U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2015 Community Involvement Training Conference was held on August 4-6, 2015 in Atlanta, Georgia. The competition for presenters was very strong, they received 118 proposals and only had slots for 37 presentations. Skeo Solutions were excited to be chosen as one of the presenters for their training session, Building Cultural Competence: Tools to Foster More Productive Community Relations.
Skeo Solutions decided to incorporate Professional BaFa’ BaFa’ into the workshop and had received some encouragement from their EPA contact who remembered BaFa’ BaFa’ from her Peace Corps training some years ago.
Skeo Solutions Building Cultural Competence (BCC) training approach is very different from traditional USA “diversity” training. You can get a snapshot of it here: http://www.skeo.com/projects/building_cultural_competence_training.
According to the lead facilitator for this session, Michael Lythcott, “The design is kind of an amalgam of materials I helped develop for Peace Corps Volunteers and corporate executive training’s I helped design while I was at MS&B International working to prepare US executives (and their non-matrixed spouses) for long-term overseas assignments.”
Skeo Solutions decided to integrate BaFa’ BaFa’ at the beginning of this full day training opportunity. According to Lythcott, “people are carrying SO much baggage around recent racial-tinged events and the polarized politics of today, that I created a clean, common experience for the participants using the simulation to generate meta learning’s that will apply to their lives in the real world. As a curriculum designer and trainer, I continue to be amazed at the subtle power of BaFa’ BaFa’. Because the simulation is ‘fun’ to participate in, and processes well, learning is both real and immediate. Experiential learning generates a kind of personal wisdom for participants which is immediately accessible and hard to forget.”
The workshop was very well received by the participants. They found BaFa’ BaFa’ to be relevant both to their work in the field and for staff training within the Agency. The overall feedback from conference organizers was very enthusiastic, 100% of the responses which were turned in came back as either very good (7%) or excellent (93%).
Comments or Suggestions from Participants:
Note: only comments related to Professional BaFa’ BaFa’ have been included.
- Bafa Bafa was one of the coolest activities I’ve ever done. Good balance of presentation, individual, small, and large group activities.
- Wonderful training. Best time spent at conference.
- This training course should be required for anyone engaging the community.
- Great class.
- I’m a newbie to this area so didn’t have much experience to draw upon, but enjoyed it nonetheless.
- I enjoyed the exercises but the first was a LOT of buildup and participation but not much debrief. That may have been the time crunch. I enjoyed it but would have liked to discuss.
- Course needs more time. Invaluable training and discussions.
- Talk to me, please, a few tiny ones and a couple of really big ones.
- This was truly a powerful training. Should be included in CIU.
- This was the best session, a great way to end a fantastic conference.
- Excellent training course – as usual!
Skeo Solutions offers a multidisciplinary approach to navigating the complex issues facing local communities, state governments and federal agencies. Using tailored analysis, we provide innovative and collaborative solutions to pressing issues in environmental stewardship, social equity and economic opportunity.
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