'Like' us on Facebook to be part of our ongoing conversation

Save the dates for this year's conference:
November 13-14, 2015
Overcoming Racism: Vigilance Now!
At Metro State University in St. Paul
Download & share the save-the-date flyer

2014 Overcoming Racism: Cultivating Transformation
MayKao Hang's Friday keynote
Sam Grant's Saturday keynote
Transformation Talk videos by Leon Rodrigues, Elder Atum Azzahir, Dr. Ed Ehlinger, Maria Isa and Pastor Tim Johnson
Photos from the conference Thanks to Allyn Uniacke for the photography
Read/download MayKao's dissertation Whites and the Active Representation of Racial Minority Interests
Read/download resources from some of the 2014 workshops.

Upcoming Learning & Action Opportunities--Scroll Down!

Suggested reading: "White Fragility" by Robin DiAngelo, co-author of Is Everyone Really Equal (Sensoy and DiAngelo 2012). This short piece does an excellent job of identifying many of the participant behaviors that we antiracism facilitators see in our dialogue circles or workshops. The reading is a naming of the various displays, performances and emotional responses some participants engage in when they find themselves in race conversations. This reading offers an explanation of the contexts and mindsets motivating the behavior.
Discussing Civil Unrest In The Workplace
Instructor: Andre Koen
2 CEU's Available
1pm - 3pm June 18th, 2015
Tools for Discussion: Identify and discuss the Civil unrest, #blacklivesmatter & community policing without fault, blame or Shaming.

You are at the water cooler and you are asked "So what do you think about those riots?" how do you answer? The workplace is full of opportunities to teach and learn however what topics should you discuss and which ones should you avoid? This session will allow us to look at diversity in new ways and provide tools for have difficult conversations in the workplace and in the community at large.

Live Streaming available

"The Doctrine of Christian Discovery & Boarding School Trauma: Toward Reconciliation and Healing"
Saturday, May 30, 1-5 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral Church, 519 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis.
The Episcopal Church in Minnesota, together with Erma Vizenor, Chairwoman of the White Earth Nation, are cosponsoring a symposium to bring attention to and promote reconciliation and healing from the traumatic legacies of the legal Doctrine of Christian Discovery and Boarding School Policy. The event is free and open to the public. All are welcome.
Advancing Racial Equity grant opportunity
Through a special 75th anniversary grant opportunity, The Saint Paul Foundation is currently seeking proposals for programs/projects/initiatives that answer the question: What will your organization do to advance racial equity in Saint Paul or the East Metro?
Deadline June 30, 2015

Singing for Freedom: The Antislavery Campaign of the Hutchinson Family Singers
April 29-30 & May 2-3, 2015
Hutch singers drawing
Commemorate the Civil War in a unique way by witnessing a story told through the music, travels and political actions of a family of 19th-century American superstars. The Hutchinson Family Singers (founders of the city of Hutchinson, Minnesota) were a group of pro-Emancipation traveling musicians as famous in their time as P.T. Barnum.  One of the unheralded aspects of the Hutchinson Family Singers--and certain forms of 1840s abolitionism in general--was the cultivation of interracial friendship and social protest. The Hutchinsons were noted and decried for their performances to interracial audiences, and our new research in antislavery music will provide a unique opportunity to hit the 19th-century campaign trail with such figures as Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln.   This semi-staged and costumed production will enjoy a week-long run at the Minnesota History Center, and features talented Twin Cities artists Dan Chouinard, Maria Jette, and T. Mychael Rambo. Stage direction will be by Jeff Raz (Cirque du Soleil). A number of educational outreach events will also take place, including special lectures by Scott Gac, Director of American Studies at Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and author of Singing for Freedom: The Hutchinson Family Singers and the Culture of Antebellum Reform (2007).
Upcoming YWCA of Minneapolis Racial Justice events
Confronting Racism: Knowledge --> Skills --> Action
How to Talk with Kids About Race: A 3-Part Workshop

