In many co-ops and collectives we’re often privileged in having a lot of different marginal voices in the room which might lead to people who’ve had or got a lot of the prevailing societal power feeling as if they’re on the margin of this room. And that in turn can create some tensions with them wanting consciously or unconsciously to (re)assert their power. How do we as facilitators ensure that, in giving power to the margins, we do it appropriately within all of these contexts?
We have a responsibility to educate ourselves about the contexts, the historic and current interrelationships and intersections between different marginal and discriminated against groups We need to watch out for the ways we as facilitators might be pulled in, perhaps unwittingly, and become, or appear to become, aligned with some of the people who have privilege in the world, if not the room. We also have a responsibility to understand the facts and nuances of the issues, and to know about the dog-whistles, those words, images or actions that may appear completely reasonable to many who’re not immersed in the particular issues, but they may be triggers that are obvious to people who know they’re used to oppress others.