Anti-racism virtual workshop coming up Jan. 25

Three local facilitators to provide tools we can use in our everyday lives when we encounter racism

Over the past months, racism has become front and center in the news.

Many people are expressing outrage regarding both past and present incidents of racism and hate here in B.C. and beyond. And while we know that victims of racism can be traumatized by the inaction of bystanders, most people freeze up when they witness incidents of racism, often due to a lack of skills, according to a group of local facilitators who are putting on an online workshop later this month to help.

Thanh Tazumi, Naomi L. Wolfe and Sanchit Mittal are offering a 2.5-hour workshop in A.R.T. (Anti-Racism Response Training) Jan. 25 for anyone who wants to be better at dealing with racist encounters.

A.R.T., developed by Dr. Ishu Ishiyama – and recently adapted and enhanced by these facilitators – uses a witness-centered approach to disrupting racism. This training is designed to encourage participants to shift from being frozen or silent bystanders to becoming active witnesses. In doing so, the group says, “we can disrupt racism and build a safer and more inclusive community.”

Thanh (Do) Tazumi and her family immigrated to Canada as refugees in 1984. After graduating from university in 1996, she married and she and her husband have two daughters. For 10 years, Tazumi has coordinated anti-racism, diversity, and organizational change projects. She has also co-facilitated workshops on intercultural communication, diversity & inclusion, and Anti-Racism Response Training. She was also instrumental in launching the annual Walk Away From Racism in Campbell River.

Naomi L. Wolfe is a settler Canadian from Saskatchewan who also spent 20 years in the USA and Guatemala. She is grateful to have spent the last 30 years living, working and raising two sons in Oyster River, Vancouver Island, traditional territory of the E’iksan People. During a long career as ESL faculty at North Island College, Wolfe gained a deep understanding of the barriers faced by her diverse community. She facilitates Anti-Racism Response Training, intercultural communication, Theatre for Living, and Compassionate Listening (TCLP) workshops, and has presented at conferences in BC and internationally.

Sanchit Mittal holds two master’s degrees and has diverse experience working with various marginalized communities, including LGBTQ2+ and refugees. Mittal deeply values equity, diversity, inclusion, and is passionate about truth and reconciliation and social justice work, including A.R.T. Sanchit has co-facilitated workshops on many themes, including LGBTQ2+ inclusion, intercultural communication, allyship, and microaggressions.

The workshop takes place Monday, Jan. 25 from 3 to 5:30 p.m. on Zoom.

The group says the workshop is “highly interactive and involves experiential activities to develop and strengthen active witnessing skills. Over Zoom, we use a combination of chat box, slides, polls, video clips, scenarios, breakout room discussions and practice sessions, stories and readings, and whole group learning. Please come prepared for full engagement in the workshop by connecting via PC with video and microphone.”

More information can be found at the Eventbrite event page here, where you can also register for the event.

Tickets are $20.

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