Tip #829:  Exploring Racial Injustice

“Prosocial behavior is characterized by a concern for the rights, feelings and welfare of other people.” Kendra Cherry

A colleague has been attending a course put on by the Prosocial Institute. One focus of the prosocial movement is to build individual awareness by clarifying what matters most, building awareness around the individual, and helping others to commit to action.

The Institute uses the ACT matrix, which is effective in helping people align their values with their thoughts and actions. You can see a description of the matrix and an example here: https://prosocialinstitute.org/the-individual-matrix-for-prosocial/

One member of my colleague’s group, Norman B. Anderson, adapted the group ACT matrix to explore racial injustice with an organization. First, he posed the initial question: How should our group/organization respond (if at all) to the heightened awareness of racial injustice in our society?

Then, using the matrix, he began by looking at inner thoughts and feelings: 1. What is our group’s purpose in the context of working toward racial justice?

He next moved to look at outer actions, what people could see the group doing: 2. If we were moving in the direction of our purpose, what would we be doing more of and less of?

He moved back to inner thoughts and feelings: 3. What are some barriers that might move us away from our purpose?  Then again to outer actions: 4. If we decide that the barriers are too great, and we choose to move away from our purpose, what might be some observable negative consequences?

He concluded with two final questions: 5.With the full recognition of the entire matrix, are we willing to pursue our purpose in this context?And if so, are there things we should change or add to increase the likelihood of success? And 6. What initial actions should we begin to pursue right away?

I think it is an excellent approach for helping a group to discuss racial injustice from different perspectives, motivate them to act, and ultimately generate an action plan.

Have you ever used the ACT matrix to discuss and explore responses to other issues?

May your learning be sweet- and safe.


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