World Trust

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

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

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

5 Steps for Using “Trip to the Grocery Store” to Talk about Race

Posted by Lisa Abbott on October 14, 2014

Want to start engaging others in authentic conversation about race, but don't know how to begin? Or, did you recently hold an equity & diversity session and vow to keep the conversation going? Take the support of the popular clip "A Trip to the Grocery Store."

These five steps show you how to start small and practice leading a group conversation using this clip as a focal point.  No professional training in diversity activity facilitation is required, and these steps can be covered in less than an hour. Gather a few people together and go for it. Let us know how it goes!



  1. Make it about learning.
    Instead of a stated goal of problem solving, invite colleagues, family or friends to gather with the intention of learning something new. Then when you come together, ask people to share what they hope to get from a conversation about race. This can help create an environment of connection and trust.

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Topics: Film: Cracking the Codes, How to

Talk About Race: A Conference Participant Reflects on the 'Third Rail'

Posted by Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong on July 8, 2014

Chicago-based journalist and writer Robert Koehler recently attended a presentation of Cracking the Codes. Hear a bit of his experience with the powerful clip above, in his own words:

Author Joy DeGruy tells her story in a remarkable documentary called Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequality, produced and directed by Shakti Butler, who is the founder of World Trust, an organization committed to breaking through the shame, secrecy and dishonesty that American culture is trapped in regarding both its racial history and present-day practices. [T]he film [...] dug relentlessly at the structural and institutional racism of our society for the purpose of getting people to talk about it.

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Topics: Film: Cracking the Codes, Diversity Workshops

Join Us June 27th for "A 21st Century Conversation about Race"

Posted by Lisa Abbott on May 19, 2010

Help us complete our current project! On Sunday, June 27th, World Trust will hold the benefit event Cracking the Codes: A 21st Century Conversation about Race in Oakland, CA.  Using preview clips of the World Trust's latest film in production as a catalyst, Shakti Butler, PhD will facilitate a conversation about the internal and external components of racism.  Confused or frustrated by racial divide? Come find out how Oakland nonprofit World Trust is working to re-frame the national conversation  -- and participate in it yourself.  It will be an afternoon of dialogue, community building, and insight for positive change.  Register now or buy a ticket at the door.

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Topics: Film: Cracking the Codes, Healthcare, Higher Ed, K-12, Diversity Workshops

Van Jones Praises Mirrors of Privilege

Posted by Lisa Abbott on January 15, 2010

" Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible is a moving call, long-overdue, coming from the heart of white people working to restore their own humanity," said Van Jones, Founder of GreenForAll.org.
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Topics: Film: Cracking the Codes, Film: Mirrors of Privilege