DREAM Community Dialogue Series

The Orlando Mayor’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Commission proudly presented: The Dream Community Dialogue Series, facilitated by the Valencia Peace and Justice Institute. These workshops focused on our shared humanity with an exploration of race, privilege, religion, gender, sexual orientation, bias, systems of privilege and oppression and practical application.

Through these dialogues, a sense of honesty, reflection, critical thinking and openness in the community is fostered. These workshops created a safe space for dialogue within our local communities. The Dream Series consist of six highly interactive, multi-media workshops over a selected period, creating sustained dialogue and culture, while building trust and relationships within the community. The workshops are custom tailored to address the concerns of the organization and our Metro Orlando community. The workshops build on each other, to create an integrated series with an end game in mind- a renewed mindset about the value of relationships, community and trust within the local community.

Past Workshops

Workshop 1: Waking Up To Our Shared Humanity

In this workshop, facilitators shared the stories of their unique paths of identity development and the powerful changes it brought to their lives. These stories invited participants to consider how a deep exploration of identity, through the lens of race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic class, might transform one’s life.

Workshop 2: Understanding Bias

Much has been said recently about the new science of bias. Are you aware of your hidden bias and how it affects you? Participants learned about the emerging science of implicit bias, along with strategies and tools to skillfully navigate implicit bias, fundamental attribution error, and confirmation bias. Participants were given opportunities in a safe setting to temporarily put aside their own perspectives in order to listen non-judgmentally to the experiences of others. With these new tools in hand, participants learned to identify and minimize the impact of bias, improve interpersonal relationships, and develop practices of respect and community building.

Workshop 3: Conversations on Race

Participants discussed the topic of race and how it affects each of us in our daily lives as we consider action steps to help us move forward together toward more equitable communities. Issues of implicit bias, stereotypes, micro-aggressions, privilege, oppression (the “isms”) frame the learning. Addressing one of the hidden histories in our community, red-lining, creates new awareness about systemic racism and helps frame the learning. Self-awareness and awareness of others’ diversity dimensions are a key component of this session and participants will engage in several breakout sessions to authentically share and listen to the lived experiences of one another.

Workshop 4: Understanding Privilege

In this session, participants gained an understanding of what is meant by privilege (unearned advantage) and explore multiple areas of privilege, including white privilege. The scholarship Dr. Peggy McIntosh will inform our understanding of privilege and privilege systems. The workshop taught that all people - experience unearned privilege as well as disadvantages, and allows people space and time to share personal stories in a disarming and safe environment.

Workshop 5: Family Conversations on Race

Across the nation, people of all backgrounds are experiencing a time in which discussions about race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability and culture are at the forefront of their everyday lives. Many families avoid these discussions because they fear that conversations about race, bias, and racism may lead to feelings of anger, guilt, discomfort, sadness, and at times disrespect. Moving beyond shame and blame, this workshop invites participants to explore methods to discuss these topics within the family and personal spheres of influence. Identifying points of action and commitment to create positive change the family structure will be an important component of the workshop.

Workshop 6: Moving into Action: Becoming an Ally

In this culminating workshop, participants pulled together the knowledge, skills and practices learned over the course of the series and put them into practice. Using real life conflict techniques from the community, participants will work in groups to analyze the scenarios, consider common pitfalls of addressing conflicts, and explore approaches that are more positive. Integrating reflective practice and the Principles for How We Treat Each Other, participants considered the new set of tools in their toolkits to navigate the challenges they face daily in their faith, community and spheres of influence.