Race & Racism workshops

Workshop spec for UK-based local authority

June 2021

Race and Equality Workshop Proposal 

This workshop was developed for a UK-based local authority/Council. It serves as an example of the work that NGV wishes to deliver to wider civil society.

New Gestalt Voices (NGV) is an organisation  which aims to promote the ideals and methods of Gestalt practice in engaging with challenges and issues impacting the wellbeing of the wider community. The design of this proposal reflects work previously done by the local voluntary sector on understanding  the challenges facing diverse communities, especially with regard to competing needs; and barriers to equality, connection and belonging. This has resulted in a three-pronged strategy to support individuals and communities in radicalised minorities:

1.         Creating safe, non-judgemental spaces where people from differing backgrounds and life experiences can share fears, beliefs, experiences and thoughts.

2.         Fostering the expression of differences and commonalities, including the need to belong.

3.         Recognising the uniqueness of each group member, encouraging individuals to access their deepest abilities, strengths, untapped potential and expertise.


Aims of the workshop

Our aim is that the Task and Finish Group undertake an exercise to mirror that which we hope to achieve in the City of []. We propose a facilitated one-day workshop led by 2 experienced Gestalt practitioners. Members of the Task and Finish Group will grapple with the following :

1.         The barriers experienced personally and professionally, which impact each person in the Task and Finish Group in relation to inequality and racism, particularly in the current climate of political and economic instability caused by a global pandemic.

2.         Creating a solid foundation and an environment of trust and respect within the Task and Finish Group. 

3.         Extrapolating the work of the Task and Finish Group to support the challenges facing the communities of []. 

Conditions and Methodology 

  1.        To create a safe environment so that each group member feels supported by facilitators to engage in the process

2.         Working collaboratively within a group which actively promotes empathic communication across diverse backgrounds, belief systems and racial identities. 

3.         Exploration of how to dialogue through conflicting and oppositional views. 

Summary of Outcomes

  • The Task and Finish Group will lead the way on tackling racial inequality in [], using methods never previously explored in political systems, yet proven to be successful in community spaces. 
  • This method will recognise the uniqueness and life experience of each member of the Task and Finish Group and elicit the power each brings to a common goal. As each group member experiences themselves in new ways, outdated systems and processes are replaced with an emergence of innovative solutions and ideas for change and growth.
  • With the experience of authentic contact, the Task and Finish Group will mirror the work that needs to be undertaken in the wider community. If this group can find a way to connect, so can the communities of []. 
  • This ground-breaking method if successful could provide evidence to request funding from organisations like the Lottery, Government, LGA for a larger scale rollout.
  • This experience may present the case for authorities across the nation to work in a more contactful and relational way to address problems, and the Task and Finish Group could be the pioneers of such a change.
  • Feedback from workshops and discussions with Black and Minority Ethnic and White Communities in the City are expressing anger at feeling left behind. These tensions may be exacerbated as lockdown ceases, and society transitions into more economically challenging times. The workshop could be the foundation of addressing the disempowerment felt by these marginalised communities.