World Trust

Systems Create and Maintain Inequity: the SAE Greek Example

Posted by Dia Penning on 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 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

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

Posted by Dia Penning on 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.


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

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

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

Make the Most of Honoring MLK on Campus

Posted by Lisa Abbott on November 11, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a time not only to engage students but also to forward an institution's goals of equity and diversity. In the words of World Trust founder, Shakti Butler, the annual event creates an opportunity for us to explore "how we need to work on ourselves individually and collectively to meet the standards and the goals that we admire."

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Topics: Higher Ed, Diversity Workshops, Talk about Race, Resources for Facilitators & Educators

Case Study: Responding to a Racist Incident on Campus

Posted by Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong on October 28, 2014

 responding_to_incidentRacist incident becomes catalyst for faculty engagement
San Jose State University made national headlines in the fall of 2013 – but it wasn’t for excellence in sports or a prestigious research achievement. Under an intense amount of national scrutiny, the university was scrambling to respond to a racial incident on campus. Three students in a dorm on campus taunted their African-American roommate: beginning with racial slurs, and escalating to a simulated lynching with a bike lock around his neck.

Hyon Chu Yi-Baker is the head of the MOSAIC Cross Cultural Center at San Jose State University. She saw that this time of heightened attention to racial inequity could be a catalyst for engaging faculty and staff in the sort of diversity training she had long hoped to offer.

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