What's Race Got to Do with It?


Sample Agendas and Notes for Facilitators

Given the emotional and personal nature of the subject matter, it’s important to define a common context and purpose for viewing and to establish clear guidelines for discussion. This will prevent audience members from becoming too invested in their own perspective and enable them instead to engage in a more critical process of inquiry and action.

In advance of your session, be sure to watch the film, select appropriate pre- and post-screening questions, review background material, and read the “Ten Tips for Effective Facilitation.” The DVD also contains bonus material for facilitators (49 minutes), which may give you ideas and/or be useful to show in training sessions.  The DVD menu allows you to screen selected segments.

The pre-screening questions will help you create a shared framework and build trust; the post-screening questions, engagement games and follow-up activities will guide viewers towards a deeper understanding of the issues raised in the video and help them apply the insights gained to the situation on your campus.

Long Format – 2-3 hours

  • Welcome participants, provide context for the session, and introduce major themes. If time allows, do introductions. (5-10 mins)
  • Share brief background on the film. (2-3 mins)
  • Guide private pre-screening reflection. (10 mins)
  • Review or develop Group Agreements (see sidebar). (5-10 mins)
  • Screen What’s Race Got to Do with It? (49 mins)
  • Discuss “low risk” post-screening questions. (10 mins)
  • Lead one or more icebreakers or engagement games. (10-15 mins)
  • Move from low-risk talk about the film/games to higher-risk talk about institutional disparities, campus climate, racial equity, and who is responsible for making changes. (20-30 mins)
  • Ask participants to think creatively about combating institutional racism and improving the climate for underrepresented students and/or themselves. Invite pledges and commitments for personal action, allowing baby steps as well as grander gestures. (10 mins)
  • Conclude by encouraging specific goals with a time frame for implementation and urging participants to build support networks to achieve shared visions. (5 mins)

Short Format – 60-90 minutes

With a shorter time frame, you need to be more explicit (and realistic) about the issues you wish to address and providing background and outside information to help guide the inquiry process. Even if you have time to show the entire video, you might screen clips to allow for more discussion, small group activities and follow up. (Set aside at least 50% of your session time for group work.) Remember that the discussion is as important as the content on screen.

  • Opening remarks: background and issues to be addressed. If group is small enough, do introductions. (5-10 mins)
  • Ask a few questions about expectations for the video and articulate goals and Group Agreements for discussion. (5 mins)
  • Guide pre-screening reflection with private responses. (5-10 mins)
  • Screenselections from What’s Race Got to Do With It?
  • Ask for initial impressions (feelings and thoughts). With whom and what did you identify? What information was new or surprising? (5 mins)
  • How do the issues raised in the video manifest themselves at your institution? (Select relevant prompts from the post-screening questions listed below; consider breaking into small groups or dyads.) (15-20 mins)
  • How can the issue(s) be better addressed? By whom? (5-10 mins)
  • Closing and summation similar to Long Format Agenda (5 mins)