Tauiwi Tautoko Update & Plan - early 2022
Published on February 1, 2022 by Alanna Irving

In December, we held a hui with some key members of the Tauiwi Tautoko (TT) community, from its original founders and mentors to recent arrivals with new energy for the future (although not everyone was able to attend who we would have loved to be there). This was triggered by the launch of a public version of the course, and a generous grant, which have reinvigorated interest in this kaupapa. Now we’d like to share some outcomes from the hui.

Background

Laura O’Connell Rapira, one of Tauiwi Tautoko’s originators, gave us important context about the project’s whakapapa.
TT began as an initiative of ActionStation, and while they continue to support this kaupapa, TT is now ready to become its own initiative, run by its own community, and ActionStation will stay focused on its campaigning-based mission. TT is now independent from ActionStation.

In our society right now, movements are emerging, more powerful than ever, in the areas of tino rangatiratanga, constitutional transformation, and Te Tiriti education. Aotearoa is on the brink of new levels of diversity, with tauiwi of colour and tauiwi moana set to outnumber tauiwi pākehā by 2040. At the same time, white backlash is ramping up, and our online discourse presents ever more disinformation, abuse, and overwhelm. News sites are switching off their comment sections, and social media is under profound criticism. 

Into this world, we bring Tauiwi Tautoko, an educational intervention, community, and set of techniques based on listening, empathy, and values-based messaging, which has been shown by research to be effective in shifting the discourse on racism.

The Future We Want

In the reality we want to create, Tauiwi Tautoko will be….
  • Known and trusted by those who are targeted by racism
  • Inviting, relevant, and useful to all tauiwi
  • Focused primarily on anti-Māori racism, while also addressing other forms of racism in Aotearoa
  • In support of tino rangatiratanga, Matike Mai Aotearoa, He Puapua, and aligned movements
  • “Making tino rangatiratanga irresistible to everyone”
  • Mobilising effectively against backlash to these developments furthering tino rangatiratanga
  • Taught in schools
  • Self-sustaining financially, through donations, grants, and services
  • A place to go following a Te Tiriti workshop, as a 'something you can do'
  • A go-to place for organisations, campaigns, and publications to get practical support with racism/harassment
  • Coordinating anti-racist responses to specific issues/events through partnerships
  • Impactful both on- and offline
  • Changing our country's culture and discourse 
  • An ever-growing community that is collectively governed
  • Supportive of all kinds of people bringing TT to their own communities
  • Strategically guided by and accountable to tangata whenua

How To Get There

Restart the formal course
A few years ago, we had great momentum building with a regular rhythm of cohorts going through the formal 10-week training programme. We could sense the power of a community of TT trained participants ready to jump into action online, regularly joined by new people finishing courses. 

This got disrupted by COVID. Now it’s time to get that rhythm back on track, with cohorts regularly getting trained and joining existing community members to consistently grow our collective capacity with new energy and diverse perspectives.

This will be achieved through a combination of TT directly organising and facilitating cohorts, and partnerships with organisations and facilitators in various communities, supported by training, resources, and coordination (see below). We will seek and coordinate opportunities to do paid TT trainings in organisations, as professional development and Te Tiriti partnership action for government, foundations, educational institutions, and companies. This will involve TT being a known name with clear service offerings, and matching opportunities with trained facilitators to deliver courses. Our delivery capacity for such work will depend on training or partnering with more facilitators. 

With current capacity, we can run two cohorts a year. As we train and partner with more facilitators and build more capacity, we can look at doing more.

