This past weekend, I presented two workshops at the Civil Liberties and Public Policy (CLPP) conference, an annual Reproductive Justice conference held on the campus of Hampshire College. Outside of presenting my workshops, reconnecting with friends, and networking, I didn’t have much time for anything else. But I was able to attend one workshop, facilitated by Sahar Pirzada and Sadia Arshad of HEART Women & Girls, a national organization that promotes sexual health and sexual violence awareness in Muslim communities through health education, advocacy, research and training.
In “Muslim and Reproductive Justice: Empowering Our Community through Dismantling Stereotypes”, Sahar and Sadia used the RJ framework to make the connection between how stereotypes influence the lived experiences of Muslims. One exercise they led the group through, called the Knowledge Power Chart, was so informative that I couldn’t wait to share it. The goal of this exercise is the have participants examine how we understand the world, how our understanding of the world impacts our behaviors and the policies we create, and the real world impact these policies can have on our communities.
Here’s what you need:
- A large space to write on, such as a chalkboard, whiteboard, or flip chart paper
- Something to write with, such as chalk or markers (erasable, if you’re using a whiteboard)
Divide up your writing space into three sections and label them like this:
Under the Knowledge column, guide the participants in naming the stereotypes they have heard about a certain group. Next, have participants name the policies they are aware of that are associated with this group under the Policies column. Last, have participants list the consequences that behaviors listed under the Policies column can impact that group.