Part 1: Saturday May 9, 2015   9:00-11:00 am YWCA of Minneapolis - Midtown This session supports the Adult-Ally in deeper understanding of their own racial justice journey. We will examine our own bias, internalized messages and connections to racial socialization in the USA. This session will help support the Adult-Ally in framing conversions about race and racism with children and youth in a healthy and productive way.
Part 2: To be completed on-line following the completion of Part 1 and prior to attending Part 3 of the series. This session supports the Adult-Ally in understanding ages and stages of child development, infancy through adolescence, as they relate to race, racial identity and racism. This session lays the ground work for the Adult-Ally to understand where a child/youth's cognitive understanding of race and racism is on a developmental continuum.
Part 3: Saturday June 6, 2015 9:00-11:00 am YWCA of Minneapolis - Midtown This session supports the Adult-Ally with tools and skills for talking and responding to children and youth about race and racism.  Participants will be able to practice conversations that will help children and youth navigate the world in which they live. 
$100. ($50 for YWCA members)
RSVP by May 2, 2015 Scholarships are available.
For over nine years, Discussions that Encounter has facilitated open discussions about race, racism and white privilege. These events are open to all and sponsored free of charge in Minneapolis on the second and fourth Thursday evening of each month.  Our vision is to provide an environment where people of all walks-of-life and backgrounds can openly discuss any aspects of racism. We use video or prepared materials to pursue a specific topic with ample time for facilitated conversation. The objectives of these forums are to raise awareness, build relationships, assist all along the journey of overcoming racism, provide education on historical and current topics, and facilitate open conversations that can't usually be approached across the "races."  Notices are sent prior to each Discussion Forum with details on topic, location and directions. Contact Bill Keatts at wkeatts@austin.rr.com to receive information or to be added to the regular distribution. ***Brotherhood Brew offers sales of organic, free-trade coffee, exotic teas, and hot cocoa at our Discussion Forums.
5/28/15 – Racism and Faith featuring a panel of inter-faith leaders
6/11/15 – Josh Esmay presents the Council on Crime & Justice
6/25/15 – Cancelled due to summer break
7/9/15 – Cancelled due to summer break
7/23/15 – Being planned

9/24/15 - Mayor Hodges and City of Minneapolis' racial equity agenda
Discussions Forums are every 2nd Thursday at Phillips Community Center (2323 - 11th Avenue, South, Minneapolis) and 4th Thursday at St. Olaf Church (215 South 8th Street, Minneapolis) with free supper at 6:30PM and program from 7-8:30PM. All are invited at no charge – no need to register.
Read an insightful and challenging Open Letter About the Premiere of 'Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson' by Rhiana Yazzie, a Navajo playwright based in Minnesota. She is a two time Playwrights’ Center Jerome Fellow (2010/2011 and 2006/2007) a Playwrights’ Center Core Member, and artistic director of New Native Theatre
Brotherhood, Inc. offers a wide variety of coffee, tea and cocoa products for sale or delivery. These products are available at all Discussions that Encounter Forums and directly through the website www.brotherhoodmn.org. Sales assist in achieving their mission to enable African-American youth and young men to envision and achieve successful futures. Brotherhood, Inc. aspires to create a pathway out of poverty, gangs and incarceration by offering comprehensive and culturally-sensitive educational opportunities, social services, legal services and in-house employment all under one roof.
Bdote Sacred Sites Tour
Bdote is the Dakota word for "meeting place of rivers" and specifically the confluence of the Mississippi River and Minnesota River which is located near Fort Snelling and the Mendota Bridge. Join Jim Bear and/or other Dakota elders who will  be graciously guiding a tour of several sites within the Bdote area.
Target audience: Faith community leaders, interfaith leaders, "Healing Minnesota Stories" planning group, community members interested in learning more.
Anyone may participate in a tour of the Bdote Sacred Sites.  We desire for the whole group to ride together and to keep the group relatively small, so please RSVP early  to allow us to plan appropriately for our outings.
For more information and to sign up, go to <
Gustavus Speaker Series on U.S. Dakota War of 1862 Archived Online

