Equality

Equality is the cornerstone of Zebra’s values and a central strand of our work. We offer: generic and specialised training; reflective practice workshops; and consultancy, including  support with developing policy and the design, development and implementation of equality action plans. 

Over our 18 years, we’ve run equalities training for multifarious organisations small and large, local and national, from small grass roots groups to voluntary sector organisations through to statutory authorities.

We address all the key concepts, such as: equality, equity, inclusion, identity, intersectionality, cultural capability, power, privilege, prejudice, unwitting prejudice (unconscious bias), stereotyping, discrimination, institutional discrimination and oppression.

Our purpose is:

  • to build knowledge and understanding of these core equalities concepts, and the principles and values to which they attach
  • to foster commitment to acting on these
  • to explore possibilities for action and change
  • to facilitate the planning of “the next step”

Furthermore, we focus particularly on challenging discrimination: the ability and commitment to challenge discrimination is core to strong equalities practice, yet challenging well is tricky. For a challenge to be useful, we must seek to engage the other, rather than alienate them. How do we establish this engagement while questioning a person’s views and actions? Drawing upon solution-focused principles (see our Solution-focused page on this website), the research of sociologist Mikael Klintman, and the inspirational example of Daryl Davis, Zebra’s workshops offer:

  • an understanding of the social psychology of humans’ tendency to hold onto our beliefs when challenged, even in the face of clear argument and evidence
  • clear, practical guidance on how to engage a person or group such that they are more likely to open up to reconsidering their views
  • a focus on how self-aware, reflective and open I must be if I am to initiate and hold such courageous conversations

Consistent with the above, and through nearly two decades working on equality, Zebra has developed exceptional reflective training workshops that balance the sensitivity required to engage participants and bring them on board, with the need to unearth and challenge prejudices, which are often as unconscious as they are deeply held. (Our core principle here is that we all carry prejudices – it’s the human condition – and that only through recognising these can we free ourselves of them. And this is a lifelong work in progress, requiring reflective self-awareness.) Only where this delicate balance is achieved will participants open up to the self-examination required for attitude change, the essential precursor to genuine, significant and lasting change in practice and behaviour.

Zebra’s equalities work reflects our solution-focused approach (see the website page on Solution-focused): participants / groups / organisations examine their current practice, policies etc to notice what’s already strong in their equalities work; we focus on best hopes for a fairer world, and consider what better will look like in individual practice and in our group / organisation; we explore possibilities; and then we focus on the next step of change. 

We always ask client organisations what they hope will be different in the organisation after our work with them, and we find out about the current context that has initiated their approach to us. Through conversation, we gather the information we need to tailor the session to fit the best hopes of the client.