Creating Safe Spaces for Dialogue

The goal of the Canadian Roots Exchange is to foster honest dialogue among participants. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that our workshops, exchange programs and discussions be conducted in safe spaces.

Discussions that occur during our programs are not always comfortable for all participants, as we do engage with difficult topics. While this discomfort is constructive, we must ensure that participants feel safe and respected by the group, even when grappling with discomforting issues. Different techniques will be employed to create safe talking spaces including Talking Circles, and Free Writes.

In the lead up to each exchange program, group leaders are given anti-oppression resources, and work along with our staff to ensure that they understand the meaning of “safe spaces” and anti-oppressive environments. When looking for participants, every effort is made to make this program accessible and available to people of all ethnic and religious groups as well as people of all genders, sexual orientations, physical and financial abilities.

Through creating an accessible and thoughtful application process, traveling with well educated group leaders and guides, and staying open to the input of participants, the Canadian Roots Exchange is dedicated to ensuring that participants feel safe – both emotionally and physically – throughout their program experience.