listening to marginalized people, taking turns speaking, passing the mic, learning new perspectives, and making decisions on what action to take. Without this participation, the workshop turns into one long lecture. The video is most useful as a way to give people a sense of the content of the workshop and the facilitation style.

If you’re looking for an interactive, immersive, and well-received training on diversity and inclusion, the Ally Skills Workshop might be for you. Learn more about hosting an Ally Skills Workshop at your organization here.

Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers September 17, 2018

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.

Do you want to teach people how to use their power and influence to support people of color, women of all races, LGBTQ+ folks, and members of other marginalized groups? Then the Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers is for you! In this class, you will learn to lead (or co-lead) the Ally Skills Workshop, which teaches people ally skills – tips and techniques for using their advantages to fight inequality and oppression with simple, everyday actions.

The session was fun, welcoming, and intuitive. The experience of the trainer and depth of information provided in the materials gave me confidence that I could, with practice, also offer this training. — Amy Sawyer

Register here:

Monday September 17, 7:00am – 2:00pm Pacific Daylight Time (-0700 UTC)

This event is online using the Zoom.us video conferencing software, which you can install and use for this event for free. There will be a one hour break about halfway through.

If this date do not work for you, please add your name and information to the train-the-trainers expression of interest list.

More about the Ally Skills Workshop

The Ally Skills Workshop is an intensive 3 hour-long discussion oriented workshop. The workshop leader (or co-leaders) begin with a 30 minute introduction that teaches people the basics about ally skills and how to have inclusive, respectful, productive discussions. Then the participants split up into groups of 4-6 people to discuss specific real-world scenarios in which an ally could take action. After a 4-7 minute group discussion, each group reports out what they discussed and what questions they have. The leader guides this discussion, answers questions, and suggests more ideas.

Facilitating this workshop is easiest for people comfortable with speaking extemporaneously in public, feeling and expressing compassion for people with different experiences than their own, and kindly but firmly disagreeing with people in front of others. Having significant experience as a member of a marginalized group is recommended but not required, especially if you are co-facilitating with another person who does have this experience. You can learn more about the workshop here, including the workshop slides and the full facilitator’s guide.

[The train-the-trainers] was intimate and hands-on. I got to practice the skills I’d need to teach while benefitting from Valerie’s and others’ experience with presenting. I also made connections that I hope may mature into opportunities for collaboration in the future. — Dr. Sheila Addison

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Ade Bradshaw on Flickr, composition by Frame Shift Consulting. Commercial use by permission.

Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers August 7-8 and August 23-24, 2018 (rescheduled)

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.

Do you want to teach people how to use their power and influence to support people of color, women of all races, LGBTQ+ folks, and members of other marginalized groups? Then the Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers is for you! In this class, you will learn to lead (or co-lead) the Ally Skills Workshop, which teaches people ally skills – tips and techniques for using their advantages to fight inequality and oppression with simple, everyday actions.

The session was fun, welcoming, and intuitive. The experience of the trainer and depth of information provided in the materials gave me confidence that I could, with practice, also offer this training. — Amy Sawyer

Register here:

Tuesday August 7 – Wednesday August 8, 6:00AM – 9:00AM, via online video (Pacific Daylight Time -0700 UTC)

Thusday August – Friday August 24, 9:00AM – 12:00PM, via online video (Pacific Daylight Time -0700 UTC)

Update: This training has been rescheduled for September 17.

The class is taught across 2 days, 3 hours per day, at the same time each day. Only the first day is listed due to limitations by Eventbrite. This event is online using the Zoom.us video conferencing software, which you can install and use for this event for free.

Tickets are priced on a sliding scale. You can request a free ticket or ask questions about which ticket price is right for you by emailing contact@frameshiftconsulting.com.

If these dates do not work for you, please add your name and information to the train-the-trainers expression of interest list.

More about the Ally Skills Workshop

The Ally Skills Workshop is an intensive 3 hour-long discussion oriented workshop. The workshop leader (or co-leaders) begin with a 30 minute introduction that teaches people the basics about ally skills and how to have inclusive, respectful, productive discussions. Then the participants split up into groups of 4-6 people to discuss specific real-world scenarios in which an ally could take action. After a 4-7 minute group discussion, each group reports out what they discussed and what questions they have. The leader guides this discussion, answers questions, and suggests more ideas.

