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Mid-Atlantic Facilitators Network

MAFN's December 17th Online Workshop: From Gatekeeping to Groundskeeping: Inclusive Facilitation for Diverse Groups

  • 12/17/2021
  • 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM
  • Online using Zoom


Duration: 3-hour workshop (includes a little networking time)

NOTE:  This session will NOT be recorded.  If you register, please plan to attend as we will not be sending a recording after this session.

About the workshop

How can facilitators be sure that their meetings allow for the full and equitable participation of everyone in a diverse group?

Facilitators have a key role to play in ensuring that meetings of diverse groups of people are also inclusive. Understanding what full inclusion looks and feels like, and being able to identify the obstacles to full inclusion are the first steps toward facilitating inclusive meetings. This workshop will help you move beyond the “keep us on time and on track” approach to help clients ensure that everyone who is invited is at the table (literally and figuratively) and is able to fully contribute to the work of the group.

​​This online workshop looks at how social power, implicit norms, and unspoken agreements get in the way of inclusion, and what facilitators can do to open meetings up to full and inclusive participation.

To make this session directly relevant to you,
workshop leader Sherry Marts is looking for examples of incidents or situations in which you wished you’d known or understood more about how acts of exclusion (particularly harder-to-identify subtle behaviors) can inhibit full participation in meetings.

Some examples:

  • Participants were silenced by repeated interruptions
  • Misplaced credit for ideas
  • Comments were made that were based on gender, racial, cultural, or other stereotypes
  • Attempts to improve inclusion were dismissed as “political correctness”

Responses will be kept confidential. Please use the survey form provided at this link:

This survey will be open until 5pm EST on Friday, December 10.
Scenarios may be combined or edited for clarity and to assure anonymity.
(NOTE: You will NOT receive any marketing emails from S*Marts Consulting as a result. If you want to hear more from Sherry you’ll have to sign up for her newsletter at )
Registration for the workshop will close at midnight EST on Thursday, December 16.

NOTE:  This session will NOT be recorded.  If you register, please plan to attend as we will not be distributing a recording of the workshop.

Learning Objectives 

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore the different kinds of power dynamics in groups

    Learn how to move from facilitation as gatekeeping to facilitation as “groundskeeping” - taking into account both individual behaviors and organizational norms, mores, and expectations

    Explore the importance of making implicit behavioral norms explicit and open to change

    Learn how to make meetings collaborative and inclusive, even in the context of hierarchical organizational cultures

  • This is a 3-hour online workshop. It will take place from 12:00pm to 3pm EST.


Sherry A. Marts, Ph.D., CEO of S*Marts Consulting LLC, is a skilled workshop leader, writer, and speaker with a lively personality and an excellent sense of humor. She provides training and consulting services for creating safe, welcoming, and inclusive conferences, meetings, and events. Her work lies at the intersection of her professional life as an association executive, and her training and experience as a women’s self-defense instructor. Sherry received her B.Sc. (Hons.) in Applied Biology from the University of Hertfordshire, and her Ph.D. in Physiology from Duke University. Sherry received the 2018 MIT Media Lab Disobedience Award.


  • No refunds or credits for registration cancellations.
  • Registration closes at midnight the day before the workshop.
  • Registered participants will receive instructions for joining the live session and any additional details 1 day in advance and the morning of the event. Please be sure to look for the link in your email.
  • Workshops begin promptly at 12:00PM EST.  Please log on at least 15 minutes in advance to ensure your internet connections, audio and other settings are functioning properly.
  • MAFN Members have access to all online workshop recordings via the MAFN website.
  • For registration or membership questions contact

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