Ally Skills Workshop June 26

Want to take concrete action to fight injustice, but not sure what to do? In response to popular demand, we are offering an online Ally Skills Workshop open to the general public. Register here:

Friday June 26, 11am – 2pm Pacific Daylight Time

In this workshop, you will learn how to recognize when you have the most power and influence—when you can best act as an ally—and how to take effective action to make your workplace and community better. We will practice responding to and preventing racism, sexism, transphobia, and other kinds of oppression. While the principles in this workshop can be used in any context and everyone is welcome, this particular workshop will be tailored towards salaried tech workers.

Facilitators

Two smiling people

Co-facilitators Valerie Aurora and Kendall Howse bring a combined experience of more than two decades in the tech industry and more than a decade of facilitating in the area of diversity and inclusion. Valerie has taught ally skills to tech workers for more than 8 years, co-founded a non-profit supporting women in open tech/culture, and worked as a software engineer for Intel, IBM, and Red Hat. Kendall is a senior designer at Red Hat, where he co-leads the Black employee resource group, and was a founding member of the Diversity Council at CoreOS.

To learn more about booking the workshop at your organization, email us at contact@frameshiftconsulting.com.

Learn ally skills on Twitter

Frame Shift amplifies marginalized voices and shares resources about acting as an ally on our low-traffic Twitter account, @FrameShiftLLC. Some recent posts:

Featured image credit and license: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 Ade Bradshaw on Flickr, composition by Frame Shift Consulting. Commercial use by permission.

Tips for safer Zoom meetings

As many classes and social activities are shifting to online video, harassers are “Zoom-bombing” video calls with pornography and other obnoxious disruptions. Here is a short guide to making your Zoom meetings safer.

Before the meeting, the host (the person creating the meeting) should change these Zoom settings (click here to change):

  1. Turn on “Waiting room” feature. (Update: will be on by default starting April 5, 2020.)
  2. Turn off “Allow removed participants to rejoin”, “Allow private chat”, “File transfer”, “Annotation”, “Whiteboard” features.
  3. Set “Screen sharing” to “Host only”.

When scheduling a meeting, the host should:

  1. Create a meeting in Zoom with a random ID and a password (do not use Personal Meeting ID). (Update: meeting password will be on by default starting April 5, 2020.)
  2. Recommended: Do not share the Zoom meeting link publicly, instead make people register with an email address (e.g. using Eventbrite) and email them the Zoom link and password.

During the meeting:

  1. Host assigns “Co-host” status to a trusted person.
  2. The Co-host admits people from the waiting room, removes harassers, and does not admit suspicious people who try to join. (They also mute people who forget to mute themselves after speaking.)
  3. Host transfers host status to people who need to share their screen.
  4. Optional: Lock the meeting after 5 minutes.

If you do all these things, you will have a Zoom meeting with a defensible boundary that you can eject people from if they behave badly. It’s the virtual equivalent of a well-run conference with registration, name tags, physical security, and code of conduct enforcement.

Online training

If you find these tips useful, you may also be interested in our online training, Teaching Inclusive and Engaging Online Classes. We also teach the Ally Skills Workshop online, which helps people learn how to use their power and influence to make their workplace better.

Links

Change Zoom settings: https://zoom.us/profile/setting

Co-host information: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362603-Host-and-Co-Host-Controls-in-a-Meeting

Waiting room, remove participants, lock meeting: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/115005759423-Managing-participants-in-a-meeting

Header image CC BY Lisa ZinsCC BY-SA Bill Abbottmarneejill, Frame Shift Consulting LLC

Teaching inclusive and engaging online classes

Want to teach online classes that students look forward to? Wondering how to translate your in-person teaching skills to online teaching skills? Join professional online teacher Valerie Aurora as she shares how she keeps students engaged and learning in an inclusive and welcoming environment. Register for this free class on the following dates:

Tuesday April 7 at 9am – 11am Pacific Daylight Time

Friday April 10 at 9am – 11am Pacific Daylight Time

Wednesday April 22 at 3pm – 5pm Pacific Daylight Time

Here’s what one student said about Valerie’s Ally Skills Workshop:

Loved the format, it was super interactive and didn’t feel like a drag, 3 hours just flew by.”

Topics in this class will include:

  • Best practices for diversity, equity, and inclusion in online meetings
  • Building in student participation from the beginning
  • Adapting body language to online presentation
  • Using breakout rooms for group discussion
  • Lighting, background, and microphone set up
  • Using anonymous surveys to improve your class
  • Technical tips for online meeting software

This class will feature ample Q & A time throughout. We also encourage participants to share their own tips for teaching online with the rest of the class.

