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Facing Race is a multi-racial, multi-issue, intergenerational conference that highlights campaigns, projects, research and art that promotes systemic solutions to racial justice challenges. Facing Race gives attendees tools to dismantle systemic racism in their own communities.

We are soliciting proposals for interactive 90-minute breakout sessions in varied formats, eg. film screening, panel discussion, hands-on art project, or skill-building.

Each breakout session can have up to two presenters and should accommodate between 45 to 75 attendees.

Breakout Session Design Elements: Please use the checklist below as a guide in designing your Breakout Session.

Checklist for Designing Breakout Session

√  Participatory: The workshop is interactive, with lots of two-way communication between participants and presenters, including hands-on engaging activities.

Practical: The workshop offers tools, skills, and ideas that participants can use.

Systemic Analysis: Facilitators and participants analyze systems of power and the structural dimensions of racism to surface root causes and contributing factors.

√  Solutions-oriented: The workshop will offer concrete, viable and equitable solutions. They aim to change systems, shift power, and advance racial equity in our communities, cultures, and institutions. Racially equitable solutions aim to measurably and materially benefit communities of color, but can include often have positive impacts for white people as well.

Action-Oriented: The workshop will connect to active issue campaigns, grassroots community organizing, and current struggles and/or movement-building efforts.

Multiracial and Intersectional: Facilitators have a multi-racial and intersectional analysis and approach even if there is a mono-racial emphasis. A multiracial team of facilitators is also encouraged.

Intergenerational: The content is relevant to the participation of youth and young people, as well as multi-generational strategies.

Narrative-Shift: The workshop contributes to the creation and popularization of stories that highlight equitable values; the humanity and perspectives of people of color, the lived experiences and impacts of racism, multi-racial and intersectional connections, the resilience and leadership of people of color, and the benefits of racial justice.

Breakout Sessions We DON’T Want: 

X  Lectures or presentations of academic papers.

X Sessions focused primarily on the personal and interpersonal dynamics of racism.

X Workshops that emphasize “diversity” training, cultural competency, cross-racial dialogues and multi-cultural awareness—or focus more on training models than action strategies.

X Sessions by national organizations that do not have a connection to people working in local communities.

X Sessions without attention to solutions.

X Sessions by individuals not connected to, or accountable to, social justice organizations or communities.

Breakout Sessions should fit one of these tracks to be considered:

1. Narrative Arts and Culture

Narrative makes meaning of the world and inspires us to action. The arts reveal our values and visions for a racially just society. Culture moves before politics, and before policy. This track allows expansive space for storytellers, artists, journalists, media makers and world-builders to help us all think, organize, and work to build power for narrative equity and narrative justice, cultural equity and cultural justice, and racial equity and racial justice. Whether or not you identify as one who works in narrative, arts, or culture, you are engaged in it every day—and you are absolutely welcome here.

2. Institutional and Sectoral Change Track

We believe that a truly inclusive democracy is achieved when everyone can participate in the creation and sustenance of solutions that promote equity and fairness. To get there, we must understand and address how structural racism has excluded communities of color from being full participants in our society, and then change how our institutions function to be fully inclusive of people of all races. 

This track is a home for practitioners from a wide range of sectors wanting to get real about transforming how our institutions operate in order to dismantle structural racism and generate racially equitable outcomes. Sessions will focus on how people working in a variety of organizations are normalizing racial equity in their institutions, making racial equity operational in their day-to-day work, and organizing inside and outside of institutional structures to achieve more equitable outcomes.

3. Movement and Community Driven Solutions Track 

Black, indigenous,people of color, and migrant of color communities should be leading and at the center of our movement for racial justice and positioned as owners and decision-makers over the conditions that impact our lives. This track elevates leaders in our communities, explores strategies that support cross-sectoral organizing, demonstrates community accountability, highlights policy solutions that lead to more equitable outcomes, and celebrates the efforts and victories of grassroots organizing.

4. Race Identities and Innovations:

Racial identities shape our personal experiences, our community boundaries, our political movements, and our political ideas and visions. White supremacy is only one example of identity politics that create and legitimate power. Both large and small groups today use racial identity politics to organize both for and against human freedom and dignity. In spite of this knowledge, we rarely discuss identities as if they have their own past, present, and future. This track is for workshops that teach and explore the complexity of racial identities, their constant renewal and change, and their uses for racial justice organizing.

Some examples of workshops that we’re looking for:

Workshops on how we build and negotiate racial identities; how certain racial identities and communities have been constructed over time; how people of color have named and renamed ourselves on the path to liberation; about the intersections, contradictions, and overlaps in racial and other identities among our people; and lessons from the many movements and organizing traditions based in racial identities.


Please Review Race Forward's NEW Presenter Registration Information Below. 

The application includes an opportunity to apply for a need-based scholarship for transportation and lodging. 

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.