Mindful of Race Training: A call to groups and organizations committed long-term to developing self awareness, racial literacy, and collective wellbeing.
Ruth, We are immensely grateful for your invaluable contributions at this year’s CEF leadership retreat. On Monday you magically set the tone and frame for mindful, productive conversations and helped open the possibility of connections and relationships being forged on a deep, meaningful level. You also left us with practical tools to carry greater mindfulness into our daily routines. And on Tuesday morning, you gave us all a powerful, empowering framework to engage in discussions about race — and so much more— in ways that will be much more likely to be healing and advance the ball. I know I speak not only for my colleagues but also for the entire membership when I say we deeply appreciate the tremendous thought leadership and inspiring means of communicating that you shared with us. As I mentioned in my introduction to the award for Jim Rogers in discussing the power of legacy, you truly left something “in” all of us. And we are forever grateful. ~ P.J. Simmons, Chair, Corporate Eco Forum, 2019
Racism is a heart disease, AND it's curable!
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. To discern the dynamics of racism and the flesh we put on its bones is to also discern other forms of oppression and our relationship to differences, divisions, and diversity. Understanding how we have been conditioned to think and react is at the root of both racial harm and racial wellbeing.
The Mindful of Race Training Program supports an engaged exploration of our racial conditioning through a mindful lens. The power of the Mindful of Race Training Program is that it builds over time, allowing participants to genuinely connect, deepen understanding of racial conditioning, cultivate racial literacy, and integrate learning in support of wise action.
This program blends Ruth King's professional background in organizational development, leadership coaching, diversity program design, and her extensive experience as a mindfulness meditation practitioner and teacher. She is also the author of several publications including Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism from the Inside Out.
Unique to this training is the infusion of the Integral Matters™: Thriving on Difference framework, 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. Mindfulness principles and meditation are also core to this training. With mindfulness practice, we learn to stay present to what’s here and now, and to what’s difficult, with caring and wise awareness as we investigate our “individual” and “collective” racial conditioning and its “systemic” proliferation. It helps us put a critical pause between our instinctive and often overwhelming feelings of being wronged, harmed, or endangered. In this pause, we gain perspective; we find our breath, our heartbeat, and the ground beneath our feet. This pause supports us in seeing our choices more clearly and responding more wisely. Mindfulness further supports a shift from us simply receiving information in the training to integrating awareness into our lives.
The Mindful of Race Training Program is designed as a team-building experience supporting leadership awareness, racial literacy, and culture change. This developmental program unfolds over 12-months, and consists of a 4 1/2 day training for up to 20 participants, 9 Racial Affinity Group meetings, and 3 two-hour zoom sessions where insights across Racial Affinity Groups are shared and integrated. Participants in this program develop the following awareness skills:
- Recognize the ways in which our racial history shapes our perception of and actions toward others and ourselves;
- Become aware of the construction of oppression and social suffering and our role in it;
- Discover how our racial awareness is reflected in our lives;
- Become more sensitive to individual and racial group impact;
- Understand how our views impact our use of power and influence;
- Wake up to micro and macro-aggressions;
- Soften the grip of anger, guilt and fear, and use discomfort to sharpen awareness and clarify intention;
- Aim our energy toward awareness, non-harming, and harmony;
- Amend our racial narrative by becoming more intentional;
- Identify our most sensitive "activation points" and tend to them with wise care;
- Experience the relief that self-awareness, honesty, vulnerability, and presence make available to us and to others;
- Experience our kinship and innate propensity for kindness and compassion;
- All this while having a bit of fun!
Core to the Mindful of Race Training Program is the formation of Racial Affinity Groups (RA Groups), a structure that deepens understanding and integration of knowledge gained in the training. RA Groups are formed during the 4.5-day training. Participants commit to attending 9 peer-led sessions over a 12-month period responding to specific questions that deepen our understanding of racial conditioning. The quality of sharing and depth of connection experienced by each participant largely depends on how successfully each RA Group navigates three predictable stages of group life: Inclusion, Control, and Belonging. For this reason, RA Group instructions for examining both our racial conditioning and our group process are provided in the 4.5-day training.
The RA Group is a mindfulness practice. Commitment to the structure is crucial for group cohesion, focus, and growth. Learning is heightened and accelerated in RA Groups because we use each other to wake up, come out of hiding, and discover our impact on others and ourselves. In this 12-month cycle following the training, every 4th month, all RA Groups reconvene to share insights, be supported, and leverage learning. RA Groups allow for a rare opportunity to live an experience dedicated to racial awareness and genuine connection with members of our own race, while also ripening our capacity to engage across race.