About the instructor

Valerie Aurora is founder and lead trainer at Frame Shift Consulting, specializing in teaching ally skills to tech companies. She has 8 years of professional training experience, 3 years of online training experiences, and regularly teaches classes from 1 to 6 hours long both online and in person.

Header image CC BY Lisa Zins, CC BY-SA Bill Abbott, marneejill, Frame Shift Consulting LLC

Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers April 16 & 17

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 six 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. All of the materials for the Ally Skills Workshop are reusable, modifiable, and redistributable for no additional fee.

Register here for the April 16 & 17 train-the-trainers

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

This training is online using the free Zoom.us video conferencing software.

Prerequisite: You must either have participated in an Ally Skills Workshop, or watched the first hour of the Ally Skills Workshop video.

This training takes place across two days for three hours a day. You must attend both days. The dates are:

April 16 10:00AM – 1:00PM PDT (click here to convert to your time)

April 17 10:00AM – 1:00PM PDT (click here to convert to your time)

Register here for the April 16 & 17 train-the-trainers

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 5-8 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.

New advice column: Dear Ally Skills Teacher

rainbow_arrowDo you have questions about ally skills—how to use your power and privilege to help those with less—but don’t know who to ask? Now you can ask a professional ally skills teacher!

Dear Ally Skills Teacher is a new advice column answering your questions about how to act as an ally in your workplace and community. The column is written by Valerie Aurora, the leading ally skills teacher in the tech industry. She has taught ally skills to more than 2500 people around the world through the Ally Skills Workshop, and made guest appearances on the Dear Prudence podcast and the Captain Awkward blog. Valerie also draws on her ten years of experience working as a software engineer to answer questions specific to the tech industry.

The first few columns will be based on questions frequently asked in the Ally Skills Workshop, a three hour class that teaches people simple everyday ways to use their power and privilege to support people with less. After that, Valerie will answer questions from readers.

You can read the first column, ask a question, or sign up to get columns by email. We also welcome other folks sharing their experience and advice in the comments of each column.

Ally Skills Workshop Train-the-trainers March 27 & 28, 2019

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 six 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. All of the materials for the Ally Skills Workshop are reusable, modifiable, and redistributable for no additional fee.

Register here for the March 27 & 28 train-the-trainers

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

This training is online using the free Zoom.us video conferencing software.

Prerequisite: You must either have participated in an Ally Skills Workshop, or watched the first hour of the Ally Skills Workshop video.

This training takes place across two days for three hours a day. You must attend both days. The dates are:

March 27 7:00AM – 10:00AM PDT (click here to convert to your time)

March 28 7:00AM – 10:00AM PDT (click here to convert to your time)

Register here for the March 27 & 28 train-the-trainers

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 5-8 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.

Free code of conduct enforcement book available now

Book cover with background image of seagulls on a beach

You can now download a free book detailing how to enforce a code of conduct, “How to Respond to Code of Conduct Reports,” written by Valerie Aurora and Mary Gardiner and edited by Annalee Flower Horne. This comprehensive guide includes:

  • Basic code of conduct theory
  • How to prepare to enforce a code of conduct
  • Step-by-step instructions on how to respond to a report
  • In-depth discussion of relevant topics
  • Dozens of real-world examples of responding to reports

Valerie Aurora and Mary Gardiner were the lead authors of the Ada Initiative anti­-harassment policy, which is the basis of thousands of codes of conduct in use today. Valerie has more than 7 years of professional experience writing and implementing codes of conduct for software-related companies, venture capital firms, and non-profits. For more information on code of conduct training and consulting, click here.

The book is available under the CC BY-SA license, allowing free reuse and modification of the materials as long as you credit the authors.

Download here (Kindle, EPUB, PDF)

Please spread the word, by blogging, tweeting, or emailing it to community managers and conference organizers. If you’re writing about the book, check out our press kit. Thank you!

Frame Shift is hiring!

Update 2018-12-10: this position is now filled.

Frame Shift Consulting is growing, and you could be part of our expansion! We are searching for a second facilitator to help teach the popular Ally Skills Workshop at tech companies, primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as around the world and online. The Ally Skills Workshop teaches people with more privilege and power how to support people with less. The class format is highly interactive: 3 hours with a half hour introduction by the facilitator, followed by small group discussion and facilitated report-out among 20 – 30 participants.

The responsibilities of this position are flexible: anything from teaching one or two workshops per month to teaching four workshops per month, making sales, writing about ally skills, and co-running the business. We are advocates for working fewer than 40 hours a week, flexible hours, and working from home.

We strongly encourage members of marginalized groups to apply for this position. Facilitators with significant personal experience as the target of systemic oppression have an enormous advantage in leading the workshop. We would be honored to receive your application.

For more details, including how to apply, see the detailed job description here.

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

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.