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Brave Spaces
Brave Spaces

Mon, Nov 20



Brave Spaces

Embark on a transformative journey with "Brave Spaces," an Immersive Learning Circle that delves into complex dialogue on privilege. Elevate your DE&I and OD facilitation skills with a real-world "Privilege Walk" facilitation case contributed by DE&I thought leader Tonya Wilson.

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Time & Location

Nov 20, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM CST



About the event

Sensitive Content Advisory: The Brave Spaces Immersive Learning Circle (ILC) includes discussions around topics that may be emotionally challenging or unsettling, such as racial discrimination and social inequality.

Welcome to the Brave Spaces ILC

Immerse yourself in an authentic simulation that brings you face-to-face with the challenging yet critical conversations surrounding privilege, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I). Contributed by Tonya Wilson (DE&I author, consultant, coach and thought-leader), witness first hand the intricacies of facilitating a "Privilege Walk," exposing you to a broad spectrum of emotions, dilemmas, and conflicts that arise in such settings.  By successfully engaging in this Immersive Learning Circle, you will develop a greater ability to:

  1. Understand the Multi-Faceted Nature of Privilege: Explore the diverse dimensions of privilege, including but not limited to race, class, and gender.
  2. Navigate Emotional Landscapes: Gain firsthand experience in managing heightened emotions, conflicts, and developmental opportunities during DE&I dialogue.
  3. Create Safe, Brave Spaces: Learn practical strategies to foster supportive and empathetic environments for employees from all backgrounds.
  4. Mitigate Anxieties and Assumptions: Reflect on methods for addressing common anxieties and preconceived notions that can hinder open dialogue.
  5. Develop Compassionate Communication: Learn how to guide conversations about privilege in a compassionate, reflective, and appreciative manner.
  6. Engage in Reflective Practice: Internalize the learning through facilitation designed to deepen your understanding of your own biases and assumptions.
  7. Enhance Facilitation Skills: Elevate your facilitation toolkit with advanced techniques that encourage meaningful dialogue and understanding.
  8. Balance Empathy and Boundaries: Understand when to employ empathy and when to enforce boundaries to maintain a balanced conversation.
  9. Apply Real-world DE&I Strategies: Learn from Tonya Wilson's firsthand experience with this real case to inform and enrich your own DE&I initiatives.
  10. Cultivate Resilience in DE&I Practice: Learn to remain steadfast in your commitment to fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion, even when faced with resistance or challenges.

Recommended Pre-work 

Before attending the Brave Spaces Immersive Learning Circle, we recommend watching the Blue Eye/Brown Eye Experiment video. Conducted by educator Jane Elliott in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination, this experiment serves as a powerful illustration of the mechanisms of systemic prejudice.  Elliott divided her all-white third-grade class into two groups based on eye color—blue-eyed and brown-eyed. She declared one group superior, provided privileges to that group, and subjected the other to discriminatory practices. Astonishingly, the "superior" group began to act as if they were indeed better, while the "inferior" group internalized their supposed shortcomings.

The Brave Spaces Immersive Learning Circle incorporates discussions around the Blue Eye/Brown Eye experiment, and sets the stage for a deeper exploration of privilege, systemic biases, and the emotional toll they take. The experiment serves as a concrete example, allowing participants to grapple with unsettling truths in a contained setting. Watching this video will prepare you for the complexities you will likely face in this Immersive Learning Circle, where the stakes are equally high but the scenarios are nuanced and closer to real-world experiences.

By understanding Jane Elliott's work, you will be better equipped to engage in brave conversations, to question deeply ingrained assumptions, and to identify subtle yet pernicious forms of privilege and bias. It acts as a foundational layer of awareness that amplifies the learning outcomes of the Brave Spaces Immersive Learning Circle.



About Tonya Wilson 

The Brave Spaces Immersive Learning Circle traces the footsteps of Tonya Wilson, the president and founder of AFC Consulting Group. Tonya is a business leader, entrepreneur, consultant, author, organizational psychologist, speaker, and coach with expertise in organizational effectiveness and development, change management, and DE&I. She connects people to strategy.  She has worked in manufacturing, aerospace, telecom, government markets, fintech, and healthcare.  She has been in leadership at McKesson, Change Healthcare, Meggitt, and AT&T. She is a DEI SME/facilitator, Consultant, DEI thought leader, OD SME, and Change Management facilitator for ATD.

Tonya has worked with leaders to drive alignment between business and people strategies, led supplier diversity re-vamp initiatives, and been in leadership and oversight for BRGs.  In addition to being published on sustaining DEI, she is also a co-host for the ATD DEI Discussion Series. She is a contributing author for the ATD Body of Knowledge (Culture and Inclusion), and the upcoming ATD Consultant Handbook (OD Consulting). She is also the SME designer for the ATD DEI in Talent Development Certificate Program. As a conference speaker at the Talent Development International Conference and Expo, Organizational Development Network, Penn State University OD&C Conference, Penn State OD graduate program, Tonya has had the pleasure of sharing insights for practical application and inspiration.

Tonya coaches leaders on DEI strategy, change management, Communications IQ™, strategic action planning, leadership development, team/leader integration, organizational design, and organizational health.  Her mission statement is "setting you up to win."

Tonya holds certificates and certifications in organization design, organizational development, change management, Bridges Transition leadership, Communication IQ, Predictive Index, Zenger Folkman 360, and Korn Ferry Leadership Architecture. She has an HR certificate from SHRM, a CPM, and a master’s degree in industrial organizational psychology from University of Georgia - Athens. She also has a DTM designation from Toastmasters International.


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