Our Story

FREC is a collaborative (of individuals and organizations) working towards just, equitable, antiracist communities throughout Minnesota. We are committed to engagement with multiple communities and ways of knowing.

Racialized American culture is deep, vast, and unconscious. We intentionally learn about newly revealed layers of this culture as we create programs designed for folks already on the journey of self-awareness and who desire a liberated Minnesota–one free of explicit and implicit racism.

Through our annual Overcoming Racism conference, we provide a platform for national experts, numerous local thought leaders, activists and artists to help us deepen our understanding of systemic racism and inspire us to new heights of action. The Racial Equity Leadership Institute for educators and beyond provides a monthly series to unlearn and relearn our understanding of U.S. and MN history, the origins of race, whiteness, social identities, and how to handle difficult conversations. FREC also supports rural communities through the Greater MN Partnerships to strengthen local efforts focused on antiracism education and activities.

Our Values

We strive towards equitable representation in all activities and decisions. We seek to ensure the participation of those who experience the impact of racism most directly. 

Knowledge: We value lifelong/ongoing self and group learning and critical social analysis to further understand the history of white supremacy and the importance of disrupting racial structures that perpetuate it. 

Support: We support ourselves and others to navigate the challenges of antiracism work. We actively engage with those who feel the impact of white supremacy most directly, seeking their input, guidance, and honoring the wisdom of their experience. 

Inclusion: We value the voice and participation of all identities in FREC activities and decisions that have been adversely impacted by white supremacy and racism because of gender, gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, class, mental/physical abilities and national origin.

Our Goals

Create a learning community:
We share our knowledge and skills around anit-racism work with other individuals and organizations through our Overcoming racism Conference and other programs. 

Deepen our understanding of the racial domination system and colonialism: We aim to understand how they generate racist practices and white privilege, impede our efforts for racial justice, inhibit us from talking about race, and how they perpetuate themselves through culture, ideas and institutions. 

Improve our skills in countering racism and organizing for racial justice: We will learn best practices and sound theory to overcome racism, sharing models, skills, tools, approaches, programs, and practices. 

Network and promote action: We use our organizational networks to strengthen and expand our outreach, influence, and effectiveness, promoting action to dismantle racism. 

Our signature offering is the annual Overcoming Racism Conference. This graphic shows the conference themes over the past fifteen years. Click to enlarge.

Our History

FREC’s story begins with a 2008 gathering hosted by ASDIC Metamorphosis and the Cherokee Park United Church Anti-racist Team. Organizers created a two-day event to provide advanced training for antiracism facilitators.

In 2009, the organizing group expanded and created the name FREC – Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative. From the beginning, we understood FREC to be a learning community, with conference attendees as our fellow learners.

As the event grew, so did our target audience. We have expanded beyond a training opportunity for facilitators, educators, and activists. Our intended audience now includes all individuals, organizations and communities engaged in antiracism work.

As our volunteer base has grown, so have our offerings. In 2015, we launched the Leadership Institute, geared towards reaching teams of top administrative leaders — those best positioned to address institutional racism. In 2017, we added smaller community events throughout the year. That same year, we added the Greater Minnesota Initiative, to try to bridges and mutual support for those doing anti-racism work throughout the state. During the pandemic we offered the conference and the racial equity leadership institute online.

FREC has become a community with a unique culture and identity, remaining true to our origins and sense of mission. We continue to be identified with inclusive participation and practices of facilitation and transformation.

FREC continues to be a dedicated collective of organizations and individuals committed to overcoming racism in Minnesota. Please consider joining our work and help us continue to grow