Understanding the influence of power relations in the dialogue about racism
When talking about racism, we do not hear the same message in Europe as we are in the United States and elsewhere. Our specific history stands in our way to be and hear the messages and lessons the same way. As Jane Elliott put it briefly: Americans didn’t start slavery. Europeans did. We have a different story to deal with. Not nice to hear? Believe me, it is worse to find yourself dealing with racist remarks on a daily basis without anyone near you interrupting. For example, when teaching about cultural differences, of course, we as SIETARIANS have the luxury to be able to use numerous models, research, books, and our experiences working all over the globe. But very often we might forget that teaching differences also means advocacy for human rights and understanding what power relations mean in our educational context. Acknowledging the position of power and privilege within the room and dealing with it. In this webinar, we will focus on systemic racism and how easy it is not to take notice when privileged. To be taken seriously by the people we teach about, we need to understand the importance of it. Seyda has been training Brown Eyes Blue Eyes method for almost 25 years and will share her experiences. With Brown Eyes Blue Eyes, we understand our actions, or more important, our inactiveness, and learn how to undermine harassment.
Brown Eyes Blue Eyes is an exercise in discrimination, originally developed by Jane Elliott, a US American teacher from Iowa in 1968. The exercise will be conducted by Seyda Buurman-Kutsal who is educated and certified by Jane Elliott herself and has successfully educated people from different backgrounds, different countries, and different professional settings in business, GO and NGO’s.
The exercise helps participants understand their own perspectives of influence and power in the democratic systems in order to reflect and open a dialogue based on these reflections. Therefore participation is useful for those who are responsible for and are interested in creating and maintaining an environment in which diversity is valued. In the microcosmos that the exercise creates, participants have the opportunity to broaden their understanding of the systematic nature of oppression, and its impact on our relationship with each other and with ourselves. The perspective of braveness in the changing political world will be questioned and emotionally felt. Buurman-Kutsal explores with the audience the problems of racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, and ethnocentrism and the responsibility shared by all of us for illuminating them in and eliminating them from ourselves and our environment.
Şeydâ Buurman-Kutsal is a Europe wide known trainer and coach within the field of Diversity and Inclusion. She has educated organizations like Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, Rijks Universiteit Groningen, and several Universities in Germany, IKEA Germany, Vodafone Germany, ministry’s, Ngo’s, police forces in Europe successfully. She has a background as a social worker with Turkish roots living in different European countries. She is a certified coach and a train-the-trainer for the Blue Eyes Brown Eyes exercise and She is the founder and director of Seyda Buurman, diversity consultancy, and is a lecturer at Fontys University of applied sciences in the Netherlands teaching diversity and (civic) education. Diversity consultant, change-agent, polarisation expert, supervisor, and trainer since 1994 within Police, public services, and trade.
Lecturer at Fontys University of applied sciences Faculty of Educational studies.
Senior train the trainer Brown Eyes Blue Eyes.
’s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands