Mindful of Race Training 

A call to groups and organizations committed long-term to developing racial self-awareness, mindful leadership, and cultures of belonging.

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The Call

Racism remains one of the most rooted and painful impasses of our time. It's fed through unawareness and the misuse of power. Embedded in racism is the skeletal shape of oppression. Understanding how we have been conditioned to think and react is at the root of both racial harm and racial wellbeing.

Mindful of Race Training Program

A cultural change initiative for groups and organizations

The power of the Mindful of Race Training Program is that it builds over time, supporting the development and integration of two crucial competencies: racial awareness and mindful leadership. This program unfolds over a 12-month period:

Education

A 4 1/2-day training intensive to understand the skeletal shape of racism and the flesh we put on its bones.

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Integration

A 12-month immersion supporting a shift from racial innocence and distress to racial literacy and harmony within community.

The Aim

To Understand our Racial Conditioning, its Impact, and our Potential

Together we create a vital and supportive learning community where we become more aware of our racial conditioning, discover how to deconstruct habits of harm, embody racial wellness and responsibility, and contribute to a culture of care.

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Dear Ruth, To come in to the (South Africa's Mindfulness Institute) conference as you did, at the end of a long and full day, sitting in front of a screen on the other side of the world, and to engage everyone so deeply, is extraordinary. Everyone’s attention was rapt. Your seamless weaving together of your talk with Baba Mandaza’s was exquisite. The content, the depth of insight, the clarity, the warmth that you embodied landed deeply, wholeheartedly in the room. It will not be possible to assess the impact of such a transmission, other than to let you know that I speak on behalf of the collective in expressing our deep gratitude for what you shared, and how you shared it. With immense respect, and love. ~ Dr Simon Whitesman, MBChB, Chairperson for the Institute for Mindfulness, South Africa 

Uncover - Racial Framework

Unique to this training is the infusion of the Integral Matters Framework: Thriving on Difference, developed by Drs. Barbara E. Riley and Delyte Frost of The Chambers Group, LLC. This model supports an examination of differences and its power dynamics from three levels of experience: individual, group, and institution, and the dominant and subordinated dynamics of oppression embedded in our mind that is reflected in our actions. Ruth King adapted this framework to focus exclusively on race through the lens of mindfulness-based principles and practices.

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Investigate - Mindfulness Framework

Mindfulness principles and meditation are core to this training. It helps us put a critical pause between our impulsive and often overwhelming feelings of being wronged, harmed, or threatened. In this pause, we gain perspective; we find our breath, our heartbeat, and the ground beneath our feet. This pause supports us in examining our thoughts and feelings, seeing our choices more clearly, and responding wisely. Mindfulness further supports a shift from us simply receiving information in the training to integrating awareness into our lives.

Integrate - RA Group Development Framework

The Racial Affinity Group Development framework is a mindfulness blueprint that integrates the knowledge gained in Phase 1 Training and influences a lived experience of belonging and aware leadership. Racial Affinity Groups are formed in Phase 1. Participants commit to attending 12 monthly sessions that address two distinct areas of inquiry:

  1. Investigation of our racial conditioning and kinship with members of our own race through heart-centered inquiry, and;

  2. Attention to how we create a culture of belonging while progressing through three predictable stages of group life.

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Results: The Mindful of Race Training Program allows for the rare opportunity to learn and live an experience dedicated to racial awareness and genuine connection while also ripening capacity to engage across race. In this year-long program, participants leverage learning crucial to the organization's diversity, equity, and inclusion aspirations.

Program Outcomes

The Mindful of Race Training Program allows groups and organizations to strategically and gracefully shift from racial unawareness and reactivity to racial literacy and accountability. Participants in this program develop the following awareness skills:

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Recognize

Recognize the ways in which your racial history shapes your perception of others and yourself

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Grow

Become more sensitive to your individual and racial group impact

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Awaken

Wake up to micro and macro-aggressions - your own and others

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Become

Become aware of the construction of oppression and your role in it

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Discern

Discern how mindfulness supports racial awareness and group wellbeing

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Soften

Soften the grip of anger, shame, and fear, and use discomfort to clarify intention

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Discover

Discover how your unconscious racial views are expressed in your life

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Elevate

Elevate your understanding of power and influence

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Identify

Identify your most sensitive “activation points” and tend to them with wise care

In this training, we aim our energy toward awareness, non-harming, and harmony. We experience the relief that self-awareness, honesty, vulnerability, and presence make available to us and to others. With growing awareness we recognize our kinship and innate propensity for kindness and compassion. All this while having a bit of fun!

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Is this Program for Me & My Team?

The Mindful of Race Training Program is designed for groups, teams, and organizations invested in exploring the intersections of racial self-awareness, mindfulness, and leadership, and committed to doing the inner work that supports individual deconstruction of racial conditioning. Your group need not be racially diverse to benefit from this training.

Your presence was personally meaningful to me and turned out to be "mission-critical" for the educational flow of the 4-day experience. I would go so far as to say your presentation was a "turning point" in which participants were invited into a much deeper conversation with themselves with questions and explorations that are challenging and that matter. Your contribution to The Gathering was pivotal. I appreciated your pacing. You unpacked the framework with slowness, grace, and care. There was something for me about "how" you explained the framework that was a teaching in and of itself about the value of embodying presence and communicating clearly and carefully. Thank you for coming to the Sounds True Foundation Gathering and bringing your wise and loving presence. - Tami Simon, Founder, Sounds True Publishing, September 2019

The Mindful of Race Training Program is grounded in Ruth King's popular book, Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out, her professional background in leadership and organizational development and diversity training program design, as well as her extensive experience as a mindfulness meditation teacher. Groups and organizations committed long-term to cultivating racial self-awareness and mindful leadership will be inspired to respond to this call.

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