We will never be able to reconcile with aggression, domination, bigotry and discrimination. This behaviour is never acceptable. However, when we bring diverse groups of people together, we can expect there to be uncomfortable moments and behaviour that don’t sit right. A man who talks too much. A woman who tells everyone what to do. In these situations we can choose to be both practical and generous.
We can be practical and put in place tools and ways of working that help to ensure everybody is included. This can include: sharing and rotating roles; providing for ways to contribute in smaller groups and pairs; limiting talking time; and finding creative ways using technology to get involved. The more we practice the better we get.
We can be firm but generous and deal with situations by open- ing up conversations that seek to bring people together and understand each other rather than calling people out. Choosing to be generous with others in the face of historical power relations is a political act and something we can all practise. The burden should not rest on one person alone – we can all support and stand with each other in this endeavour.
When people leave actions and discussions they should feel empowered, nourished, heard and excited about possibilities.