Overcoming Racism: Disrupt Racism As Usual
October 28-29, 2016
At Metropolitan State University in St. Paul
Workshop descriptions & schedule - including resources from many workshops shared by presenters!

Friday opening:
Link to video

Friday keynote:
Ricardo Levins-Morales is a nationally recognized artist and activist, who went from drawing chickens on his small farm in Puerto Rico as a young boy to becoming deeply involved in political movements such as the Black Panthers and anti-war efforts in the ‘60s and ‘70s. His art and writing grow out of his relationships with communities and movements in the struggle for a more livable world. Ricardo will also sell his art throughout the conference. Link to video

Friday Panel:
Disruptors from the Muslim, Hispanic/Latino, Hmong, Native American and African American communities. Link to video

Friday performance: Guante
Link to video

Friday evening: Stick around for our
free film and discussion event: The Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution. Invite others, too!

Breaking Ice is a powerful and dynamic customized theatrical experience created by Pillsbury House Theater that challenges participants to examine some of the assumptions, biases, and disparities in our selves and our communities. Breaking Ice promotes justice and equity by instigating dialogue about difficult issues and inspiring our audiences to take action to undo racism and injustice. NO video of performance. Link to video of Saturday opening

“If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination, we accept the responsibility ourselves. We should, therefore, protest openly everything ... that smacks of discrimination or slander.” Mary McLeod Bethune, 1944
“I think we have to own the fears that we have of each other, and then, in some practical way, some daily way, figure out how to see people differently than the way we were brought up to.” Alice Walker, 1982
If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” Aboriginal activists group, 1970s*
*This quote is often attributed to Lilla Watson. However, Ms. Watson has said of this quote that she was "not comfortable being credited for something that had been born of a collective process" and prefers that it be credited to "Aboriginal activists group, Queensland, 1970s.” (Wikipedia.) Ms. Watson used this quote in a speech given at the 1985 United Nations Decade for Women Conference in Nairobi.

This year’s conference theme is Disrupt Racism as Usual. Too many people feel powerless and need specific ideas and encouragement to act. Some might get paralyzed by fear, equating “disrupting” with “violence.”

This conference will empower participants to understand how they can disrupt racism in ways that makes sense in the context of their own lives. It will give people concrete ways to disrupt racism in our communities, our institutions and ourselves, along with the context of why we need to disrupt racism and inspiration for action.

Each day will include a full slate of workshops providing opportunities to reflect, connect and commit! - See below for detailed schedule.

2016 Overcoming Racism Conference Learning Objectives
Participants will:
  • Understand 1) Why we need to disrupt racism; 2) Disruption is not synonymous with physical violence, and 3) The white racial frame uses fear of violence as a barrier to action.
  • Know what it looks like to “disrupt” and what it requires of individuals and organizations.
  • Learn about the work that many individuals and organizations are doing right now in our community to Disrupt Racism as Usual.
  • Practice different skills so when “Racism as Usual” comes up in our daily lives, we can disrupt with confidence and be prepared for the inevitable push back.
  • Make connections with individuals and/or organizations at the conference working to disrupt racism as usual.
  • Be inspired to develop our own plans to disrupt racism as usual.

We recognize that the indigenous peoples of Turtle Island (“North America”) are the rightful occupants of this land and have a pre-existing right to be at the conference. Therefore, indigenous people are not asked to pay registration fees for the Overcoming Racism conference. We do ask that you register for planning purposes.

Friday, October 28, 2016
7:30 AM Doors open.
8:00 AM Dakota drumming & singing: Standing Bull Singers
8:20 AM Sage blessing: Dr. Cecil White Hat
8:40 AM MCs welcome
8:45 AM Metro State welcome
8:50 AM MCs provide brief history of FREC
9:00 AM Dramatic reading: Letter from Birmingham Jail
9:10 AM MCs introduce keynote speakers and panel.
9:15 AM Keynote: Ricardo Levins-Morales
10:00 AM Break
10:15 AM 'Disruptors' video introductions
10:45 AM Disruptors Panel: LeMoine LaPointe, Rashad Turner, Saciido Shaie, Amelia Gonzalez Avalos, Pakou Hang (video only)
12:00 lunch - pick up box lunch in New Main Great Hall
12:20-12:40 Performance by Guante in FH Auditorium
1:15 PM A Workshops/breakout sessions (1:15-2:45 PM)
3:00 PM B Workshops/breakout sessions (3:00-4:30 PM)
5:30 PM Free film and discussion:
The Black Panthers, Vanguard of the Revolution Pizza at 5:00, film at 5:30, discussion 7-8 pm

Saturday, October 29, 2016
8:30 AM Doors open.
9:00 AM Dakota drumming & singing: Standing Bull Singers
9:20 AM Sage blessing: Dr. Cecil White Hat
9:40 AM MCs welcome and introduce the morning session
9:45 AM Keynote performance: Breaking Ice by Pillsbury House Theater
11:30 AM Lunch
12:30 PM C Workshops/breakout sessions (12:30-2:00 PM)
2:15 PM D Workshops/breakout sessions (2:15-3:45 PM)
4:00 PM Reception & guided tour of Changing America exhibit

Workshop descriptions & schedule