ARE YOU IGNORING AND DENYING THAT DISCRIMINATION EXISTS? DO YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS AT STAGE 1?
In a BBC News Report published on 14th October Welsh schools were described as ignoring and denying racism.
Wales taking the lead in antiracism for teachers
This resonates with my descriptions on the Six Stages Diversity Framework.
"The six stages of the framework operate on a spectrum from +1 to +6 on a positive axis, and the assessments currently focus on supporting people to understand the progression up through these stages. However, the stages also exist on a negative axis, from –1 to –6. If someone progresses down the negative axis, it means their views and attitudes about those who are different are becoming negatively entrenched. The stages are developmental in nature and build on each other, so anyone at stage –5 will also exhibit the views and behaviours of those at the preceding stages." (M'gadzah 2022)
"The Six Stages Framework tool can be used with anyone, regardless of their ethnicity, colour, racial background or other characteristics, to explore their understanding and ability to deal with racism. Even some black, Asian and other ethnic minority people will be at Stage +1 and head upwards on a positive trajectory to stage +6. Equally, there will be some who are on stage –1, who move down on a negative trajectory to stage –6, where their views of those who are a different colour or culturally different from them and their views of racism become entrenched." (M'gadzah, 2022)
The Six Stages Framework was originally written with racism in mind and has been adapted to focus on other areas of discrimination.
The framework can also be used to support those who are experiencing discrimination and/or racism to explore their own understanding of the issues, and to explore their ability and capacity to deal with racism.
"Stage – 1 and Stage +1: Unaware with silence and denial Anyone at this stage is characterised by a lack of awareness of racial equity or diversity issues, often presenting as ignorant or being oblivious or ethnocentric. Their learned responses often reflect their attitudes, and they say things like: • I’m not racist; one of my mates is black. • I love all coloured people. • I don’t see colour’. They may be silent or deny race issues, perhaps by keeping their head down and hoping a conversation will end, or by diverting a discussion to another subject that seems safer. Some of them believe that issues of racial injustice are unimportant, displaying an ethnocentric perspective, and exhibiting aversion-type behaviours including avoidance of social integration." (M'gadzah, 2022)
Those at Stages +1 and -1 differ according to the conditions which their believes and behaviours exist. The culture and environment on the negative axis is very different to the culture and environment on the positive axis.
On the negative axis, discrimination and racism can thrive and spiral down the negative axis becoming more entrenched and culminating in extremist forms of behaviour. Whereas on the positive axis the conditions favour interventions and support as behaviours are less entrenched.
Where are you on the Six Stages Framework?
DO YOU KNOW ANYONE AT STAGE -1 AND STAGE +1
What is informing and nurturing their behaviours and thoughts?
Taking an intersectional approach to exploring our understanding and ability to deal with hate and discrimination is really important. It’s also important to explore how we are Building Bridges of Empathy in our Communities and workplaces.
I run regular Eventbrite seminars entitled, In What Ways Do We Discriminate and the Six Stages Framework -Understanding and Dealing with Racism These are very popular and attended by people from all over the world and all lines of work.
Community Narratives and Six Stages Framework Collection of Seminars
In my book, Understanding and Dealing with Racism- The Six Stages Framework, I describe what happens on the negative axis of the six stages framework if we don't address the issues of upset and anger. What we can very quickly see is a spiralling down the negative axis of the 6 stages framework with people become more and more angry and their behaviours become more and more entrenched, and this can cause greater problems within society and an increase hate crime.
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