DIVERSITY TRAINING FILM TIP #2: USE A CRITICAL MASS OF STORIES
originally published in 2014.
One of the great powers of film is its ability to spark conversation that is both challenging and compassionate. This enables participants to leverage the kind of transformative learning that’s crucial for cultural diversity training. But how do you choose a film that’s right for your goals? Read on for our series of tips on how to select a film resource to support your equity efforts.
Tip #2: Use A Critical Mass Of Stories For Implicit Bias Training There are a vast number of moving and important biopics, historical dramas, and other films that document the hardships and challenges faced by oppressed people due to systemic inequity. These are pivotal, important films which do a great deal to explore the topics in their charge. But as affecting as these films are: the viewer is always an observer, rarely included in the story.
By contrast, experiencing an abundance of voices allows participants to more easily see how their own lived experiences are part of a larger narrative of racial inequity. Unconscious bias is so deeply embedded in our minds that it can be difficult, if not impossible, to bypass it using conscious processes. It is by appealing instead to the preconscious - which responds strongly to stories and metaphor - that we are able to get to the root of bias, allowing a shift to begin.
The Takeaway A sampling of experience that is brought to life by many people’s stories, participants’ deeply held assumptions (which undergird their feelings, thoughts, beliefs, and actions) are more readily brought to the surface for self-reflection, analysis and sharing. Multiple voices means multiple entry points - allowing a multitude of audience members to come to the table.
World Trust's film Cracking the Codes has been used by more than 600 educational, healthcare, governmental, nonprofit and faith-based organizations to deepen their conversations around race. By providing a critical mass of voices, the film supports depth and accessibility in diversity activities.