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July  15, 2020

Dear Members,

We are deeply pained and saddened by the killing of George Floyd, which not only exposed the systemic racism in our country, but also reminded us that it is but one incident in a long history of violence and injustice against Blacks and people of color. We can no longer ignore the fact that, for our Black colleagues and friends, racism has been a pervasive reality of their everyday experience, whether going for a job interview or taking a walk. Racism is so endemic and ingrained in our institutions, norms, and practices that it took a killing utterly shocking in its brutality to wake us up to the fact.

As a professional community of facilitators, we stand together with our Black colleagues to advance racial justice and dismantle systemic racism. As facilitators, we are in a unique position to use our skills in every conversation with our clients and in our communities, to address racial injustice and surface the implicit biases that have so often normalized racist practices in the past. We are committed to leading the way in helping people and communities have the difficult conversations necessary to dismantle systemic racism, promote debate around diversity, inclusion & equity, and build a more just and equitable society for all.

The following are some of specific ways we plan to take meaningful action towards these goals:

  • Ensuring a diversity of speakers and presenters, and including underrepresented voices in our decision-making and programming.
  • Convening conversations with our members about how we, as facilitators, address and dismantle racism in our work.
  • Starting our 2020-21 season with a workshop focusing on racial injustice and facilitation.
  • Initiating a Community of Practice to explore topics that can be integrated into our professional development activities such as:
      • How to lead difficult conversations about race
      • Awareness of the experience of facilitators of color and how white facilitators can be allies
      • What tools and methods can we use to explore experiences of race?
      • What does anti-racist facilitation look like, and how do we need to change/ rethink our engagement practices?

We invite you, our members, to share in this conversation and move forward with our goals of promoting racial justice.  Please send your thoughts and ideas for getting involved, and any facilitation tools or methods that you are aware of, to membership@mafn.org by July 31, 2020.

Respectfully yours,

MAFN Board

 

About MAFN

MAFN is a vibrant, inclusive, and growing community of successful facilitators who continuously teach and learn innovative practices, and foster professionalism and credibility of our work with clients, organizations, and facilitators throughout the region and beyond. With members from the Mid-Atlantic States and across the US, MAFN provides opportunities for members to enhance their skills, expertise, and professionalism as facilitators; connect with, support, and learn from colleagues; expand business skills, connections, and opportunities to facilitate; and promotes the value of professional facilitation. For more information, visit www.mafn.org.

Ⓒ2020, MAFN 

A NETWORK OF GROUP FACILITATORS SERVING THE MID-ATLANTIC REGION

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