  • Dr. John Peacock, “War of Words: Writings by Dakota People in Their Own Language and Later in English During and After the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862”
  • Glenn Wasicuna, “A Dakota Way of Life”
  • Dr. Gary Clayton Anderson, “The Dakota War Trials: Travesty of Justice or Reasonable Retribution?”
  • Thomas Maltman, “Based on a True Story: Researching a Controversial History to Create Fiction”
  • Corinne Monjeau-Marz, "Aftermath of the 1862 War: Reviewing the Years from 1862-1866"
  • Dr. Gwen Westerman, "We Are Still Here"
To access video of these events, go online to the Gustavus Live Streaming Portal. A listing of archived events will be available under the “On Demand” tab.
This U.S.-Dakota War lecture series was made possible with funds from Gustavus Adolphus College, Minnesota Humanities Council, and the State of Minnesota through the Minnesota Historical Society from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.
Here is a recap of the
10 reparation strategies offered by Waziyatawin at the 2012 Overcoming Racism conference, as tweeted by @Two_Cranes #10DakotaReparations (thanks, Liz!)
1. Return state/federal lands to Dakota. Can start w/ non-revenue-producing state parks
2. Contribute* to re-purchase of lands for land return, a form of paying "back rent" (see below for how)
3. Lobby for return of Dakota sacred sites & for access to them, such as Coldwater Spring in Mpls
4. Take down Fort Snelling, which "celebrates the righteousness of pioneer settlement"
5. Lobby for the return of sacred objects from places like museums & Minnesota Historical Society
6. Remove icons, colonial symbols incl street names, names of sports teams, schools, etc.
7. Form action groups to fight/protect the Dakota land we all love; work to stop development industry
8. Support Dakota language programs, including fundraise for them
9. Support Dakota protests, right to have ceremony; provide legal support; support anti-colonial struggle
10. Support direct-action training camps

*Donations to the Dakota nonprofit Oyate Nipi Kte (The People Shall Live) will support Makoce Ikikcu (Recovering Land)
Online: http://givemn.razoo.com/story/Oyate-Nipi-Kte
By mail: Oyate Nipi Kte, 4052 Hwy 212 SE, Granite Falls, MN 56241

What Does Justice Look Like? by Waziyatawin Read more about it
The Color of Wealth by Rose Brewer and others Read more about it
Download a reflection on Joe Feagin's book, The White Racial Frame.
No-Man's-Land by Eulah Biss found in the February 2008 issue of The Believer, Believermag.com. Subtitle: Fear, Racism, and the Historically Troubling Attitude of American Pioneers.
Join our list (upper left) so you don't miss the next edition!
Read the April 2014 e-news
Read the January 2014 e-news


Check out these videos from the 2013 Overcoming Racism conference plenaries, produced by SPNN:
Brotherhood Inc. panel discussion:
Diane Wilson keynote address:

Listen to TruthToTell's 11/19 episode, originally broadcast on KFAI radio
Overcoming Racism conference keynote speakers Dr. Rose M. Brewer & Waziyatawin and conference co-host Herbert Perkins explore decolonization and other conference themes with TTT's Andy Driscoll & Michelle Alimoradi
Listen to a conversation with the two 2011 conference keynoters and conference co-host Antonia Apolinario Wilcoxon about racial framing and the conference on Truth To Tell, KFAI Radio. Or watch the in-studio video (keynoters both participated by phone)

More info on or linked from the
2011 Conference page, including workshop and plenary information.
Lots of great photos
from the 2010 Overcoming Racism: Recognizing and Challenging the Legacies That Oppress Us conference can be found at overcomingracism.shutterfly.com/ Thanks to Miss Marie Photography for taking and sharing the photos!