Facilitating this workshop is easiest for people comfortable with speaking extemporaneously in public, feeling and expressing compassion for people with different experiences than their own, and kindly but firmly disagreeing with people in front of others. Having significant experience as a member of a marginalized group is recommended but not required, especially if you are co-facilitating with another person who does have this experience. You can learn more about the workshop here, including the workshop slides and the full facilitator’s guide.

[The train-the-trainers] was intimate and hands-on. I got to practice the skills I’d need to teach while benefitting from Valerie’s and others’ experience with presenting. I also made connections that I hope may mature into opportunities for collaboration in the future. — Dr. Sheila Addison

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Ade Bradshaw on Flickr, composition by Frame Shift Consulting. Commercial use by permission.

Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers January 8 & 12 2018

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.

Do you want to teach people how to use their power and influence to support people of color, women of all races, LGBTQ+ folks, and members of other marginalized groups? Then the Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers is for you! In this five hour class, you will learn to lead (or co-lead) the Ally Skills Workshop, which teaches people ally skills – tips and techniques for using their advantages to fight inequality and oppression with simple, everyday actions.

The session was fun, welcoming, and intuitive. The experience of the trainer and depth of information provided in the materials gave me confidence that I could, with practice, also offer this training. — Amy Sawyer

Register here:

Monday, January 8, 12:00pm – 6:00pm, via online video (Pacific Standard Time -0800 UTC)

Friday, January 12, 6:00am – 12:00pm, via online video (Pacific Standard Time -0800 UTC)

This is an online event using the Zoom.us video conferencing software. We will break for one hour about halfway through, with additional short breaks throughout.

Tickets are priced on a sliding scale. You can request a free ticket or ask questions about which ticket price is right for you by emailing contact@frameshiftconsulting.com.

If this date does not work for you, please add your name and information to the train-the-trainers expression of interest list.

More about the Ally Skills Workshop

The Ally Skills Workshop is an intensive 3 hour-long discussion oriented workshop. The workshop leader (or co-leaders) begin with a 30 minute introduction that teaches people the basics about ally skills and how to have inclusive, respectful, productive discussions. Then the participants split up into groups of 4-6 people to discuss specific real-world scenarios in which an ally could take action. After a 4-7 minute group discussion, each group reports out what they discussed and what questions they have. The leader guides this discussion, answers questions, and suggests more ideas.

Facilitating this workshop is easiest for people comfortable with speaking extemporaneously in public, feeling and expressing compassion for people with different experiences than their own, and kindly but firmly disagreeing with people in front of others. Having significant experience as a member of a marginalized group is recommended but not required, especially if you are co-facilitating with another person who does have this experience. You can learn more about the workshop here, including the workshop slides and the full facilitator’s guide.

[The train-the-trainers] was intimate and hands-on. I got to practice the skills I’d need to teach while benefitting from Valerie’s and others’ experience with presenting. I also made connections that I hope may mature into opportunities for collaboration in the future. — Dr. Sheila Addison

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Ade Bradshaw on Flickr, composition by Frame Shift Consulting. Commercial use by permission.

The Intolerable Speech Rule: the Paradox of Tolerance for tech companies

A woman dressed in 19th century European black clothing sits in a defiant pose with a sword across her lap. Letters at the top say in Latin
Use the sword on behalf of justice only

On Monday, I’ll be giving a talk at Airbnb about the Paradox of Tolerance and how tech companies can use it to decide whether or not to allow white supremacists to use their products. Here’s the TL;DW version:

The Paradox of Tolerance says that a tolerant society should be intolerant of one thing: intolerance itself. This is because if a tolerant society allows intolerance to take over, it will destroy the tolerant society and there will be no tolerance left anywhere. What this means for tech companies is that they should not support intolerant speech when it endangers the existence of tolerant society itself.

I propose the following rule for tech companies to use in deciding which content to host or clients to support.

The Intolerable Speech Rule

If the content or the client is:

  1. Advocating for the removal of human rights
  2. From people based on an aspect of their identity
  3. In the context of systemic oppression primarily harming that group
  4. In a way that overall increases the danger to that group

Then don’t allow them to use your products.

