Frequently asked questions_
Why are we talking about race and intersectionality in humanitarian disarmament?
While the humanitarian disarmament movement has taken significant steps to be more gender-inclusive and feminist over the last few years, it has been slower to incorporate an anti-racist and race-inclusive approach on a wider scale. By focusing on the theme of race and intersectionality, we hope to develop our communities’ understanding of these issues. Deepening our understanding about how racism manifests within humanitarian disarmament gives us a better chance of addressing explicit, nuanced, structural or systemic inequalities. Additionally, creating a disarmament community that’s more equitable and diverse will help to foster solidarity and support with those who live with the realities of racism within and outside our humanitarian disarmament community. This will, in turn, strengthen our own campaigning, advocacy, and outreach efforts.
How important are the recommended resources?
These videos, reading and other resources are important! To get the best learning and participation experience, as well as a better understanding of the topic, it’s definitely worth taking the time to watch/read them before the start of the HDF.
Why are we using affinity groups?
Affinity groups are often used as a way of creating “safer” spaces to discuss sensitive or challenging topics - personal experiences of racism, advantages or disadvantages faced because of one’s identity(ies). We are using affinity groups to create spaces where people who identify along racial lines can come together to discuss racism and share experiences. We hope that these spaces will help enhance understanding and learning before we all come together again to continue these discussions in a more traditional HDF format in 2021 with the hopes of better supporting one another to meet common disarmament goals. To see affinity groups in action and to get a better sense of what they are, check out our Recommended Resource 02: The School That Tried to End Racism.
When will I select my affinity group?
After the registration process the organising team will have a better idea of how many people will participate in the HDF, as well as how participants racially identify. Based on this information and working together with our expert trainers, we will identify different racial affinity groups for you to choose from. These will be sent to you to select via email before the HDF. Once you have selected your affinity group you will be provided with a link to access your group. Note that no one else will have access to the link aside from the HDF team and other members of your affinity group.
What if I don’t identify with any of the affinity group options, or I identify with more than one?
For some people choosing an affinity group will be straight-forward, for others it will be more complicated. For example, how you personally identify may not always be consistent with how others identify you, and this can also change based on where you travel. So if there isn’t an affinity group that is obvious to you, we encourage you to consider your racial identity and the kind of power and privilege that comes with that identity. We hope that you will choose a group that will challenge you and help you to analyse or recognise racism in your usual context (where you mostly live and work). To help with this, please try out the power and privilege self-analysis tool and our other recommended resources. If you’re still unsure of where to go or would like further clarification, please email the organising team via our dedicated email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What do I do if I’m triggered by some of the topics covered in the discussions?
Although the affinity groups and the other HDF spaces are designed to be safer spaces for everyone, racism is a painful reality for many and some people may be offended, triggered or uncomfortable at some point during this process. We are working hard to make this HDF as safe as possible, but where incidences arise we have trained supporters who will be available via personal messaging in Part 1 of the HDF (in Part 2 our supporters will also be available online, and for Part 3 they’ll be available in-person). If you have any concerns or worries that you would like to discuss, or if you witness something that concerns you, please reach out to the Support Team. They’ll be able to discuss how you are feeling and provide support and/or action if required.
What if I feel uncomfortable about some of these topics for discussion?
The planning team has undertaken our own learning journey in the lead up to this HDF, so we understand feeling uneasy when discussing and learning about racism. Part of the learning that will be going on in this year’s HDF will be uncomfortable, as it also requires unlearning our own preconceptions and unconscious biases. We felt that it is important to give space and a platform to people whose voices are often unheard within humanitarian disarmament. This means that listening to what others are saying with an open mind even if it’s not easy to hear. By registering and attending the Forum, you are making an active commitment to the process.
I’m unfamiliar with some of the terms being used.
You can find a list of definitions and terminologies here or below which should cover most of the terms you’ll come across throughout the HDF.
Can I join the HDF late, after Part 1?
Yes, you can, however this HDF is a shared learning journey that starts in October 2020, and it may be difficult to keep up with the learning and concepts later down the line. If you do join late you should be prepared to undertake self-study with HDF resources and materials to review some of the discussions that have already taken place.
Do I need to download Zoom and do I need a Zoom account?
We suggest you download Zoom client for your desktop in order to get the best experience of the virtual meeting. There will also be an option to join via your internet browser with a specific Zoom link - these will be shared with you before the meeting.