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

5 Ways to Avoid Blame and Shame in Diversity Activities

Posted by Valerie Fulton on 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

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

Meet Ericka Huggins, Racial Equity & Diversity Workshop Facilitator

Posted by Lisa Abbott on February 17, 2015

Ericka Huggins is in the spotlight today as World Trust continues to profile the diversity workshop facilitators who help institutions initiate conversations that help people understand concepts like white privilege and systemic racism.

A professor of sociology at Laney College in Oakland, California, Ericka has been a human rights' activist and educator for over 30 years. She is skilled at finding ways to appeal to people on an emotional level, using their common experience to engage in community building and critical thinking.

"One question that I always ask is, 'How many people in the room have children?'" Ericka explains. "This lets people express their own compassion. And then we look at the film we're watching, or the story we're discussing, through the lens of our own beloved children. It shifts the tone of the conversation from people's heads to their hearts. An added advantage is that talking about the world we want for our kids takes the conversation away from the personal and makes it more universal."

"I love to watch how Ericka invites people to connect, grow and tranform," says Shakti Butler, Founder of World Trust, "She sees the best in every human heart and invites their greatness to shine.  She works from the belief that most people want the same thing: happiness, connection and a chance to participate fully in the web of life! We are fortunate to have such a brilliant and masterful educator on the World Trust team."

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Topics: Diversity Workshop, Ericka Huggins

Meet Dia Penning, Racial Equity & Diversity Workshop Facilitator

Posted by Lisa Abbott on February 10, 2015

Dia Penning, in addition to being a facilitator, serves as Education Manager and Curriculum Director for World Trust.  Dia designs Racial Equity Learning Modules which offer transformative and creative ways for educators to engage people in community building and learning about systemic racism.

As a diversity workshop facilitator, Dia brings the following strengths:

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Topics: Diversity Workshop, Dia Penning, Social Work

Meet Amikaeyla Gaston, Racial Equity & Diversity Workshop Facilitator

Posted by Lisa Abbott on January 31, 2015

Today we'll be profiling another one of our amazing facilitators, Amikaeyla Gaston.

A talented performer who has traveled the world using art and expression to promote healing, Ami describes herself as "a force for change." Her use of meditation and music is a perfect match for the creative diversity workshop activities she uses to engage participants and spur community building among them. Beyond that, she is highly in tune with the dynamics of the group.

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Topics: Diversity Workshop, Amikaeyla Gaston

Engaging the Tech Sector in Racial Equity & Diversity Training

Posted by Lisa Abbott on January 20, 2015

We’ve written before about how Google and others in the tech sector have begun to see the value of racial equity education, and we are pleased to have an opportunity to directly support this evolution. Kalimah Priforce, CEO of Qeyno Labs in Oakland, California has asked World Trust to host a racial equity training session early next month for technologists from companies, such as Google, and Pandora, who will mentor youths through his Hackathon program.

The Importance of Diversity Activities in the Technology Sector

Priforce explains that techies live in a digital universe,

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Topics: Diversity Workshop, Tech

World Trust Tribute to MLK: In the Name of Love

Posted by Shakti Butler on January 17, 2015


From Shakti Butler, Founder of World Trust:
We at World Trust join you in honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the man and his legacy. In 1967, Dr. King gave a speech in which he asked, "Why are there forty million poor people in America?"

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Topics: System of Inequity, Diversity Workshop, Community Building

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