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 Simon Wolff and Seth Bernard (see full bios below). We just completed our fourth cohort of Understanding Racial Justice in 2023 and are looking forward to welcoming more committed folks into our URJ alumni community this fall, now almost 300 strong. Learn more and register below.

Our next cohort of URJ will be offered via zoom on Monday evenings from October 16 – November 13. This virtual cohort will meet from 5:30-7:30pm via zoom and be facilitated by Lucy Waechter Webb and Chris Good.

Stay tuned for future in-person cohorts to be announced.

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.

Grant Piering, a recent alumni of Understanding Racial Justice, shares about his URJ experience and why he feels like the course is important. “This cohort was a great stepping stone for me to put some of the tools in place and get a lot of resources to know what to do next.” (video: April 2023)

Logo design by Dani Renwick of Charmellow Design.

“URJ changed the course of my life and ultimately gave me a whole new perspective.”

Many thanks to URJ alumni Taryn Indish for sharing some powerful reflections on their Understanding Racial Justice experience. (video: September 2023)

Curious about racial justice? Could you use more tools to respond to the systems of oppression that exist in the world? Interested in joining a growing community of folks committed to healing and the dismantling of these systems? Title Track co-executive director and URJ co-creator Seth Bernard shares an invitation to join us for an upcoming cohort of Understanding Racial Justice. (video: March 2023)

URJ organizers and facilitators Lucy Waechter Webb and Tess Waechter Smith share some powerful reflections from the Open Space in Traverse City, where 2000+ people gathered in the summer of 2020 in defense of Black lives in the wake of the George Floyd murder. Understanding Racial Justice was one of the efforts that emerged from this collective yearning for racial justice and healing with many people showing up for the first time saying ‘no more’ and ‘what can I do?’ (video: Jan. 2023)

URJ’s co-creator, Simon 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)

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.