STAR E final meeting on Zoom – 18 June 2020

Three years ago, none of us could have imagined where we would be today. Not only were we having to meet online, but awareness of racism in society is front and centre, with Black Lives Matter protests happening in cities around the world.

This would be the final meeting for the Standing Together Against Racism in Europe project, at least in its current form. We logged into Zoom with coffees and smiles from eight different countries and nine organisations, to reflect on what we have achieved so far and what might be next.

We started by discussing our hopes, fears and expectations using Miro. This is an online tool that helps recreate the feeling of putting post-it notes on boards, as all our in-person meetings have involved! We had a chance to practice earlier so now was our chance to scribble on our keyboard and position them with the mouse.

virtual post it notes all over a white screen
Using our Miro board

This was a new tool for many of us, but we adapted quickly. Fears ranged from the technology going wrong during the day to whether the lack of racial diversity in our own group might hold us back. Hopes and expectations centred around our optimism for the programme and our feeling that the handbooks we had produced are an excellent way to engage young people and organisations to be the change they want to see.

We spent time reflecting on the journey we had been on: our collective & personal achievements, challenges along the way and insights and lessons learned. The things that resonated were getting the handbooks finished, celebrating and how well designed they are; learning how to do online meetings ourselves through the multiplier events; and the time spent together at each of the meetings over the last three years.

Andreas has been pivotal to the success of this project. He took the opportunity to summarised how the project went and key milestones along the way. We then reflected on how we used the resources provided and the changes that were experienced in our organisations as a result. Many of the ICYE member organisations have been using the methods at camps and with their young people already.

Where do you stand? Questions with where people rated their answer on a scale
Mentimeter voting results

We had been introduced to Mentimeter at the meeting in Cadca, which is an interactive tool that allows people to vote and make other contributions as part of a presentation. Balint prompted us with challenging questions and we then discussed the results. There was a consensus that this would be a useful tool for future work, in particular to see how people’s positions can change over the course of time.

side by side screeen of The Police and people sitting and standing up in a Zoom meeting
The Roxanne energizer in action

Lenka from Keric had an excellent way to recreate the benefits of an energizer in an online setting. She played Roxanne’by the Police: all the women had to stand when Sting sang the word “Roxanne” and the men had to stand when he sang “Red light”. It definitely got us moving and brought up the energy for the afternoon session.

The bulk of the afternoon was spent discussing the future of the project: how we could develop the content already produced, how to adapt it for a post-Covid world, what role the website could play, how to broaden our networks.

If you have ideas or suggestions for how this project might move forward in future, please share them in the comment box below!

To get a sense of how each session during the day was received, Balint asked us to use our faces as the rating scale. Hand on the forehead meant great, hand pointing to the eyes, was not bad, hand to the mouth was ok, and hand to the nose was stinky! It was a lovely way to see and share how we felt about the day and in general feedback was positive, despite six hours sat in front of the Zoom screen.

Evaluation at face value

The day ended without a sense of finality. While this project has finished, it feels like there is more to be done and there is a great energy among all the partners to be part of combating racism through engaging young people and encouraging organisations to change for the better.

We all have a part to play in standing together against racism in Europe

Planning your multiplier events and other dissemination activities

Four things to think about when planning your multiplier events and other activities to help disseminate the STAR E project.

Now that the STAR E project has two excellent publications to share – both in print and here, online – it should be even more straightforward to let people know about our work.

Here’s four things to think about when planning your events and other activities to help disseminate the results of the project.

1. Match the message to the audience

The two STAR publications offer engagement tools for two very different types of group.

The training methods for working with young people are aimed at people who work with young people directly. While the organisational change methods are more suited to people responsible for the leadership or governance of an organisation: board members, directors etc.

Therefore if you are holding a multiplier event, it might be better to have one that focuses on ONE of the publications, rather than both. That way you can invite people that will find it most useful and plan the agenda around their needs and interests.

2. Showcase the methods you like best

People respond better to authenticity than a faked emotion. So when you’re disseminating the STAR E methods and tools, use the ones that you think are most effective or interesting. That way when you share them you will be authentic in your enthusiasm.

For your multiplier meetings, it’s a good idea to have participants take part in one of the methods, so they can experience it for themselves. Therefore choose one that you have done before and which you enjoyed taking part in.

Similarly on social media or in emails, where you’re telling other organisations you work with about STAR E, include examples that you are positive about, as that positivity will be apparent to the people reading.

3. Separate out the methods from the handbooks

There are sixteen training methods for working with young people and twenty-one organisational change methods. That’s thirty seven in total and a lot for anyone to read in one go!

So why not make it easier for people to engage with the STAR E project by sharing individual methods? This works particularly well on social media, especially since you can link directly to each method here on the STAR E website.

There is also the option to add your comments to the methods: your suggestions and observations, and those of people you invite to use them as well.

4. Have fun with it

Many of the methods involve interaction or creative outputs, which can be fun in person and look fun in pictures. Try out a few with your team and take photos to use online and emails. Or get the permission from people at your first multiplier event, and then use these to encourage more people to come to the next one!

ICYE UK multiplier meeting Nov 2019 – sharing the STAR E training handbook

The STAR E project has developed two publications – Managing organisational change: tools and methods to become a diversity-sensitive NGO, and The STAR E training handbook – both of which we hope other organisations can use for their work with young people and their own governance to help them engage with issues of diversity and inclusion.

One way to share these publications is what we are calling “multiplier meetings”, or Fachtag in German. These are sessions with people from a variety of organisations, where we showcase a method from one of the two handbooks, as a way to encourage attendees to use them with either their young people or management team.

In November 2019, ICYE UK held our Annual General Meeting (AGM), which was attended by members from across the network, many of whom work or volunteer for organisations that engage young people. It therefore seemed an ideal opportunity to run our first multiplier meeting for the training handbook, as this was more suited to the kind of people attending the AGM.

I decided that the simplest method to use in this context would be Columbian Hypnosis, as it required no additional materials and could be done within the timeframe available for this session.

I introduced the STAR E programme, including our work on managing organisational change, to provide some context for the handbook, and then explained what we would be doing next. Attendees were split into pairs with one designated the ‘leader’ and the other the ‘follower’. For the first five minutes the follower has to mirror everything the leader does: anything from holding up their hand in front of their face to climbing over the nearest chair! After five minutes people swap roles and it’s the turn of the follower to lead.

The idea behind Columbian Hypnosis is that people experience both the power to influence and powerlessness, and are then encouraged to reflect on how both experiences made them feel.

We used the prompts from the handbook for the debriefing, sparking a lively conversation and some interesting debate. Many of the attendees said they were inspired to read other methods from the handbook and explore how these could be used at their organisations.

The full training handbook will be available in print and online from February 2020. If you are interested in attending a multiplier meeting, where you would also receive a printed copy of the training handbook, contact your local partner organisation. The online version will be available on this website.