The aim of the Mindful of Race Training Program is not to encourage the cosmetics of racial inclusion, the tokenism that often go with "flavors of the month" training, or to address a crisis. Rather it offers a gradual process for understanding our racial programing, 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.
Interested? Submit the Training inquiry Form.
- This training is designed for intact groups and teams, not as a public or general offering.
- Your group need not be racially diverse to benefit from this training.
- This 12-month commitment consists of:
- A 4.5-day training intensive
- 9 peer-led RA Group meetings
- 3 Integration sessions with Ruth King or Associates
Read Mindful of Race: Transforming Racism From The Inside Out prior to committing.
Click here for Space & Material Requirements
Contact up to explore training for your team!
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
Partial Client List:
Mindful of Race Training:
- Center for Equity & Inclusion, OR
- Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center, NM
- Triangle Insight Meditation Community, NC
- Durango Dharma Meditation Center, CO
- Common Ground Insight Meditation Community, Minneapolis, MN
- Insight Meditation Community of Charlottesville, VA
- Meditation Teacher Training Institute, Washington, DC
- Against The Stream, LA
- Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Community Dharma Leadership Program (CDL3) Reunion, Barre, MA
- Spirit Rock Meditation Center's Dedicated Practitioner Program (DPP), CA
- Flowering Lotus Meditation and Retreat Center, MS
Mindful of Race Keynotes:
- Corporate Eco Forum, Annual Leadership Retreat, Utah
- University of North Carolina, Wilmington
- Dan Harris Podcast, ABC News
- Clergy Collective, Charlottesville, VA
- Mindfulness Institute of South Africa
- Spirit Rock Teacher Training Program
- Goucher College, MD
- Buddhist Peace Fellowship Academy
- Chrysalis Institute, VA
- University of Virginia, VA
- Festival of the Book, Charlottesville, VA
- Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program, Sounds True
- Mindful Leadership Summit, DC
- Insight Meditation Community of Washington, DC
- San Francisco Public Defenders
- Ocean County Library, Toms River, NJ
- Sounds True Self Acceptance Summit and Mindfulness Meditation Summit
- Tricycle Magazine
- Best Self Magazine
- New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care
- Worldwide Insight
- Valley Insight, Hanover
- Cambridge Insight, Boston
- IMC of Pioneer Valley, Easthanover
- Spirit Rock Meditation Center
- Awakening Joy with James Baraz
- Sharon Salzberg Podcast
- Mind Life Institute
- International Coach Federation
Guiding a group inquiry into the intricate issues of race requires wisdom, compassion and a highly refined sense of humor. Ruth King embodies all these qualities. What she offers those willing to explore these issues is nothing short of magic. ~ Jonathan Foust, Founder, Meditation Teacher Training Institute, former president of Kripalu, and Guiding Teacher at Insight Meditation Community of Washington
Wise, compassionate, and to the point about how to work with racism on personal, group, and institutional level.
The training was clear and informative but more than that, Ruth’s skill in teasing out our understanding and growth along the path to awakening was inspired. It was a very moving experience. ~ Carolyn Stachowski, Insight On The Inside Prison Project, DC
Very insightful on major (if not the major) contemporary problem of racism. Well-structured and articulate. A great deal to reflect on, yet presented in such a way as to not be overwhelming.
Thank you for sharing your considerable wisdom, humor and truths with our Charlottesville community. I was incredibly moved by your teachings, both the message and how it was delivered. I saw so much transformation in others and myself over the course of the retreat, a transformation that I am praying will remain long enough for us to dialogue with an eye toward healing. ~ Zan Tewksbury, Director, Human Rights Commission, Office of Human Rights, Charlottesville, VA
I want to thank you for your Mindful of Race retreat at Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center. The whole experience is still alive and resonating for me. I found it to be deeply moving. Also, I appreciate the skill and care you embodied in the way you held the container. I am inspired by your example. ~ Brian Lesage, on the Teacher's Council at Spirit Rock Meditation Center
On behalf of the Common Ground Community, I want to thank you for your wise, fearless, and kind teaching and presence. You are a Dharma Treasure and we hope that it will make sense for you to continue to support us down the road. With great gratitude. ~ Mark Nunberg, Co-Founder and Guiding Teacher
I want to express my deep admiration and profound gratitude for all you brought to our training and to this work. It is so apparent that the wise, compassionate and beautiful qualities and skills that you manifest in each moment are the fruits of your practice and path as well as the result of all the supportive and transformative relationships you have cultivated along the way. Kindness wishes and deep love. ~ Scott Bryce, Triangle Insight, NC