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Storytelling Strategies for Dismantling Racism

  • Centilia Cultural Center 1660 South Roberto Maestas Festival Street Seattle, WA, 98144 United States (map)

Storytelling Strategies for Dismantling Racism


September 27th, 2018 | 9:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Storytelling is an ancient human technology meant to encapsulate information and build connections. We are all capable of sharing our stories and more importantly, to witnessing and hearing each other with openness and compassion.

Many of us set out with the very best of intentions but are not always able to discern how best to implement our ideals. This course will allow participants hands-on practice using the fundamentals of storytelling: intentions vs. impact, inciting action, deep listening, facing challenges, and resolution; to bring about measurable and meaningful change in their lives and at their organizations.

How can we strategically explore and dismantle problematic racial structures in our organizations using our own personal stories?

During this training, facilitators will guide participants in the following:

+ Exploring institutional narratives and the structures.

+ Practicing deep listening, especially with regards to the language of power & privilege.

+ Role-play for navigating difficult conversations.

Natasha Marin is an artist and independent consultant primarily focused on digital engagement and community building. Natasha uses social media to find, connect, and build alliances among individuals, communities, and organizations. Her work supports building sustainable communities through creative engagement, modes of connection, and methods of encounter. NONWHITEWORKS supports client-collaborators with finding your audience, sharpening messaging, and connecting with influencers who can further amplify dialogues. Marin has published, lectured, and presented around the world for a diverse audience of "doers." Her social experiment, Reparations, gained local, national, and international attention for making concepts like "leveraging privilege" more accessible to the mainstream.

Elvin Nathan Jones is called to oneness by dance and spirit. Through movement, muscle-memory, deep listening, and kinesthethic learning, Jones both embodies and escapes the fluctuating windchill of the Seattle's often rude and hella-racist "freeze." His qualifications include a history of love, gentleness, and understanding. He has also been a gay, black-identified biracial man his entire life. In his role as co-facilitator, he holds space and makes room for both the body and the spirit-- which allows for the possibility of deep transformation.

Priya Frank is the Associate Director for Community Programs at Seattle Art Museum where her focus is on partnerships, programming, and equity related initiatives. Previous work as art curator at LUCID Lounge and in advancement at the University of Washington have influenced her passion and heart for authentic community building. Priya is a member of the Seattle Arts Commission, a board member of On the Boards, and a graduate of Leadership Tomorrow’s class of 2015. She holds a B.A. in Communications and American Ethnic Studies from University of Washington Seattle and an M.A. in Cultural Studies from University of Washington Bothell.

Whether it’s through investment in institutional, corporate, academic or community arenas, Priya seeks to create space and experiences in Seattle that reflect the voices and perspectives of people of color in an authentic way. She hopes that through reciprocal, community-centered collaborations and innovative, joyful creativity, she can honor those who paved the way for her and further support pathways so that people who look like her can see themselves represented, respected, heard and heralded in all of those areas.

David Rue is a dance artist born in Liberia, and raised in Minnesota. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a bachelor of individualized studies that combined Journalism, English, and Dance. He has also worked as a freelance arts and entertainment writer for the Minneapolis based publication, The Line Media. He currently works collaboratively with Seattle-based choreographers, visual artists, and research scientists to explore the stories held within the body. David holds an MFA in Arts Leadership from Seattle University and works as the Public Programs Coordinator at Seattle Art Museum.

"When I first moved to the United States it was the early 90s, the Fugees had just come out and I was in New York, so I grew up thinking being a refugee was the coolest thing in the world. They made it so dope. I had such a sense of pride in being a West African person, a Liberian person. And I think that strength lies in wearing that as a shield of armor, never wavering, with that kind of strength because it empowers me, it's made me who I am, it's made me who I'm going to be." - on Black Bois

Fleur Larsen is a social justice and equity advocate, she strives to live in integrity with my values in all areas of my life. Her work is especially relevant to people in the 'helping professions' (e.g., teaching, medicine, non-profits). Fleurs focus is on how we can show up in authentic contribution and service by doing what is wanted and needed in this world through an equity and liberation lens. She supports my clients move from “charity burnout” to a powerful position of gratitude and contribution. Martyrdom undermines equity and the sustainability of our work.

Bert Hopkins is a racial justice educator, trainer, consultant, and the Equity & Inclusion Manager at Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. He has worked with numerous community-based nonprofits and foundations, in higher education, and for nine years as a middle school teacher and curriculum coordinator. Whether with young people or adults, the heart of this work has been opening space for the groups he works with to engage authentically and deeply in order to move from individual awareness to collective action. Bert works daily to actively leverage his privilege as a cis-male white-identified person.



Earlier Event: September 13
Leadership Skills for Workplace Diversity
Later Event: December 13
Liberated Gatekeeping for White Women