Workshops for Schools and Colleges

According to the Department of Education and Skills, in the Irish education policy and practice, the only anti-racism spoken about is racist bullying between children and young people. However, according to various news outlets across Ireland, systematic, structural, institutional, and individual forms of racism exist within schools, colleges, and other higher education settings.

Overt and covert forms of racism exist between students. Microaggressions between teachers and adults within schools are also an issue. In addition, according to a study, one-fifth of migrant students drop out of school compared to the approximate 10% of students who have Irish parents.

RIAINetwork facilitates training on key topics relating to anti-racism, equality, and inclusion. Our speakers have led numerous events. Our experience has taught us that close collaboration with clients allows us to align our expertise with client goals and objectives to ensure the best audience experience possible. As a result, we partner with clients before, during, and after events to ensure a fantastic experience for all participants.

Training Content

  • Institutional and structural inequalities
  • Unconscious bias, social inequality, and organizational practices
  • Effects of historical institutional structures on modern institutions
  • Rethinking of issues: strategies of promoting and tackling anti-racism and tools

Stock Stories

These are those told by the dominant group, passed on through historical and literary documents, and celebrated through public rituals, monuments, and media representations. Since stock stories tell us a lot about what society considers important and meaningful, stock stories about race and racism provide a useful way of understanding how racism operates.

Concealed Stories

These coexist with the stock stories, but they most often remain in the shadows and hidden from the public. Although these stories are invisible to those in the dominant group, concealed stories are often circulated, told, and retold by people in the margins whose experiences and aspirations they express provide a view that is often very different from that of the norm.

Through concealed stories, those who are marginalized and stigmatized by the dominant society recount their experiences and critique mainstream narratives. They are stories of struggle, self-affirmation, and survival in the face of oppressive circumstances. While concealed stories are often overshadowed by stock stories, they challenge the stock stories and offer a perspective that can expose and challenge the self-interested nature and claimed universality.

The workshops will help deconstruct stock stories by comparing them to concealed stories, identifying different perspectives and knowledge, and developing a fuller picture of our society and its institutions.

Such comparisons will help participants understand how stock stories maintain the institutional and social status quo in ways that support and perpetuate a racial system that harms everyone by preventing the full realization of our ideals as a society committed to equality.

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Resistance Stories

These are stories, both historical and contemporary, are about how people have resisted racism, challenged the stock stories that support it, and fought for more equal and inclusive social arrangements. Resistance stories are the reserve of stories built up through the ages about challenges to an unjust status quo.

They include stories of resilient people who have been excluded—though sometimes included and vilified—in history books, but who have nevertheless struggled against racism. Such stories help teach us about anti-racist perspectives and practices that have existed throughout our history up to the present time. These stories expand our vision of what is possible in our own anti-racism work.

Counter Stories

Counter stories are new stories that are deliberately constructed to challenge the stock stories. They are built upon and amplify resistance stories and offer ways to interrupt the status quo and focus on change. Such stories enact continuing critique and resistance to the stock stories and enable new possibilities for an inclusive society.

Training Format

These four types of stories are connected. Through engagement with these stories, we want students to:

  • Understand the complexity of racism and the power dimensions through which it operates.
  • Recognize how race is constructed to support hierarchies of power and privilege that sustain racism, as well as to figure out ways to challenge these hierarchies through collaborative work with others.
  • Access and make sense of their own experience through stories as they listen to and learn from the stories others tell.