Understanding Racial Justice

Title Track and We The People – MI are happy to present Understanding Racial Justice (URJ), a five-week course for white people ready to lean into the racial justice movement. URJ was co-created in 2020 by skilled, longtime organizers and facilitators E Wolff and Seth Bernard (see full bios below). We are currently in the midst of our first in-person cohort of Understanding Racial Justice and looking forward to two more cohorts in the coming months, one via zoom and another in-person opportunity this Spring in Traverse City. Learn more and register below.

Our first virtual cohort of 2023 is now open for registration! Our 13th cohort of Understanding Racial Justice will meet via zoom for 5 weeks, meeting on Tuesday evenings from 5:30pm – 7:30pm ET from March 7 – April 4. Registration is open for anyone living in the United States. Chris Good and Wendy von Courter will be co-facilitating this cohort (scroll down for bios).

Our next in-person cohort will meet in Traverse City (location TBA) on Tuesday afternoons from 12:00 – 2:00pm from April 25 – May 3. Lucy Waechter Webb and Tess Waechter Smith (scroll down for bios) will be co-facilitating this cohort.

Sliding scale and scholarships are available.

This course is sure to be a transformative community and capacity building experience that supports your quest to join the movement for racial justice. This course is appropriate for white identified people who have had little to no prior antiracism or anti-oppression training. Themes explored will include race, racism, identity, solidarity, accountability, collective liberation, cultural healing, and embodied antiracism practice. The third week will feature special guest presenters who will share stories and insights from their lived experiences as BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) people. This course includes creative and somatic practices that support integration, connectivity, and resilience.

Are you curious to learn more about the importance of caucus or affinity group work as an integral part of the quest for racial equity?  “For white people, a caucus provides time and space to work explicitly and intentionally on understanding white culture and white privilege and to increase one’s critical analysis around these concepts. A white caucus also puts the onus on white people to teach each other about these ideas, rather than placing a burden on people of color to teach them.” Read more at racialequitytools.org.

Participation in this course requires attendance at all five two hour sessions except for the case of emergency situations. Due to the high level of interest in this course, please only register if you are able to attend all sessions. There will be an average of one hour of additional work per week that will compliment the live sessions.  

The payment structure for this course is sliding scale: $125 – $500 ($25-$100 per week). We have set the pricing as low as we can to make this work accessible to all who are interested, understanding that the upper end of the sliding scale is an excellent value for two hours of live session time per week with experienced facilitators, one session featuring three or four special guest BIPOC presenters, as well as invitations for deepening and support resources between sessions. We are grateful for your interest and if you are able to contribute beyond the sliding scale, your donation will go into a scholarship fund for this program.

COVID-19 Safety Protocols:

We honor that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us differently, and we must continue to center those among us who are most impacted by and vulnerable to the continuing threat of COVID-19 in our communities for the sake of our collective health and wellbeing. 

  • Sessions for our upcoming Traverse City cohort will be indoors and we plan to mask during our cohort sessions, keeping rooms as ventilated as possible. Please come prepared with a mask, and we can provide a mask if you need one.
  • If you have pre-existing immune health conditions, we recommend the highest level of precaution before deciding to attend. 
  • We will provide sanitizer and there are bathrooms available for handwashing.
  • Due to the size of the location we are not able to maintain a physical distance of 6 feet or 1.8 meters  during the entire training. Participants are always at choice with regards to their engagement.
  • All participants are asked to notify the trainers if within 4 days after completing one of the sessions you have symptoms and test positive for covid.
  • NOTE: If you have a known exposure or feel sick please stay home for the session.

Logo design by Dani Renwick of Charmellow Design.

We are excited to have this team of experienced facilitators and long-time activists in leadership for our upcoming cohorts of Understanding Racial Justice as they share their big hearts, passion for racial justice, and deep insights with this growing community. (pic: March 2022)

Our Understanding Racial Justice team reflects on the journey of this program and looks ahead to future offerings. Since we launched this program in July of 2020, over 260 white folks have shown up with open and eager hearts to participate in this five-week course for white people ready to lean into the racial justice movement. (video: Dec. 2020)

URJ’s co-creator, E Wolff, talks about the origin story of our Understanding Racial Justice program and what’s it’s been like to return to their home community of Northern Michigan to help nurture the work of antiracism.  (video: Dec. 2020)

Title Track’s Co-Executive Director Holly T. Bird reflects on how white people can support Indigenous leadership. Holly is one of our week 3 BIPOC presenters for Understanding Racial Justice. (video: Oct. 2021)

We recently completed a year long “Train the Trainer” program that will expand our capacity to offer more Understanding Racial Justice cohorts from a skilled and experienced team of white anti-racism leaders.

We are also developing a BIPOC Healing Ourselves space that will promote growth and change offering a safe space for BIPOC leaders to share stories and experiences.  The training will acknowledge trauma and create space for healing from the effects of oppression and explore ways BIPOC leaders can concretely support one another.  The space will also create stronger networks and partnerships within BIPOC communities to collectively develop strategies for BIPOC leaders to survive and thrive while navigating spaces rooted in white supremacy.

It is our intention to grow healed and anti-racist white and healed BIPOC community groups side by side so that they may join as a larger community that is actively working towards an inclusive, loving, healing, anti-racist, anti-oppressive, de-colonized society.