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Consulting / Keynote Presentations

Photo Credit: Franklin & Marshall College
Office of Communications/Deb Grove

Workshop grp

I provide keynote presentations, workplace training, and consulting on socially just practice, with a special focus on race relations and racial justice. I can provide workshops alone or bring in other consultants with whom I partner in order to provide inter-racial teams, depending on the racial make-up of your group. I combine theory with activities that engage participants. A partial list of my clients includes many colleges and universities as well as Amazon, W.L. Gore & Associates, The Hollywood Writer’s Guild, the YMCA, Seattle Public Schools, City of Seattle, Metropolitan Council of Minneapolis, UC Davis School of Nursing, University of Washington Medical School, and Unilver.

Standard Choices for Keynote Presentations:

Seeing the Racial Water
What does it mean to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless yet is deeply divided by race? I will describe the way race shapes the lives of White people, explain what makes racism so hard for White people to see, and identify common White racial patterns that prevent us from moving towards greater racial equity.  Weaving information, analysis, stories, images, and familiar examples, I provide the framework needed to develop white racial literacy. Although the focus is on white racial identity development, people of color may also find the analysis valuable as it is one that is rarely affirmed or provided in mainstream society. “Seeing the Racial Water” provides an essential foundation for building white racial literacy.

White Fragility
White people in the U.S. live in a racially insular social environment. This insulation builds our expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering our stamina for enduring racial stress. I term this lack of racial stamina “White Fragility.” White Fragility is a state in which even a minimal challenge to the white position becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive responses. These responses function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and maintain white control. Those who see themselves as “the choir” can be particularly challenging, for we tend to focus on “evidence of our advancement” rather than reach for humility and continually grapple with how to engage in intentional action. This talk will provide an overview of the socialization that inculcates white fragility and provide the perspectives and skills needed for white people to build their racial stamina and develop more equitable racial practices. This session may also benefit people of color who are vastly underrepresented in an organization and/or wonder how we manage to remain unaware and why we are so difficult to talk to about racism.

Keynotes can range from 45-90 minutes

Workshops / Trainings:

Training Approach: My race-relations sessions take an anti-racist approach. An anti-racist approach includes: acknowledging and challenging the historic and current power differentials between people of color and white people, addressing the patterns that develop due to the dynamics of internalized racism and internalized dominance, building processes and norms that are designed to be vigilant about these patterns. I make sure to: (1) set a constructive climate for learning through role-modeling and use of self, (2) take into account the groups’ diversity and how that diversity impacts the group’s dynamics, (3) balance the intellectual with the emotional components of learning, and (4) make learning resources available. In addition to content knowledge, my expertise is in presenting information that is difficult or emotionally charged clearly and accessibly. My primary goal is always to deepen skills and relationships among team members and between social groups.

Sample Agenda

  • Provide a shared framework for differentiating between: prejudice, discrimination, and systematic racism
  • Understand the basic dynamics of current race relations in the U.S.
  • Examine the concept of whiteness and white racial socialization
  • Identify and make everyday patterns of whiteness recognizable
  • Recognize common barriers to bridging racial divides and introduce the skills necessary for bridging them
  • Recognize the above as an on-going process and build motivation to continue
  • Identify resources for supporting the work of racial equity

This agenda can be customized to meet your specific needs. I can also support you in sustaining the work in your organization via film showings, lunch time discussions, creating caucus groups, development of a Change Team, etc.

Formats:  I provide workshops ranging from 2-4 hours to 1-3 full days, depending on your need. I recommend that all sessions be supported by follow-up training in order to reinforce learning and convey leadership commitment to the training goals.