Support Facilitators
As we seek to enable many more cohorts to go through the TT course, in both community and organisational contexts, we need to resource more facilitators to lead and support them. 
  • We want to create more content and resources for ‘training the trainers’, which could take the form of a manual, videos, mentoring, and workshops, where experienced TT facilitators guide new ones.
  • We will fund the time of community facilitators who have up to now been volunteers, to help their work become more sustainable and grow.
  • There is the potential to collaborate with other facilitator groups, such as Flying Geese (see below), worth exploring to grow capacity as well as numbers in our facilitation team
Build and support the TT Community
Despite the disruption COVID caused to regular cohort trainings, the TT community has persisted and remains vibrant, with community members who have shown amazing commitment and leadership as volunteers. We seek to better resource this community, and help it grow.
  • Facebook group: Has evolved from “ActionStation Tautoko” to simply “Tautoko”, representing how it is now run by and for the TT community itself. 
    • People will continue to join this group as they finish TT training. 
    • Key volunteer members should be supported and resourced to ensure the group is well-held.
    • A key function of the Facebook group is to share links to media articles where Tauiwi can jump into the comments and use TT techniques to shift the discourse. For this to happen effectively, we need a critical mass of engagement, so this will also be a focus.
    • Introduce a process to protect the integrity of the closed facebook group, eg
      • A more robust intake structure to make sure people have been vetted and are joining in good faith
      • Possibly a separate closed fb group for new cohorts, who then join the main group on completion of the course
      • Running orientation sessions for new groups members
      • Caucus sub-groups for tauiwi of colour, tauiwi moana, and tauiwi Pākehā
  • Meetups and Zui: TT community members have identified ongoing whakawhanaungatanga and mutual āwhina as an important motivator and enabler of participation in this mahi. 
    • If there is capacity, we will continue the monthly zui calls, welcoming more participants and responding to what the community tells us it needs in terms of fun social interaction, debriefing from TT work, inviting speakers who are experts in different areas, etc. 
    • We’ll support the convenors of these calls, so they can be consistently hosted and organised.
    • We would love to have local in-person meetups or even a larger TT conference hui to bring together people from around the motu. COVID depending, but we can also imagine doing virtual versions.
  • Administrative support: Thanks to our new funding source, we are able to now pay for ongoing administrative support, by the highly experienced and knowledgeable Ann Cloet. With Ann's help, we can have our finger on the pulse to various opportunities, and the growing TT community and its needs. 
  • Tuakana/Teina: We want the TT community to have a sense of institutional knowledge, with experience and learning of those who have gone before being passed to new people coming in. This can take the form of mentorship, pathways to step into various community roles, alumni stepping into the 'reflector' role for new cohort trainings, evergreen content like videos and documentation, and deepening relationships.
  • Role allocation post-course: So many alumni of TT bring with them amazing networks, skills, and passions. We want to make the most of this to grow and increase sustainability of our TT community, by enabling people finishing the course to identify how they might like to contribute going forwards - tech, media, facilitation, organisational skills? a group you know who may like to do the course? venues or other useful resources you have free access to? we want to hear about it! 
Funding 
We intend to financially resource critical work that has up to now been done by volunteers, to make TT more sustainable, deepen commitments, and go further. For this, we need funding. 

We don’t have an exact budget plan just yet, but we have these building blocks and aspirations:
  • TT has already received a grant of $10,000 from Te Muka Rau, which helped enable the December hui to happen and will support short term expenses while we create a longer term budget. We’re very grateful for this amazing kick-start to the next phase.
  • Another specific philanthropic grant is in the works, and we’re being advised about other grant opportunities that could be a good fit potentially.
  • We aim to use the opportunity these donations provide to set up a funding structure that is self-sustaining in future years, exploring ideas like: 
    • We think many grant funders and crowdfunders would be interested in supporting TT—if we can clarify our needs and plans and tell our story well.
    • Multiple engagements with organisations seeking to pay TT to deliver trainings are in the works. We want to develop a clear offering of professional services, because there is a real gap TT could fill. Much of the existing anti-racism training content in use in Aotearoa comes from the US context—we need training for our unique context in Aotearoa. The gap is also defined by people not knowing what to practically do next after introductory Te Tiriti training. These corporate trainings could then help fund the non-profit trainings and other expenses
    • There is the possibility of having those who take the formal 10-week course paying a nominal fee (eg a pay-what-you-can scale)
  • TT has signed up with Gift Collective, giving it access to charity status and enabling philanthropic grants, and also providing the infrastructure to get paid for services, do crowdfunding, and receive koha. The TT page has fundraising features and transparently tracks the budget, as well as facilitates payments for project expenses.
  • TT to develop clear packages for different groups seeking to do the programme (eg corporate, non-profit); create clear point of contact and portal to increase accessibility and visibility of the programme.
Tangata Whenua Guidance
An initial group of strategic advisors has now been established, composed of co-founder of Tauiwi Tautoko and Executive Director of Movement Building at Foundation for Young Australians Laura O’Connell Rapira (Te Ātiawa, Ngāpuhi, Te Rarawa, Ngāti Whakaue and Ngāruahine), Director of ActionStation Kassie Hartendorp (Ngāti Raukawa), and co-founder of Te Ata Kura educators, Senior Advisor Te Tiriti Education at Massey University, and member of Matike Mai Aotearoa, the Independent Working Group on Constitutional Transformation Dr. Veronica Tawhai (Ngati Porou, Uepohatu). These wāhine Māori bring incredible experience, perspective, and mana, and have committed to advise TT, for which we are extremely grateful. The importance of tangata whenua guidance for this kaupapa is clear, as is the importance of resourcing it appropriately.

