Author Topic: Required Workshops for Community Issues: Can they work?  (Read 726 times)

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Offline greenfox

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Required Workshops for Community Issues: Can they work?
« on: October 01, 2014, 06:31:26 pm »
At some point, most of us have been or will be required to attend a workshop, seminar, or assembly (probably through school or work) that is focused on addressing some social issue.  This generally addresses topics like "diversity", "bullying/harassment", "gender/racial equality", etc.
However, it's frequently unclear whether these seminars are actually doing anything to improve the school/work/whatever environment.  Generally, the goal is simple: to create a dialogue and promote change; but I have not yet seen that result in the real world.

For example, I attended a seminar on alcohol last year, which was required by my college.  After two hours of watching corny videos on the subject, interrupted periodically by the facilitator's awkward attempts to create dialogue, I feel like most attendees began to treat it like a joke, and took the issue a lot less seriously.

I'm really curious how everybody else feels about this type of thing.  So, do you think these types of initiatives can have a tangible positive impact?  What might need to change to make that happen?
Maybe you experienced some that are actually succesful?
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Offline Yip

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Re: Required Workshops for Community Issues: Can they work?
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2014, 08:46:16 am »
A sociology class that I took many years ago at one point tried having the students break into two groups to debate whether gay marriage should be legal. I was put on the anti side, which I found rather awkward. Anyways, it didn't seem to work out very well 'cause it seemed like everybody pretty much agreed that it should be legal. If there were anyone that seriously disagreed, they didn't say anything. Instead the "disagreement" were said more mockingly at how stupid those sorts of arguments usually are.

I'm not sure if this is the sort of thing you were talking about. I'm also not sure if I'd count it as successful or not. In some ways it felt a waste of time (the whole class largely felt like a waste of time), but it was also a bit comforting to know that most people there were more accepting of LGBT individuals.

(BTW, that class took place at a college in downtown Portland Oregon. I imagine it would have been completely different if this had been in the "bible belt" region.)