Unconscious Bias and Diversity Training
For 34 years, Talawa Theatre Company has been at the forefront of telling Black stories on British stages.
Our artist development activity foregrounds the talents of Black creatives in theatre. Today, Talawa writers, directors, actors and creative personnel work in all areas of British theatre, TV and Film, enriching the cultural life of the UK beyond measure.
Through our work, we actively listen to, develop and support Black people at all stages of their creative careers, equipping our artists with the skills and tools necessary to navigate an often-prejudiced world.
Whilst we have made ground-breaking steps towards tackling social injustice, there is still much to do.
Renni Eddo-Lodge, Why I’m no Longer Talking to White People about Race, The Guardian, 30th May 2017
“Structural racism is dozens, or hundreds, or thousands of people with the same biases ... acting accordingly ... where anyone who falls outside the culture must conform or face failure.”
What is Unconscious Bias?
Unconscious bias operates through learned stereotypes that are automatic, unintentional, deeply ingrained, seemingly universal, and which influence behaviour.
Talawa’s bespoke Unconscious Bias and Diversity training is designed to expose people to their unconscious biases, and using theatre techniques, provide tools to adjust automatic patterns of thinking, and ultimately eliminate discriminatory behaviours.
Unconscious biases are everywhere; from the neighbourhoods that we choose to live in, the close friends that we have, to the people we date. Gender, ethnicity, disability, sexuality, body size, profession etc., all influence the assessments that we make of people and form the basis of our relationship with others, and the world at large. And these unconscious biases exercise disproportionately negative effects on the life chances of Black people.
We encourage organisations or groups of individuals who want to educate their teams to be aware of and recognise Unconscious Bias, and build awareness and understanding as individuals and institutions to dismantle systematic racism and biases.
You can be part of making a change.
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
"The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story."
So, what’s involved?
Our bespoke Unconscious Bias and Diversity training is delivered in three stages with a mix of practical activities and experiential learning which requires active participation and dialogue. We're not offering a dry lecture. We are offering a practical deep dive into understanding Unconscious Bias and why Diversity matters.
Because of the current Covid-19 restrictions the sessions can be delivered virtually to make them safe, or in person when social distancing is eased. The first stage is an introductory session which will help you open conversations around Unconscious Bias and Diversity with your teams.
We are currently redesigning the second and third stages of training for a virtual platform and will have these ready by early August 2020.
- Unpacking Unconscious Bias – Stage 1
An introductory session in the form of a structured conversation on the theme of unconscious bias and cultural diversity.
- Language and Behaviours of Unconscious bias – Stage 2
A focused look at diversity with examples of languages and behaviours which may cause discomfort to others. We also provide a separate module at stage 2 for BAME staff.
- Solutions focused training – Stage 3
Developing a comprehensive understanding of cultural diversity and how to build awareness and understanding as individuals and as an institution.
How we work
We will work with you on the logistics of delivering these three stages and will ensure the content is bespoke to your organisation.
Each session runs for two and a half hours to allow space for conversations to happen fully. Each session should have a maximum of 15 participants.
Please contact us to check availability and book > email us.
Who has Talawa helped?
We have worked with RADA, the world-renowned Drama school, its first year students, teaching staff, senior management teams, audition panels and Principal.
We also work with other drama schools and corporates.
Our training is bespoke and can be adapted to suit different business types - from charities and education institutions, to adland, health, tech or publishing. Get in touch > email us.
RADA Audition Panel workshops participant
"Very interesting and stimulating session - that has got me thinking about the whole issue of unconscious bias with regard to the audition process and beyond."
RADA workshops participant
"More training like this, it's really raised consciousness and opened up important dialogues."
RADA Audition Panel workshops participant
"I think everyone on the panel must have this training ... and really gain self awareness about our biases and how they may impact our work so we can be more thoughtful ... fair and considerate in the future."