If you are facilitating these discussions, it’s important to be aware of some issues that may arise. Here are some tips to help you:
- Establish some qualities or values that you will all promise to keep, e.g. kindness, respect, confidentiality
Be aware of microaggressions - the subtle, everyday put-downs and insults that people of colour, women, LGBTQ+ people, disabled people, and others who are marginalised experience day-to-day.
- Explain to the group beforehand that you might pause a conversation if two sides in disagreement get too heated, and that people can ask for the conversation to be paused if it’s getting too much. Allow people plenty of time before conversations restart, even if that means coming back to it another day.
- Make it clear that you will not tolerate hate speech, bullying, or aggression during these conversations, even during disagreements.
You can find more helpful information and advice in The Trevor Project's Safe Space Guide.