Disagreeing Well during Difficult Conversations

This week I got an email from Cumberland Lodge inviting me to take part in one of their workshops which reminded me of the great work they do.

The agenda for Full Council was also published announcing a motion on racism & xenophobia (item 10) presented by Cllr Ross McWilliams.

I’d like to see Cllrs responsible for this motion to discuss their thoughts with those at Cumberland Lodge who know how to get the best out of people relating to this topic with regards to any proposed mandatory training. Thank you.

Cumberland Lodge Aerial Shot 2

Cumberland Lodge promotes progress towards more peaceful, open and inclusive societies.

They actively embrace ‘difficult conversations’ and bring an intergenerational, multi-sector and ethical dimension to all aspects of their work. In all of their work, they aim to model the idea of ‘disagreeing well’.

Cumberland Lodge empowers people, through dialogue and debate, to tackle the causes and effects of social division. Exchanging views, inspiring minds. Below are three links from their read, watch, listen library:

Here is the full email from Emily…

Dear Jon

I’m contacting you from Cumberland Lodge, the educational charity based in Windsor Great Park that empowers people, through dialogue and debate, to tackle the causes and effects of social division.

We run a monthly series of free webinars on topical ethical and societal issues that affect us all. These interactive discussions involve public figures and experts from a variety of fields and are open to everyone to attend. The issues we explore range from politics to language, from religion to the arts, and all relate to making societies more cohesive, in ways that promote openness and inclusivity.

Previous speakers include the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, the Director of the V&A, Dr Tristram Hunt and the economist, Linda Yeuh. As with all aspects of our work, we strive to involve younger voices and offer intergenerational perspectives on all the topics we address. To help inspire people to think and talk about the issues we address, we encourage audience interaction, via polls on social media and live questions to our panellists. Our webinars generally take place at 11am on the first Wednesday of every month.

I’m sure these events would be of interest to members of the local community and I’m wondering if you’d be able to spread the word? I’m attaching a flyer. Please feel free to circulate this amongst your networks.

We tweet regularly @CumberlandLodge, so do please retweet if you think your followers might be interested in taking part.

Our next webinar takes place on Wednesday 4 November and we are asking the question ‘Is education the answer to social mobility? We hope you can join us!

If you have any questions about this series or our other work, please do get in touch.

Best wishes

Emily Gow
Programme Officer
Cumberland Lodge
01784 497781

Here is the full motion…

10. Motions on Notice by Councillor McWilliams

Recognising the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights statement on racism & xenophobia: “Prejudice or hostility towards a person’s race, colour, language, nationality, or national or ethnic origin…Intolerant discourse in the media or from politicians can lead to increased racist sentiments towards migrants and other minorities, including in the form of scapegoating,” this Council resolves to:

  • Collect high-quality diversity data including conducting annual workplace surveys to analyse progress being made against Equality Objectives (2018 – 2022), including how well the organisation and Members reflect the demographic makeup of RBWM and the UK, and to identify steps to improve any disparity; findings will be reviewed and scrutinised at Corporate O&S and by members of the public.
  • Introduce mandatory unconscious bias training for councillors and officers, and encourage teaching and learning about Britain’s colonial past and slavery; the Members’ Code of Conduct will be amended to include a requirement to complete an annual training session.
  • Write to the Secretary of State for Education asking for a more ambitious national educational standard on issues of race and gender equality, and inviting him to attend an RBWM-hosted Gender & Race Equality Conference, where residents and employers can talk and share ideas on the importance of having high-quality diversity data; creating an organisation open to all; identifying the challenges and celebrating the achievements of people of colour in RBWM.

Thank you.


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