Diversity Interviews | Training For Change

Diversity Interviews


Diversity & Anti-Oppression iconDiversity & Anti-OppressionOrganizing & Strategy iconOrganizing & Strategy




Training Tool

How to assist a marginalized individual or subgroup in your workshop to become integrated into the group, and also how to assist the mainstream in your workshop to learn more deeply about difference. This one is best done if you first of all experience it as a participant in a TFC workshop or with another qualified trainer.


  • To enable marginal groups or individuals to share what’s happening for them and participate more fully in a workshop or work setting;
  • To support the empowerment of the marginal groups or individuals through the work they do as they speak their truth;
  • To enable the mainstream to become aware and change its behavior.

How to Lead

1. The facilitator checks with the individual or group, usually during break, to find out if the group or individual wishes to be interviewed (given the goals stated above).

2. The facilitator explains to the mainstream that there’s an individual or group that has something to share that might be valuable for everyone to hear. Explain that this will be an interview with the facilitator, rather than questions from the mainstream. Explain that the mainstream will gain a lot simply by putting total attention on listening, and for that reason there won’t be a discussion of what the interviewee says.

3. Either invite the individual or group to the front of the group and conduct the interview there, or go to where the individual/group is and be next to them. The choice there has to do with the level of confrontation those intervewed are willing and interested in doing. The options are, on a range from high confrontation to low confrontation:

– Standing with you in front of the room;

– Sitting with you in front of the room;

– Standing with you where she/they are;

– Sitting with you where she/they are.

4. Ask the following three questions, in this order:

– What do you like/love/find valuable/find a positive side of about your identity?

– What’s hard or painful about your identity?

– What do you want the mainstream to know should people here choose to be an ally of yours?

These questions are very carefully phrased.  The first enables the interviewee to find their own center or groundedness.  The second enables the interviewee to express their power-from-within, discover what they most want to share, listen to themselves share it. It also enables the listeners to open their ears and hearts.  The third supports the listeners to make a choice whether or not to become allies. It also gives the listeners the information they need.  The answers to these questions need to be specific to be effective; prompt concreteness.

5. Thank the interviewees and ask the listeners to turn to each other (in buzz groups, or pairs) and compare notes on what they heard. Point out that information sometimes needs digestion, so this is a chance to do that.

6. After the buzzing, ask the listeners not to bring up with the interviewees the information in the interview except with permission.

7. Go into a vigorous, energy-filled activity.