Building bridges between various communities is the heart of community renewal. Coalitions are the result of leaders seeing in each other an ally for their own self interest. In our racialized and ethnically polarized urban, suburban and rural communities, Racial Sobriety is a tool and process to end the “stinking thinking” or racisms of all sorts. The approach traces the historical realities that have pitted people against one another.
It has been used across the country by leaders of various racial and ethnic groups to re-engagement their efforts for building unity. The racial sobriety approach offers time for personal reflection, small dialogue groups and group reporting to the larger circle facilitates and intensifies social transformation. The Racial History Journal process is an experience of sharing one’s journey of racial awareness in a non-threatening way. All the participants will feel bonded and transformed in their experience of breaking the “Don’t Talk” rule which makes it a taboo to talk about race. This shared experience of racial sobriety becomes a foundational experience for a future of open and authentic conversation on a range of issues. Subsequent programming is available for a five step building bridges protocol to support ongoing racial, ethnic and cultural coalitions.

Every community has unique needs. The initial programs listed below have proved successful across the country.

Introduction to Racial Sobriety®

This facilitated workshop introduces the audience to a unifying approach to begin the conversation on racisms. The experience includes the explanation of the three elements of talking about racism that brings on anxiety; facilitates a discussion of finding one’s own “voice” in the conversation on racial issues; allows for a discovery of one’s Racial History Journal; and introduces other instruments for continuing one’s understanding of the Racial Sobriety approach.
A brief introduction is a two hour program; while a full introduction is a four hour program.

Racial Sobriety and Working Groups

This six hour workshop takes the Racial Sobriety® approach and demonstrates its use with committees, task forces and other forms of working groups who are entrusted with bettering racial and ethnic relations for their respective communities or organizations. This program includes the Introduction to Racial Sobriety and develops from this core approach its applications for social and organizational transformation.

Executive Leadership Training

This is a 12 hour workshop aimed at leaders who need a tool to get the organization on the "same page" in their conversation on race, ethnic issues. It offers a benefit paradigm so as to move away from a anxiety/guilt model as a motivation for Racial Sobriety®. The leaders will develop their “voice” of racial sobriety as a personal compass to feel their way within their organization or group, and tools to direct a conversation that many would rather not have. The outcome of the training is to equip leadership with the tools to construct a culture of racial sobriety for their educational institutions.

Building Bridges Between Racial, Ethnic, Religious,
Class and Cultural Groups

This learning and training program has been used for ten years across the country. The process has been designed for community use and national conferencing. The protocol involves five processes to constructing a common understanding of how coalition building and cross racial/ethnic/religious/cultural dialogue can be initiated and sustain. The training involves goal setting, vision statement and strategy. The learning involves self reflection, dialoguing, group planning and the sharing of vision. The length of the training is determined by the goals that the group would like to attain.


© Institute for Recovery from Racisms, 2002 - 2018



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