And Still We Rise

Posted by Shakti Butler

June 26, 2015

Tuesday evening of last week, June 15, my nephew called to ask my opinion on the Rachel Dolezal story. We had an interesting conversation. Everyone was talking about the phenomenon of a white woman passing for black. The gist of my nephew's particular question was this: what about all the good work she did? Do we have to throw that all out because she was pretending to be something she is not?  
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Topics: System of Inequity, Shakti Butler, Responding to a Racist Incident

White Women, Patriarchy, and White Superiority

Posted by World Trust Team

June 3, 2015

 Within the World Trust frame of the System of Inequity, the relational elements among the internal and external components of Racialization are named. In this piece written by World Trust collaborator, Tilman Smith, she shares a personal story of the weight and invisibility of her own internalized white supremacy. 

World Trust is committed to envisioning and creating a world that flourishes. We engage one another, and the general public, in an ongoing, exploration of a system that churns out inequities through a simultaneous focus that engages the deeply internal work and the external structural change that is necessary to create a world that works for everyone.

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Topics: System of Inequity, White Privilege, Talk about Race

Baltimore: Where Do We Step Into the Story?

Posted by Shakti Butler

May 19, 2015

The story of Baltimore is connected to a long-standing struggle for access and equality, which is as old as this nation’s history. This is a story of resistance to injustice, brutality, economic exploitation and domination. One cannot truly grasp the meaning of Baltimore without considering it within the context of a long history of uprisings and protests folded into what is just the latest expression of outrage. We cannot really understand the response of this latest uprising without looking at the meta-narrative of oppression. As long as there are people who are routinely excluded and marginalized there will be disquiet.

I remember Daddy saying that I have to stay off the block. It’s 1964 and I am 17 years old. He’s afraid I’ll get hurt on 125th Street in Harlem. There have been six days of unrest after an African American teenager is shot and killed by an NYPD lieutenant.

Folks are, as Fannie Lou Hammer said long ago, “sick and tired of being sick and tired.”  

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Topics: System of Inequity, Talk about Race, Shakti Butler, Diversity Workshop, Responding to a Racist Incident, Diversity Initiative, Racial Equity Learning

5 Ways to Avoid Blame and Shame in Diversity Activities

Posted by Valerie Fulton

April 7, 2015

Whenever we interview people engaged in diversity activities, we find that there is a "final straw" that propels them into action. It might be a racial incident that stirred up strong feelings in the community. Or perhaps there were complaints to the human resources department about an insensitive pattern of behavior in the workplace.

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Topics: Diversity Workshop

She-roes: So Many Her-stories to Celebrate

Posted by World Trust Team

March 31, 2015

At World Trust we celebrate she-ros, such as the everyday she-ros featured in our film, The Way Home: Women Talk About Race in America.  In celebration of March being Women's Her-story Month, each of our staff picked one of their own she-ros to share with you. Read on for some deep inspiration:

ellabakerFounder, Shakti Butler's she-ro: Ella Baker

Ella Baker is one of my She-roes. She was tireless in her resistance to injustice and fearless in terms of putting her life on the line for what she believed.  As an organizer, Baker was a staunch believer in helping ordinary people to work together and lead themselves, and she objected to centralized authority. In her worldview, “strong people don’t need strong leaders.”  Her words live on in “Ella’s Song,” sung by Sweet Honey in the Rock: “We who believe in freedom cannot rest.”

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Topics: Diversity Training Film Selection, Film: The Way Home

Systems Create and Maintain Inequity: the SAE Greek Example

Posted by Dia Penning

March 24, 2015



World Trust Director of Curriculum, Education Manager and Workshop Facilitator Dia Penning weighs in on how the recent exposure of the racist Sigma Alpha Epsilon members is not a one-off example of a few racist students singing a racist song but an example of how systemic inequity is reinforced and passed on from generation to generation of those with influence and power positions in the United States.    

When the whole country saw a bus full of Sigma Alpha Epsilon(SAE) brothers singing, “there will never be a n***er in SAE. You can hang him from a tree, but he can never sign with me,” media outlets claimed it was an isolated incident and parents insisted their nice boys made a mistake. But, I started thinking about power, about wealth, and about who runs this country.

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Topics: Higher Ed, System of Inequity, Resources for Facilitators & Educators, Responding to a Racist Incident, Racial Equity Learning

Celebrate with Us! The Jefferson Award

Posted by World Trust Team

March 17, 2015



Celebrate with us!  Our founder, Shakti Butler was recently honored with a Jefferson Award and featured on a newcast by Bay Area CBS station KPIX.  
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Topics: Higher Ed, Diversity Workshops, Diversity Training Film Selection, Talk about Race, Resources for Facilitators & Educators, Shakti Butler, Diversity Initiative, Community Building, How to

Spaces of Possibility: Building Radically Open Classrooms Allows for Organic Dialogue about Race, Power, and Social justice

Posted by Dia Penning

March 10, 2015

“The classroom remains the most radical space of possibility in the academy.” -bell hooks

This year World Trust is collaborating with several individuals, across different sectors, to underline the importance of open authentic dialogue about inclusion, race, and power. In this piece Educator Bobby Biedrzycki and Graduate student Courtney Zellars examine why building a foundation is important for that work.

Bobby:

As an educator, some of the most beautiful, transformative, and scary spaces I find myself in are dialogues about race and identity. Any classroom space where people are sharing stories and experiences, and others are listening and reacting to that openness, can be life-changing. Much of the work I find myself doing in the classroom (and my classrooms are everything from college lecture halls to living rooms) is rooted in finding ways to collaborate with people on creating these kinds of spaces. Safe spaces. Honest spaces. Spaces of radical possibility.

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Topics: Higher Ed, Talk about Race, Resources for Facilitators & Educators, Community Building, How to

Neighbors Combat Racial Profiling and Build Community in Oakland, CA

Posted by Valerie Fulton

March 3, 2015

Being neighborly means more than sharing gardening tools and taking in the mail, as World Trust's Outreach Manager, Ginny Berson discovered several years ago when she and her partner moved to a new neighborhood in Oakland, California. Their efforts to address a few specific instances of racial profiling on the listserv have blossomed into unexpected opportunities for community building and transformative learning about systemic racism throughout the neighborhood.

We recently spoke with Ginny to learn more about the grass roots organization, Neighbors for Racial Justice, that has sprung out of her own personal diversity initiative.

It Began with a Simple Observation

"After we moved to this neighborhood three and a half years ago," Ginny says, "my partner noticed a disturbing pattern of posts on the listserv (an email group for residents). These were clear instances of racial profiling, things like 'There is a black man walking through the neighborhood, and we've never seen him before. Just keep an eye out.' Messages to that effect."

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Topics: Film: Cracking the Codes, Talk about Race, Responding to a Racist Incident, Diversity Initiative, Community Building, Oakland, Engaging White People in Racial Equity

Incarcerated Men Talk about Race in a Successful Prison Diversity Initiative

Posted by Valerie Fulton

February 25, 2015

A while back, World Trust received an email from Madeleine Trichel, a volunteer facilitator working with the Horizon Prison Initiative at the Marion Correctional Institute. She wanted to let us know that she was using our diversity film, Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible, to get prisoners in the program talking about white privilege, unconscious bias, and their experience with systemic racism.

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Topics: Film: Mirrors of Privilege, Talk about Race, Diversity Workshop, Diversity Initiative, Faith

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