World Trust

Lisa Abbott

Recent Posts

Meet Linda Handy: Diversity Workshop Facilitator

Posted by Lisa Abbott on January 6, 2015

World Trust is delighted to have several new diversity workshop facilitators on board. In order to introduce them to our community and let you get to know them a bit better, we'll be featuring profiles of each of them on our blog.

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Topics: Diversity Workshop

Our 5 Most Popular Blog Posts of 2014

Posted by Lisa Abbott on December 30, 2014

The World Trust blog was launched in 2014. These posts were the most viewed and shared this year. Did you miss any of them? Here is your chance to click and read:

#1 Being White is Okay. Ignoring Racism is Not Okay.
About a dynamic that shuts down critical thinking during diversity activities and workshops -- and amid our national response to current protests against institutionalized racism. We could have titled this one "Being a Policeman is Okay. Brutalizing Black Youth is Not Okay."

#2 #BlackLivesMatter? What About #AllLivesMatter?
"All lives matter" allows people to avoid thinking and talking about racism. Strategic questioning can help people contemplate their use of the phrase and open the way for productive dialogue about racial equity.

#3 3 Elements of a Successful Diversity Initiative in Appalachia: Community, Perspective & Story
Good news out of Appalachia: A multi-institutional alliance getting real about the system of racial inequity and talking about it. Thank you Reverend Ron English.

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#BlackLivesMatter? What About #AllLivesMatter?

Posted by Lisa Abbott on December 26, 2014

Why is the #AllLivesMatter slogan --  a largely white response to the #BlackLivesMatter movement -- problematic?  And how can we respond when we hear it?

"All lives matter" allows people to avoid thinking and talking about racism.

Recently a Latina woman recounted an interaction she observed when visiting a white friend's home. This friend's young son came home and mentioned he'd learned about #BlackLivesMatter at school. His white mother immediately responded, "Yes, sweetie, all lives matter!"  The Latina's heart sank when she heard this. She was disappointed that her friend didn't, or couldn't, keep the exchange focused on black lives.

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3 Elements of a Successful Diversity Initiative in Appalachia: Community, Perspective & Story

Posted by Lisa Abbott on December 16, 2014

The Summit on Race Matters in Appalachia, held from November 10-11, 2014 in Charleston, West Virginia, brought eight different organizations and coalitions together to have a powerful conversation about the history of race relations and systemic racism in the state.

A screening of Shakti Butler's Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity got this diversity workshop started, and the words flowed from there. In fact, the summit was so successful that the facilitators have already scheduled a follow up event on January 8, 2015.

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Topics: Film: Cracking the Codes, Diversity Training Film Selection, Talk about Race

The Anime Club Story: Unconscious Bias & Diversity Activities for Teachers

Posted by Lisa Abbott on December 10, 2014


"If we don't fit into the box, then people don't know how to interact with us."
-- Vlogger and anime fan Sensei Aishitemasu, summarizing the impact of unconscious bias on students of color.

As every teacher knows, classroom dynamics are shaped by a number of factors. A majority of male or female students, an early morning lecture, material that's hard to make relevant to students' daily lives -- each of these has the potential to affect the outcome of a class.

Race is perhaps the most significant factor. Diversity in the classroom can be an opportunity for transformative learning, but white educators need to be aware of ways in which their own unconscious bias about race -- not to mention the unconscious bias of other students -- affects students of color and shapes classroom dynamics even as they welcome different perspectives.

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Healthcare Leaders Grappling with Race, Build Cultural Competence

Posted by Lisa Abbott on December 9, 2014

How can healthcare leaders, many of them white, work more effectively and inclusively with staff of color and the multicultural communities they serve? Surabhi Kukke, Health Program Consultant for the organization Futures Without Violence (FWV), reports the success of a World Trust cultural diversity workshop Shakti Butler led for participants in one of FWV's programs.

World Trust seminars and workshops are an excellent way for institutions to engage leaders and employees in diversity and equity challenges. More than that, they are an educational tool that can improve communication and build relationships so that conversations about race can occur without the defensiveness and guilt that people often experience when they confront the role they play in systemic inequity.

Learning How to Forge Authentic Connections

Kukke is working with Project Connect, a grant-funded initiative that gives public health agencies training to help them care for women who are victims of domesti

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Topics: Healthcare, Diversity Workshop

6 Ways to Recruit & Retain Students of Color: Winona State's Diversity & Inclusion Efforts

Posted by Lisa Abbott on December 4, 2014
Since 2005, Alexander Hines, the   Director of Inclusion and Diversity  at Winona State University, has increased the number of students of color at the school from 144 to 680. The University has surpassed its own goal of attracting 2-3 percent more black students to the campus each year, and with students themselves pushing for greater diversity efforts, it seems likely that this trend will continue.
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Topics: Higher Ed, Shakti Butler, How to

Being White is Okay. Ignoring Racism is Not Okay.