This isn’t the only rule you should use – you should use this rule in addition to all your existing rules against spam, fraud, illegal activity, etc. Implementation is key. Be proactive in seeking out violations, have a diverse empowered decision making team, and collaborate with outside experts.

Learn more:

Slides (Google Slides) (PDF) (PPTX)

Video transcript

Links

Examples of tech companies implementing the Paradox of Tolerance

Tech company terms of service relating to the Paradox of Tolerance

Article on the Paradox of Tolerance as it applies to white supremacists in the U.S.

Wikipedia entry for the Paradox of Tolerance

Talk on legal talismans (misuse of “free speech” and similar legal terms) by Kendra Albert (transcript)

How to organize tech workers to change company policy by Liz Fong-Jones

Policy and code of conduct consulting from ReadySet and Y-Vonne Hutchinson

Freeze peach comic by Naoise Dolan

Freeze peach pendant by Gretchen Koch

Freeze peach graphic by Stephanie Zvan

Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers June 17, 2017

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.

Do you want to teach people how to use their power and influence to support people of color, women of all races, LGBTQ+ folks, and members of other marginalized groups? Then the Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers is for you! In this all-day class on June 17, you will learn to lead (or co-lead) the Ally Skills Workshop, which teaches people ally skills – tips and techniques for using their advantages to fight inequality and oppression with simple, everyday actions.

The session was fun, welcoming, and intuitive. The experience of the trainer and depth of information provided in the materials gave me confidence that I could, with practice, also offer this training. — Amy Sawyer

Register here: Saturday, June 17, 1:00pm – 7:00pm, via online video (Pacific Daylight Time)

This is an online event using the Zoom.us video conferencing software. We will break for one hour about halfway through, with additional short breaks throughout.

Tickets are priced on a sliding scale. You can request a free ticket or ask questions about which ticket price is right for you by emailing contact@frameshiftconsulting.com.

If this date does not work for you, please add your name and information to the train-the-trainers expression of interest list.

More about the Ally Skills Workshop

The Ally Skills Workshop is an intensive 3 hour-long discussion oriented workshop. The workshop leader (or co-leaders) begin with a 30 minute introduction that teaches people the basics about ally skills and how to have inclusive, respectful, productive discussions. Then the participants split up into groups of 4-6 people to discuss specific real-world scenarios in which an ally could take action. After a 3-5 minute group discussion, each group reports out what they discussed and what questions they have. The leader guides this discussion, answers questions, and suggests more ideas.

Facilitating this workshop is easiest for people comfortable with speaking extemporaneously in public, feeling and expressing compassion for people with different experiences than their own, and kindly but firmly disagreeing with people in front of others. Having significant experience as a member of a marginalized group is recommended but not required, especially if you are co-facilitating with another person who does have this experience. You can learn more about the workshop here, including the workshop slides and the full facilitator’s guide.

[The train-the-trainers] was intimate and hands-on. I got to practice the skills I’d need to teach while benefitting from Valerie’s and others’ experience with presenting. I also made connections that I hope may mature into opportunities for collaboration in the future. — Dr. Sheila Addison

A collage of people's faces of many different ages, genders, and races, painted on walls in rainbow colors.
CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Ade Bradshaw on Flickr, composition by Frame Shift Consulting. Commercial use by permission.

How to organize tech workers to change company policy

Tech workers are uniquely positioned to fight for equality and justice in the United States and around the world. Because tech workers are critical to many business’s operations, and there are more tech jobs than tech workers to feel them, management is often eager to listen to and make changes at the request of the tech workers they employ. However, often there is no simple or easy way for tech workers to communicate with their management as a group.

Liz Fong-Jones is a tech worker and activist with 7 years of experience organizing her fellow tech workers to change company policies at the highest levels. In this video, she shares what she has learned about how tech workers can effectively organize themselves to clearly communicate their values and needs to management. Organizing and acting as a group is an important ally skill worth learning!

Human-edited English captions are available for the entire talk, as are extensive notes from a previous version of the talk given at a meeting of Tech Solidarity (@techsolidarity).

Updated 12 February 2017: This talk is now available in tweet form.

Updated 6 March 2018: The IEEE published “IEEE Guidelines for Engineers Dissenting on Ethical Grounds” in 1983, which covers many of the same considerations.

Thank you, Liz, for sharing this valuable experience and knowledge with us!