Resources for Racial Justice in the Pioneer Valley

By Kamilah Weeks, PVGrows Contributor

Below is a list of racial justice oriented organizations and events currently active in the Pioneer Valley.

The Undoing Racism Collective of Western Massachusetts

The Undoing Racism Collective of Western Massachusetts is a community of individuals that seeks to apply the principles of “Undoing Racism” personally and professionally. UROC has organized annual Undoing Racism workshops in the Pioneer Valley for more than fifteen years and serves as a local convener for racial justice work. The Undoing Racism training, created and facilitated by The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, focuses on understanding what racism is, where it comes from, how it functions, why it persists and how it can be undone. Through dialogue, reflection, role-playing, strategic planning and presentations, the Institute’s workshops challenge participants to analyze the structures of power and privilege that hinder social equity and prepares them to be effective organizers for justice.

PVGrows partnered with Live Well Springfield, Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council and Undoing Racism Organizing Collective to co-host a special Undoing Racism workshop for PVGrows members in Spring 2014.  The intention of this collaboration is to create and sustain a more just and vibrant region in which people in food- and health-related fields can continue to support and challenge each other over the long term.  To get involved, join the Race & the Food System Working Group here.


The Interaction Institute for Social Change: Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work

The Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work is a training session created for people who are looking for new ways to facilitate dialogue and action to deal with racism and pursue racial justice. It aims to teach participants to work with people who have different understandings of the issues, different lived experiences and different notions about what to do. If you have ever been stopped in your tracks by a meeting participant’s comment, asking yourself, “What’s the best way to handle this? Should I answer the question? Get the person to talk more? Get the group to handle the issue? Something else entirely?” then this facilitation training is for you.

The Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work’s two day “learning laboratory” explores a variety of collaborative methods that will enable participants to foster engagement, participation and authentic connections that yield productive conversations and solid agreements.

This workshop is designed for participants who have a strong working familiarity with racial justice concepts such as institutional and structural racism, racial justice framing and privilege. The workshop assumes this working knowledge and is not an appropriate learning environment for individuals for whom this is new material.

Starr Global Learning Network: Glasswing Racial Healing Workshop

Glasswing, a component of the Starr Global Learning Network, provides specific trainings and experiences in racial healing and racial equity. It provides a lens through which participants can see and understand each other more clearly without the barriers of skin color and the distortions of prejudice. Glasswing’s racial healing sessions can be viewed as an important step for communities and organizations striving to deal with issues of diversity, tolerance, and multiculturalism; and to address structural and/or systemic racism. Glasswing sessions help people understand how everyone in our society is conditioned and affected by racism, facilitate in people the internalization of the reality of the oneness of our human family, and prepare individuals to be forces for unity in their communities, families, and organizations.


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