The specifics of how the advisory group will work in practice will be determined by its members with support of the TT team. We plan to convene the first hui soon after this update has been shared, so we might ensure our sense of next steps for TT are on the right path.

Course evolution
While the existing TT content is great, we see many ways to build on and improve it.
  • Continue to add additional resources and improve the videos and other content currently in the course.
  • Flying Geese have recently run a pilot cohort through the course internally and are exploring deploying their skilled facilitators to run cohorts for the public. They have generously offered to provide valuable feedback about improving the course in light of their testing of it, and we hope to continue collaborating with them going forward.
  • Create content and adapt structure so the course is as relevant and inviting to non-Pākehā tauiwi as tauiwi Pākehā
    • Guidance for course facilitators about how to facilitate mixed tauiwi groups, particularly when tauiwi Pākehā are the larger group
    • Content designed by and for tauiwi moana and tauiwi of colour
    • More discussion about how Te Tiriti conversations can use language that is inclusive of all Tangata Tiriti, and relevant and useful for them. (Jen Margaret has offered to give us guidance in this area)
    • Determine who facilitates and provides strategic oversight in this area. Should there be a tauiwi of colour advisory group, tauiwi of colour facilitators of formal trainings and all in-person hui as part of these trainings? This hui benefitted from having contributors who spoke to this need for enlarging TT to be truly designed for all tauiwi, and we will be connecting with them for their guidance on this in the coming months.
  • Develop content about bringing the TT techniques into offline interactions. People already do this, so we’d like supportive training resources.
  • Collaborate with The Workshop (Jess Berentson-Shaw and Marianne Elliott) on a messaging guide specifically for TT, and/or a more advanced training course around values-based messaging.
  • Create a TT website that effectively guides people looking for different things, such as signing up for a TT course cohort, organisational trainings, etc.
  • Develop and seek other online opportunities for interaction, beyond comment threads of news stories.
Campaigns & Partnerships
TT has a natural link to many campaigns and initiatives that already have momentum and expertise in complementary areas, which we seek to tautoko. Organisers of events or campaigns, who expect a racist backlash, could alert TT to organise a tauiwi firefighting crew ready to jump into action.
  • Te Wiki o Te Reo Maori
  • Matike Mai Aotearoa
  • He Puapua
  • Coordinate around key dates/events (eg Matariki)
  • Various ActionStation campaigns
  • Publication of media related Te Tiriti, racism, Māori issues (eg Māori Health Authority)
  • NZ History Curriculum roll-out
  • Partner with Inclusive Aotearoa Collective Tāhono; Asians Supporting Tino Rangatiratanga; New Historians (re: implementing new NZ History curriculum)
  • Partner with Te Tiriti educators
  • Partnerships with those who can guide and advise us about evolving with tauiwi of color in mind
And many other possibilities!

Roles & People
A key feature of this new chapter for TT will be formalisation of roles, so we can build a more stable base for what comes next. We have already confirmed some commitments from key people, and are identifying roles that need to be filled.
  • Emily Beausoleil: Point of contact, project leadership, general coordination
  • Ann Cloet: Admin and community support, events support, comms
  • Alanna Irving: Technical support, fundraising infrastructure, legal, finance, compliance, reporting, strategy support
  • Laura O’Connell Rapira, Kassie Hartendorp, and Veronica Tawhai: tuakana/kaitiaki, tangata whenua guidance
  • Kate Frykberg: Fundraising advisor, general mentorship
  • Online community facilitators: Facebook group moderators, media link posters, monthly zui convenors - TBD
  • Formal cohort facilitators: Vish, Emily, Hannah, plus possibly Flying Geese

Next Steps

  • Report back to hui participants with this update
  • Publish this update and share with key community members
  • Bring these topics to the next community hui and the Facebook group
  • Kick off the tangata whenua advisory group and get their input
  • Develop an explicit budget plan
  • Follow up grant funding opportunities and convey our plans to funders
  • Follow up paid opportunities to deliver trainings in organisations
  • Confirm roles and people commitments for key areas of responsibility

Get involved!

We want to hear from Tauiwi Tautoko participants, community members, interested facilitators, expert advisors, and all different perspectives. If the above makes you feel fired up to take action, we’d love to have you on the waka with us! Please get in touch.