COURSES & WORKSHOPS
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
by Austin Channing Brown
Date: February 11, 2021; 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Austin Channing Brown’s first encounter with a racialized America came at age seven, when she discovered her parents named her Austin to deceive future employers into thinking she was a white man. Growing up in majority-white schools and churches, Austin writes, “I had to learn what it means to love blackness,” a journey that led to a lifetime spent navigating America’s racial divide as a writer, speaker, and expert helping organizations practice genuine inclusion.
In a time when nearly every institution claims to value diversity in its mission statement, Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill attempts at racial justice. Her stories bear witness to the complexity of America’s social fabric - from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations.
This New York Times bestseller, written by a leading voice on racial justice, provides an eye-opening account of growing up Black, Christian, and female exposes how white America’s love affair with “diversity” so often falls short of its ideals.
The Inner Work of Racial Justice:
Healing Ourselves and Transforming Our Communities Through Mindfulness
By Rhonda V. Magee & Jon Kabat-Zinn
Date: March 8, 2021; 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
In a society where unconscious bias, microaggressions, institutionalized racism, and systemic injustices are so deeply ingrained, healing is an ongoing process. When conflict and division are everyday realities, our instincts tell us to close ranks, to find the safety of our own tribe, and to blame others. This book profoundly shows that in order to have the difficult conversations required for working toward racial justice, inner work is essential. Through the practice of embodied mindfulness--paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an open, nonjudgmental way--we increase our emotional resilience, recognize our own biases, and become less reactive when triggered.
As Sharon Salzberg, New York Times-bestselling author of Real Happiness writes, “Rhonda Magee is a significant new voice I've wanted to hear for a long time—a voice both unabashedly powerful and deeply loving in looking at race and racism.” Magee shows that embodied mindfulness calms our fears and helps us to exercise self-compassion. These practices help us to slow down and reflect on microaggressions--to hold them with some objectivity and distance--rather than bury unpleasant experiences so they have a cumulative effect over time. Magee helps us develop the capacity to address the fears and anxieties that would otherwise lead us to re-create patterns of separation and division.
It is only by healing from injustices and dissolving our personal barriers to connection that we develop the ability to view others with compassion and to live in community with people of vastly different backgrounds and viewpoints. Incorporating mindfulness exercises, research, and Magee's hard-won insights, The Inner Work of Racial Justice offers a road map to a more peaceful world.
Between the World and Me 4/5/21
By Ta-Nehisi Coates
Date: April 5, 2021; 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?
Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.
Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do
By Jennifer L. Eberhardt Ph.D.
Date: May 3, 2021; 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
How do we talk about bias? How do we address racial disparities and inequities? What role do our institutions play in creating, maintaining, and magnifying those inequities? What role do we play? With a perspective that is at once scientific, investigative, and informed by personal experience, Dr. Jennifer Eberhardt offers us the language and courage we need to face one of the biggest and most troubling issues of our time. She exposes racial bias at all levels of society, in our neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and criminal justice system, and she offers us tools to address it. Eberhardt shows us how we can be vulnerable to bias but not doomed to live under its grip.
Permission to Feel
By Marc Brackett
Date: May 25, 2021; 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Marc Brackett is a professor in Yale University’s Child Study Center and founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence. In his 25 years as an emotion scientist, he has developed a remarkably effective plan to improve the lives of children and adults – a blueprint for understanding our emotions and using them wisely so that they help, rather than hinder, our success and well-being. The core of his approach is a legacy from his childhood, from an astute uncle who gave him permission to feel. He was the first adult who managed to see Marc, listen to him, and recognize the suffering, bullying, and abuse he had endured. And that was the beginning of Marc’s awareness that what he was going through was temporary. He wasn’t alone, he wasn’t stuck on a timeline, and he wasn’t “wrong” to feel scared, isolated, and angry. Now, best of all, he could do something about it.
In the decades since, Marc has led large research teams and raised tens of millions of dollars to investigate the roots of emotional well-being. His prescription for healthy children (and their parents, teachers, and schools) is a system called RULER, a high-impact and fast-effect approach to understanding and mastering emotions that has already transformed the thousands of schools that have adopted it. RULER has been proven to reduce stress and burnout, improve school climate, and enhance academic achievement. This book is the culmination of Marc’s development of RULER and his way to share the strategies and skills with readers around the world. It is tested, and it works.