Opening Doors is a personal development workshop founded in two bodies of knowledge. Oppression theory focuses on group identity relative to power, privilege, and difference. Social identity development theory is an examination of the personal movement out of learned roles. Combined, they provide the foundation for understanding our inherited divisions’ current impact, and serve as a tool for personal movement. Apprentices engage in a simultaneous process of studying this academic knowledge and engaging in personal development. Lead facilitators will work in partnership with each apprentice using an individualized self-evaluation approach to determine proficiency and progress to competency.
The length of training is two years for most apprentices who enter the program with some prior relevant skills and experience. Variability in participation is built into the process in order to meet individual needs and allow for maximum participation and growth for individual apprentices.
A cohort of six to eight apprentices goes through the program together. Teams are composed of individuals either within a single institution or with different organizational affiliations.
*Pre-requisite: Participation in an Opening Doors: A Personal and Professional Journey workshop.
Program Components with Mentors
- Apprentice Orientation: Three-day orientation at a retreat site.
- Apprentice Training Workshop: Three-day Apprentice Training Workshop held at a retreat site.
- Coaching phone conferences: Ten calls per year with Coach/Mentor – 1.5 hours per call.
- Opening Doors workshops: All participants will be required to attend a minimum of five Opening Doors workshops as an apprentice. Each workshop will require five days attendance – two days for preparation with mentors and three days for the workshop presentation.
- Opening Doors planning and de-briefing phone conferences: Two planning calls with the team, two debriefing calls – one with full team and one individual call with a mentor.
Program Components within Institutional Team or Cohort
- Pairing sessions: One Supportive Listening and Conscious Feeling session per month.
- Team meetings are held in person or via conference call depending on the composition of the team.
Criteria for Mastery
- Demonstrated ability to apply oppression/empowerment theory and social identity development to self and others.
- Demonstrated ability to create partnership and be a member of a team that operates effectively in partnership.
- Explore, research, and reflect upon two dominant and two excluded personal identities.
- Demonstrated ability to support participant feelings and provide the emotional and intellectual support needed by both the individual participant and the group as a whole.
- Possess accurate U.S. historical background on eugenics and race, in addition to one other excluded group’s experience, and understand the importance of specific regional manifestations.
- Demonstrated ability to present and manage a significant portion of workshop activities.
- Demonstrated ability to articulate how Opening Doors can be used as a tool for creating a climate for systemic change on diversity.
Reporting and Assessment
- Semi-annual administrative report (a brief summary of apprentice participation in program components).
- Semi-annual apprentice assessment (self-assessment by apprentice followed by dialog with mentor and written feedback).
- Semi-annual mentor assessment (self-assessment by mentor followed by dialog with apprentice and written feedback).
- Semi-annual team assessment (written survey of individual team members that is compiled and discussed in a team meeting.
Glossary of Terms
Apprentice: Participant in a two-year (minimum) Opening Doors Apprentice Program.
Lead Facilitator: Person who has successfully completed theOpening Doors Apprentice Program, thereby being qualified to co-facilitate any Opening Doors workshop.
Mentor: Teacher and guide in the learning process, focusing on both academic knowledge and personal development, as well as a teacher of the facilitation techniques and strategies for creating a safe learning community.
Partnership: A process for creating an inclusive organizational environment that achieves outcomes across the range of differences present, with a goal of increasing collaboration, communication and outcomes; defined collectively by the organizational group utilizing the following parameters: Conscious inclusion of all dimensions of diversity, equivalent outcomes across differences, and ongoing learning for staff and leadership.
“The Opening Doors Program was selected as a model for the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS) due in great part to how well it addresses the construct of oppression theory and the subsequent cycle of oppression. The training… serves to best address the long-term systemic change process. Personally, I have found no better tool to accomplish this level of understanding on these issues than Opening Doors.”
Harvey Lineberry, II
Assistant Dean for Personnel, CALS, North Carolina State University