Power Dynamics in Diverse Groups (Facilitated Discussions)

From Cultivate.Coop

These are activities for facilitating discussions on power dynamics within diverse groups and cooperatives.

Guidelines, Boundaries

Time: 1 hour
Materials Needed: paper, pens
Purpose: Define what safe spaces are, then identify our needs as a group in order for a safe space to be created for the week.

Discussion Questions

  • What is a safe space?
  • What things make us feel unsafe? What do we NOT want to see or hear?
  • What things do we need to feel safe? What do we love seeing and hearing?
  • How do we build safe spaces in our communities?
  • What agreements can we come to as a community?

Calling ourselves out

Time: 45 minutes
Purpose: To discuss different techniques for calling each other out and critique and analyze these techniques. To identify how calling each other out can be helpful for the group, and how it can be hurtful. To identify ways to call each other out that have the most positive effects for both the individual and the group. To share stories and allow time for group bonding. To identify barriers to calling each other out and brainstorm ways of overcoming these barriers.


  • What does it mean to call someone out?
  • What is a time when you were called out? How did you feel? Was it done well?
  • What is a time when you called someone out? How did it go well? What would you have done differently?
  • Was there a situation when you wished you had called someone out or said something but didn’t? What prevented you? What would you have needed to feel comfortable saying something?
  • What are techniques we can use to overcome some of the barriers that we come up against?

What’s going on at home?

Time: 1 hour
Purpose: Allow participants the time to identify instances of oppression in their communities. As a facilitator, gauge the participants: how much do they demonstrate knowledge of oppression? Identify as a group commonalities within the communities. Demonstrate specific examples of different types of oppression. Create a collection of specific situations that the group can discuss and work on later in the week.

Free write

What are the specific issues or situations in your community where you either see or experience oppression? (These can be things that you want to deal with when you get back, things you want help with, want to brainstorm ways to deal with it at home) What things are going well in your community? What do you love about your community? share


  • What trends or similarities do you hear?
  • What types of oppression did you hear modeled in these stories?
  • As a facilitator, why would I have chosen this activity to start off the week?
  • Is there anything you would change about this if doing this with a group at home?

See Also

This page was originally adapted with permission from NASCO. The activities/discussions on this page come from the same general resource as other anti-oppression teaching materials on Cultivate.Coop. The following are other teaching tools from this resource: