What is Team Liberation?
Team Liberation is a group of facilitators (mostly students) of human relations workshops. These workshops tackle issues of racism, sexism, heterosexism, classism, ageism, ableism and religious intolerance in an interactive and inclusive way. Team Liberation facilitators have received over forty hours of training from the National Conference for Community and Justice in Portland, OR and the Diversity Development Office at Oregon State University, as well as real experience in facilitation with diverse groups on campus and in the community.
Liberation is “a movement seeking equal rights and status for a group”. It is also a state of being. Team Liberation facilitators are seeking to help people liberate themselves from the thought-patterns and actions of social systems of oppression in which they have been immersed. TL seeks to manifest the change that we all seek in the world—that everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, class, religion, age, or ability, has an equal opportunity to grow, thrive and live with dignity and respect.
What TL Does
Team Liberation offers interactive workshops to the OSU and surrounding community. These workshops can range from an hour to two days (eight hours each). Each workshop is unique and developed for the specific group requesting it based on the demographics and the goals of the group. Workshops include experiential exercises, large and small group discussions, and skill building activities.
In order to do this work, Team Liberation facilitators rely on a simple principle: people already know more than they think about prejudice and power and privilege; racism, sexism, classism, and the like are not foreign topics. However, it is often difficult to speak about these topics for fear of offending someone, concerns about politically correct language, or acknowledging one's own privilege.
As such, Team Liberation's trained facilitators work with groups to create a safe space to have these conversations and workshops. With a safety net established, people can feel more free to have real discussions on these topics.
The Foundation of Liberation
In 2001, Danette Gillespie coordinated the Diversity Development Office at Oregon State University. Using some of her background experience with Anti-Defamation League and the National Conference for Community and Justice, Danette laid the groundwork to create a group which would help educate and serve the community.
Part of that foundation lies in the Three Paradigms for Social Change. The first paradigm is commonly known as the "Golden Rule." Ideally, we could treat each other as we wish to be treated (with respect, care, compassion), and acting as such would help to create equality for people regardless of difference. The second paradigm is the activist approach--"Right the Wrongs." Because society does not start from scratch, the mistakes of the past have consequences that continue to ripple into the present and future. Historical inequities must be addressed to create a fair society. The third paradigm is simply called "Value All Differences." This approach is human relations; interactions with people are done in such a manner to value each individual for their merit and their character, while recognizing, acknowledging, and embracing the differences.
Team Liberation operates on a human relations model, utilizing all three paradigms for change.
Team Liberation: Because it's time for a change.