World Trust

Baltimore: Where Do We Step Into the Story?

Posted by Shakti Butler on 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

Celebrate with Us! The Jefferson Award

Posted by World Trust Team on 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

Neighbors Combat Racial Profiling and Build Community in Oakland, CA

Posted by Valerie Fulton on 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 on 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

"Deep Work": How Clinicians are Engaging in an Ongoing Diversity Initiative

Posted by Lisa Abbott on February 19, 2015
We want to share some valuable insight from the Clinical Program Director of the Ann Martin Center in Oakland, California, Laurie Lober, who is working with World Trust facilitator Dia Penning on a year-long diversity initiative with her mostly white staff. Here is what she told us after several months into the process.

The Need for Conversation

The Ann Martin Center is a large organization that provides psychotherapy services, educational support, and parent education to underserved residents in the Oakland area. The Center works directly in the community and at their clinic, hosting lectures, psychotherapy groups, and workshops. The 75-member staff is mostly white, serving clients who are mostly of color.

Clinic Director Lober sited two main reasons for their year-long diversity initiative.

1. Conversations about systemic racism and white privilege were needed to bridge the gap between white staff members' abstract knowledge of institutional racism and the reality of their day-to-day work.

World Trust workshop facilitator Dia Penning, speaking

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Topics: Diversity Workshop, Diversity Initiative, Dia Penning, Social Work, Oakland, Psychologists

Bring Authenticity to Diversity Initiatives

Posted by Lisa Abbott on January 15, 2015

Shakti Butler and World Trust were able to play an important role in the education component of UMASS's response to a racist incident on campus.  Shakti also supported stakeholders as they prepared to write a strategic plan for their diversity initiative. Shelley Perdomo, with the Center for Multicultural Advancement, met Butler at the 2014 National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE) in May and had already invited her to host diversity activities at UMASS. "Shakti is so gifted at inviting people to conversation," Perdomo says. "She allows them to be courageous, to ask authentic questions and be more self-reflective." 

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Topics: Talk about Race, Shakti Butler, Responding to a Racist Incident, Diversity Initiative

A 3-Point Direct Care Response to Racist incidents from UMass Amherst

Posted by Lisa Abbott on January 13, 2015

Unlike some campuses, which may try to push racism to the back burner, hoping against hope that things will go smoothly, Vice Chancellor Enku Gelaye of UMASS Amherst is more pragmatic: "This is our world --- racist incidents will happen. If we're not building relationships consistently, when something happens you have a mish-mash approach that is not authentic."

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Topics: Higher Ed, Shakti Butler, Diversity Workshop, Responding to a Racist Incident, Diversity Initiative, How to

Why is Google Addressing Unconscious Bias?

Posted by Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong on October 21, 2014

No racists, no problem. Right?
“This is a pretty genteel environment, and you don’t usually see outright manifestations of bias,” says Laszlo Bock, head of human resources at Google. Sound familiar?  

As a leader responsible for diversity and inclusion, you may have seen how “no outward manifestation of bias” can translate into institutional apathy about diversity education. If no one is engaging in overtly segregated hiring or using racial slurs, there is little urgency. So why is Google training all employees and pushing hard for a cultural shift?

Addressing the pipeline is not enough
Despite years of good intentions to hire a more diverse employee base, Google’s work force is just 2% black and 3% Hispanic, and 30% female. Google had begun to address the external factors years earlier, or so it thought, by sponsoring programs to increase the number of women and minorities who go into tech. At World Trust, we see this is common first approach across sectors. “What do we neeed to do to hire X percentage people of color?”

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Topics: Talk about Race, Unconscious Bias, Diversity Initiative, Tech