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

Why Do "Good" White Women Fear Conversation about Race & Diversity?

Posted by Lisa Abbott on January 27, 2015

Aimee Reeder, a white women and newest member of the World Trust staff team, shared these insights after watching the World Trust film, Light in the Shadows.

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Topics: Diversity Training Film Selection, White Privilege, Talk about Race, Resources for Facilitators & Educators

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

Great Expectations: Race, Ethnicity, and Education

Posted by Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong on October 30, 2014

The lagging American school system has been the topic of fretful thinkpieces for years. In order to pull ahead, so the story goes, we must test more often, drill more often, get to the root of why our students are underperforming.

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Topics: K-12, Resources for Facilitators & Educators, Dia Penning, Racial Equity Learning

Addressing Unconscious Bias Tip #6: Practice New Habits of Thinking

Posted by Adwoa Gyimah-Brempong on October 23, 2014

One of the strongest perpetuators of the system of racial inequity is unconscious bias. As diversity trainers and educators, it is crucial to find ways to interrupt this bias so as to pave the way for change.

Transformative learning asks adult learners to engage in critical reflection on their experiences and learned beliefs, for the purpose of deconstructing embedded assumptions about how the world works. 

At World Trust, we have found that transformative learning is the perfect pedagogy for addressing unconscious bias. In our latest series, we'll look at six elements that can be included in your diversity activities, harnessing the power of transformative learning to combat unconscious bias.

Preparing for Action: Using case studies and group exercises to practice new ways of thinking.
Another way to interrupt unconscious bias, or overcome ingrained ways of handling information, is by putting new learning into practice. In this way, practitioners encode new ways of seeing and being in the world to be accessed again in future. They start to practice new habits of thinking. 

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Topics: Resources for Facilitators & Educators