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  Diversity Thumball

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Diversity Thumball

Product Code #: BLTHAD6


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$24.75
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TEMPORARILY OUT OF STOCK: AVAILABLE END OF SEPTEMBER
Look under your thumb and share! A playful tool for a serious discussion.

We live in a diverse world. Some differences are visible, like skin color, gender, height or weight, physical challenges and age. Others may not be visually apparent, but still affect how individuals feel or are treated: ethnicity, socio-economic position, sexual orientation, virginity, use or non-use of alcohol, allergies, intellect, depression and other emotional diseases.

The Diversity Thumball is a fun training tool that tackles a difficult topic with smarts and sensitivity. Thumball™ is a soft 6" stuffed vinyl ball that looks like a cool soccer ball and has 32 panels pre-printed with questions suited for adults and teens. Toss it around in a group and ask participants to share their reaction to whatever prompt lies under their thumb.

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Diversity Thumball questions:

1. When did you first become aware of racial/ethnic differences?
2. Share a situation when you were in the minority
3. Describe a time you witnessed discrimination
4. Your best experience with a person of a different race/ethnicity
5. What makes you different?
6. How do your thoughts about diversity differ from your parents’?
7. Describe a time you experienced prejudice
8. Where do you see prejudice?
9. How do you respond to jokes that are demeaning or derogatory?
10. A time you felt like an outsider and how you dealt with it
11. An instance when someone went out of their way to make you feel included?
12. A time you went out of your way to make someone feel included?
13. A time you shared an unpopular idea
14. Describe a time you felt lonely in a big group of people
15. Why do you seek out people similar to you as friends?
16. Do you feel your friends are more similar or dissimilar to you?
17. Which would be harder for you: looking different or feeling different?
18. A behavior you encountered that you found disrespectful
19. What would be hardest about being confined to a wheelchair?
20. What would be hardest about having an unseen difference or disability?
21. What would be hardest about being gay?
22. What would be hardest about being transsexual?
23. Should companies/school close for all religious holidays? Why or why not?
24. Name 2 ways in which men and women are treated differently?
25. Is it easier to be male or female? Why?
26. Name 1-2 ways the elderly experience discrimination?
27. How can we promote acceptance of differences?
28. How might you personally combat discrimination?
29. What gives you hope that people are becoming more accepting of diversity?
30. What’s your generation's biggest challenge when it comes to acceptance?
31. What are the benefits of diversity?
32. Toss again

Conversations about diversity and bias can be emotionally charged. The goal is to share experiences of feeling different or excluded and identify ways to create a more welcoming, diverse and compassionate community. Diversity Thumball comes with a full set of Facilitation notes to set the ground rules for a fruitful discussion. A few samples follow:

  • Critique ideas not people
  • Speak only for yourself
  • No personal attacks
  • Listen - make sure everyone feels heard and validated
  • Only one person speaks at a time
  • Use "I" statements
  • Agree to disagree; disagree without being disagreeable
  • Be positive and non-judgemental; open to new ideas

Customer Reviews

Some ideas for how to use the Diversity Thumball to its best advantage...

FACILITATION TIP 1: EXPLAIN & SET GOALS

We live in a diverse world. Some differences are visible, like skin color, gender, height or weight, physical challenges and age. Others may not be visually apparent, but still affect how individuals feel or are treated: ethnicity, socio-economic position, sexual orientation, addictions, abstinence, allergies, intellect, depression or other emotional disorders, etc. The goal is to understand each other better and start a dialogue.

FACILITATION TIP 2: SET GROUND RULES

Explain that conversations about diversity and bias can be emotionally charged. The goal is to share our experiences of feeling different or excluded and identify ways to create a more welcoming, diverse and compassionate community. So that everyone can feel safe, have the group set up their own Ground Rules.  Here are some that you might want on the list:

*  Only one person speaks at a time
*  Speak only for yourself; use “I” statements
*  No personal attacks – critique ideas, not people
*  Agree to disagree; disagree without being disagreeable
*  Listen – make sure everyone feels heard and validated
*  Be positive and non-judgmental; open to new ideas

FACILITATION TIP 3:  IF CONVERSATIONS GET STICKY

Expert diversity facilitators suggest these techniques to ease difficult or emotional situations:

1.  Pause the conversation so you can review the ground rules with the group.
2. As the facilitator, share how an experience made you feel.
3. Ask others how an experience made them feel.
4. If two parties disagree, suggest that they switch roles and make the counter argument.
5. Keep a flip chart of difficult topics that can be addressed later.
6. Allow attendees to volunteer their participation as they feel comfortable.
7. Ask others for input on how they have handled similar situations.
8. Be ready to share some of your own personal stories.
9. Take a break. Stop for awhile and regroup.
10.  Thank participants for sharing their personal stories.

FACILITATION TIP 4: MAKE IT YOUR OWN!

Have a look at all the discussion prompts. If you’re not perfectly comfortable with all of them, feel free to pick and choose your favorites and write them onto a Create-Your-Own-Thumball so they suit your needs 100%.

That’s what Miguel did and then he wrote to tell us how it went: 

“Our government client, who sat and watched our facilitation, was utterly impressed with the kinds of deep conversations the ball prompted. He admitted, ‘I wasn’t really sure what you guys were going to do with that ball, and I must say it went pretty darn great’. It’s a beautiful training tool. Thank you, again.”

NOTE: We are in the process of updating the Diversity Thumball prompts to reflect current changes in preferred language.

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