The aim of the Applied Diversity Awareness (ADA) Workshop is to raise and deepen awareness of diversity and connected issues through personal experiences, (self)reflection and theoretical inputs. The underlying idea of the ADA Workshop is to deepen the understanding of diversity through making concrete personal experiences.
In order to make diversity and its concepts “alive”, experimental learning settings are implemented in the ADA workshops. Issues and concepts of diversity are often not easy to explain and understood. Individuals involved in Diversity Management processes therefore often lack a certain commitment and understanding. Which makes it difficult for the implementation of measures and change processes in general. Through the attendance of the ADA workshop, participant’s awareness and understanding for diversity issues is deepened. This is going to improve the commitment and has an impact on the successful outcome of the implementation processes in the organisations.
Development of the curriculum
For the development of the workshop design and the agenda of the model workshop, three pilot workshops were held in Graz / Austria in December 2018, in Hannover /Germany in May 2019 and in Enschede / Netherlands in November 2019. In ADA2, for example, an input about racism and critical whiteness was delivered. Or in ADA 3, the topic of one of the field visits was on religious diversity, since this dimension is often referred to in public discourse. Furthermore, it became apparent, that an input on reflection skills would improve one of the necessary skills of participants when dealing with diversity issues, reflection. The final proposed agenda for the model workshop takes into account the considerations of the facilitators and feedback from participants of all three ADA workshop.
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The design of the workshop includes:
- theoretical inputs,
- a field visit (Diversity Walk),
- personal reflection session as well as
- application and transfer of the learned.
The input should familiarise participants with theoretical concepts and research on the issue covered.
In the exercises the participants have the opportunity to further deal with in the topic covered and to link it with reflection on the personal level.
In the workshop participants experience different facets of diversity in concrete settings, through being exposed to them during a field visit. Suggested field visits could include a participatory observation in a pub or restaurant they wouldn’t usually go to because of their class background or their age, visiting a neighbourhood with a high ethnic diversity, etc. Through leaving the comfort zone, learning can be expanded.
Afterward the visits, participants have the possibility to reflect about the experiences, feelings and emotions that arose during the field trip. And exchange about their learning and transfer to their work reality.
Through this design, learning on different levels is initiated: cognitive (input about theoretical concepts) and learning on the personal level (through different exercises and the field visit). Through the exercises, personal values and approaches, but also knowledge, can be discovered and discussed in the group. The diversity walk is a walk through the streets of a city with observation tasks. Participants learning is engaged on an even more intimate level, since they are exposed with their entire being to a new environment or are encouraged to see the environment with new eyes and gain new perspectives (by discovering diversity aspects during a city walk). Furthermore, reflection is an important skill when it comes to dealing with diversity. And also for the process of evaluating their learning made during the exercises and the diversity walk. Therefore, reflection abilities are one of the focuses in the workshop also in the theoretical input.