CS Live ‘Unpacking the Invisible: Power, Privilege, and Difference’

CS Live ‘Unpacking the Invisible: Power, Privilege, and Difference’

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Civil Service Live 2020 - Directors' Session by the Directors' Network

About this event

Unpacking the Invisible: Power, Privilege, and Difference


Structural racism is real; it is institutional and it is individual. The Black Lives Matter movement has surfaced racial injustices, power, and privilege on a scale larger than before. It is important to recognise that in our society, skin colour and culture are key factors in determining power and status. They provide certain automatic, unearned advantages that increase an individual’s opportunities - and this privilege reinforces and perpetuates the power imbalance.

It is vital for us to have these conversations on racial injustices, power, and privilege. During this discussion for Directors, being held as part of Civil Service Live, we will gain awareness of our power and privilege, and the ways in which we benefit from it, through a reflective exercise. It will be uncomfortable: we will collectively be more present, aware and critical of our own biases and prejudices.

It’s time for us to step in like never before. We must hold space, listen up, and speak up on social justice issues - and lead all of our people all of the time. We can use our platform to help ensure that our colleagues do not hear the deafening silence again once the marches have stopped.

What can I expect?

● Permanent Secretary/Director General will share their observations on creating inclusive environments and what it means in practice - with Q&A

● “If you really knew me, you’d know that…” activity and shared discussion in virtual breakout rooms

● Final reflection — both as a group and as individuals

Date/Time: Wednesday 15th July 2020, from 14:30-16:30 and repeated on Thursday 16th July, from 08:30-10:30

Location: Virtual (via Zoom)

Directors’ Network

Leading public services in today’s environment is tough – we have to tackle complex societal issues which no single organisation can face alone. This is a huge challenge to public sector leaders, but it also gives us an opportunity to join up more effectively together across government to better deliver public services. We set up the Directors’ Network because we believe everyone taking responsibility for how our sector thrives is a better way to work in times of change and uncertainty.

We are building a community of Directors across government committed to collective leadership, co-creation and building cultures that support collaboration. We are shaping it together, one conversation at a time.

These events benefit hugely from the guidance, drive, and creativity of One Team Gov, who help us create the time and space to think about how best to work collectively.

What will I need to join this event?

  • An eventbrite ticket for the date of the discussion and the zoom link and password sent to you either in the confirmation email or a dairyhold we have sent you.
  • A good, reliable internet connection
  • Access to Zoom video conferencing software. (We recommend you sign up to zoom and test ahead of the event). You can use Zoom through a web browser on a computer (like Google Chrome), and this lets you use some of Zoom's features without downloading Zoom onto your laptop or mobile. However, we would recommend that you join the meeting using the Zoom software or Zoom Mobile App (from your mobile device’s application store), wherever possible. Some organisations block access to Zoom, and so you may need to join the workshop on a personal device (we will not be discussing anything above ‘OFFICIAL’ security classification).
  • Ideally, use headphones / microphone either via your device or using a headset so that you can listen, speak and take notes concurrently.
  • Personal refreshments!


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