Posted by Lisa Abbott on December 2, 2014

The Reindeer Analogy
As we approach the Christmas season in the USA, this meme has been showing up in our social media feeds:

Being an atheist is okay.

Being an atheist and shaming religions and spirituality as silly and not real is not okay.

Being a Christian is okay.

Being homophobic, misogynistic, racist ... in the name of Christianity is not okay.

Being a reindeer is okay.

Bullying and excluding another reindeer because he has a shiny red nose is not okay.

A pattern that shuts down communication.
These words poke fun at the way people can feel personally attacked when, in fact, it is their behavior that is being critiqued.  All kidding aside, this defense mechanism is a problem.  If you believe that someone is disrespecting your character or identity, you may feel you have carte blanche to disengage and disregard that person. This shuts down conversation and critical thinking. It deepen

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Topics: Film: Cracking the Codes, Diversity Workshops, System of Inequity, White Privilege, Talk about Race, Engaging White People in Racial Equity

Thanksgiving Truth-Telling: Talking about History with Family

Posted by Lisa Abbott on November 26, 2014
Today we are calling attention to Debby Irving's recent challenge to engage in truth-telling over the Thanksgiving holiday.  While engaging in diversity activities with family may seem daunting, the author and racial justice educator shares why she took the step:

When I was younger, the holiday included colorful tales of the Pilgrim’s brave Atlantic crossing, brutal first winter, and harmonious celebratory feast with ‘The Indians.’ No one challenged the peaceful narrative in my segregated, comfortable, white world because along with the turkey and mashed potatoes another tradition was being upheld: the white tradition of segregation, comfort, and avoidance of truth telling. - See more at: http://debbyirving.com/a-thanksgiving-truth-telling-challenge/#sthash.3s2bgaDy.dpuf
When I was younger, the holiday included colorful tales of the Pilgrim’s brave Atlantic crossing, brutal first winter, and harmonious celebratory feast with ‘The Indians.’ No one challenged the peaceful narrative in my segregated, comfortable, white world because along with the turkey and mashed potatoes another tradition was being upheld: the white tradition of segregation, comfort, and avoidance of truth telling. - See more at: http://debbyirving.com/a-thanksgiving-truth-telling-challenge/#sthash.3s2bgaDy.dpuf
When I was younger, the holiday included colorful tales of the Pilgrim’s brave Atlantic crossing, brutal first winter, and harmonious celebratory feast with ‘The Indians.’ No one challenged the peaceful narrative in my segregated, comfortable, white world because along with the turkey and mashed potatoes another tradition was being upheld: the white tradition of segregation, comfort, and avoidance of truth telling. - See more at: http://debbyirving.com/a-thanksgiving-truth-telling-challenge/#sthash.3s2bgaDy.dpuf
When I was younger, the holiday included colorful tales of the Pilgrim’s brave Atlantic crossing, brutal first winter, and harmonious celebratory feast with ‘The Indians.’ No one challenged the peaceful narrative in my segregated, comfortable, white world because along with the turkey and mashed potatoes another tradition was being upheld: the white tradition of segregation, comfort, and avoidance of truth telling. - See more at: http://debbyirving.com/a-thanksgiving-truth-telling-challenge/#sthash.3s2bgaDy.dpuf
When I was younger, the holiday included colorful tales of the Pilgrim’s brave Atlantic crossing, brutal first winter, and harmonious celebratory feast with ‘The Indians.’ No one challenged the peaceful narrative in my segregated, comfortable, white world because along with the turkey and mashed potatoes another tradition was being upheld: the white tradition of segregation, comfort, and avoidance of truth telling. - See more at: http://debbyirving.com/a-thanksgiving-truth-telling-challenge/#sthash.3s2bgaDy.dpuf
"When I was younger, the holiday included colorful tales of the Pilgrim’s brave Atlantic crossing, brutal first winter, and harmonious celebratory feast with ‘The Indians.’ No one challenged the peaceful narrative in my segregated, comfortable, white world because along with the turkey and mashed potatoes another tradition was being upheld: the white tradition of segregation, comfort, and avoidance of truth telling. 
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Topics: Talk about Race

Diversity Video Clip: Explaining Systemic Bias in US Policing

Posted by Lisa Abbott on November 25, 2014

This video cllip from Cracking the Codes helps break down what is happening in Ferguson, Mo and throughout the U.S. as communities of color try to navigate interactions with biased, and increasing militarized, law enforcement. Use this video at home or in the workplace to bring more people into productive conversation about the events in Ferguson and systemic injustice.

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Topics: Talk about Race