The SPARK Method is an intersectional model for how to see, acknowledge and counter racism while also creating and building sustainable anti-racist systems for collective liberation.
How It Works.
SPARK actually works from the bottom to the top beginning with Knowledge and working our way up to Systems. The first stage in reaching Collective Liberation begins with Knowledge because we are born into the world with mechanics (systems) already in place. This stage is simply just our ways of knowing. They are the culture, values, beliefs and social norms that teach us how to navigate various events and settings we enter. It’s how we know to cry (or not) when we are sad, yell when we are frightened, or close our eyes when we are scared. We can look to cognitive theories to better understand this first stage.
Only after we have gathered our knowledge can we look to our Roots and Racial Identity for self-awareness and awareness of others. We experience look to our timeline in history and life narratives to inform our thoughts and behaviors and even DNA or science to affirm our identities.
As we learn more about the world we begin to make assumptions to bridge the gaps between what we know and don’t know. Simultaneously, we discover what privileges we hold or don’t hold based on trauma and rewards.
Thus, upholding systems in place or working to change them for ourselves and others.
Dive deeper into these five stages towards Collective Liberation by reading more below.
Systems are about the redistribution of power. This is the last step towards Collective Liberation. It’s where you are radically disrupting messages and behaviors you no longer want to repeat and you begin to focus all of your energy on creating an anti-racist sustainable systems for a just world that centers care for our most vulnerable populations.
Privilege is the assigned meaning to our looks. The fourth stage is where we begin unpacking our roles in Society along with our advantages (or disadvantages). It’s where we navigate the understanding of our relationship to power.
Racial ignorance, stereotypes, microaggressions, implicit bias, blindspots all come out of our assumptions. We think we have a good grasp and understanding of the world but as we begin to raise our racial consciousness we find the gaps in our knowledge and realize that we’ve made many decisions and upheld beliefs based on assumptions. It’s important to move past stage three, Assumptions in order to reach collective liberation.
Stage two in this model is when we are looking to the timeline in history and our identities to better understand and make sense of the world. We examine human variations, weigh narratives of lived experiences, and ask ourselves who is White and who is Black because we realize in this game of life, there are some who are benefiting and others who are not based on their identities? We also begin to form thoughts around our relationship to citizenship. We even look at DNA and science to understand our melanin, genealogy, and ancestry as ways to affirm our being.
This is the very first stage in the model. The beginning where you seek to find ways of knowing. We are all born into the world with systems that are already in place, sending us messages. Cognitive theories of identity development in this stage explain how you come to know things. These are influenced by your culture, values, beliefs, social norms. It’s where you learn to operate and think from a communal mindset vs. an individualistic one.
Each of the following programs in the curriculum are designed with elements of the SPARK method for collective liberation in mind. These training modules are designed to take participants through the various stages of the SPARK method so that they can be equipped to recognize, resist and dismantle racism while focusing on cultivating new anti-racist systems where historically marginalized and minoritized populations are now loved, supported and respected. Click on each title to read their descriptions.
90-minute beginner’s introduction workshop to Diversity and Inclusion. Participants discover that we all have identities and how we understand those identities have been influenced by messages we’ve received from trusted voices.
2-hour interactive session designed to teach participants how to go from providing passive support to advocacy for others.
If you are ready to take action, but aren’t sure where to start your anti-racism work, this dialogue is for you. Perhaps you realize that you still have so much to learn and want the space and time to talk with others about how to disrupt racism at home and in the workplace. In this session, we will talk about what opportunities you have for doing anti-racism work in your everyday life. (Length of dialogue varies)
2 hour introspective, yet interactive session based upon the book, Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Jason Reynolds and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi. The workshop explores the legacy of racism throughout the history of the United States of America. Further, it highlights the work of antiracists and those who have resisted the racist ideas and policies that helped shape the nation.
2 hour training which focuses on team building and program planning, diversity goal setting and assessment for groups.