What is the objective of the exercise?
To create a supportive environment in which the participants can demonstrate that they belong to several groups and to allow them to experience what it is like to be part of a “minority group”.
This exercise aims to contribute to the reflection of participants around the concepts of inclusion and exclusion, as well as on the role of each person for a more inclusive society.
What is the method to be used?
Have the participants form a large circle. As you call out different group names, the participants are to go inside of each successive circle as they identify with the group.
Begin with “low-risk” groups (e.g. brown hair; large family; group of theatre; man or woman; have a job; live with parents, etc) and then work up to groups that are typically discriminated against or under-represented (e.g. person with disabilities; you ever felt offended by someone; you are usually in the “minority” group; etc).
For the discussion the trainer can prepare some questions, such as:
Describe in 1-2 words what this activity was like for you?
How did it feel to be alone in the circle?
How did it feel to step into the circle and be joined by others participants?
How did it feel to be on the outside of the circle?
Were there times you should have stepped in but did not? Why?
Were there times it was easier to step in? Why?
Why did we do this exercise?
Did it surprise you to see any of your peers in the circle at any point? Why?
How did it feel to be in the circle?
What they think is the most positive thing about being a member of this group?
What are the materials needed?
Room with enough space; question sheet
Tips for the trainers/additional information
Some participants may not feel comfortable in participating in the exercise, especially when we are talking about “risk groups”. In the course of the exercise the trainer should strengthen and support the participation of all participants.
Timeframe: 40 minutes.