Dates: October 5–November 20, 2020
Webinars: Wednesdays, 12:00–1:30 pm ET

There’s a conversation every Black parent knows to have with their child: how to stay safe and navigate when racism arises. What’s the conversation every white person should be having—with themselves, their children, and others? We all want to live in a just, fair, and peaceful world. And getting there feels overwhelming—a societal and global problem that’s too big to handle. Yet, we must all be part of the solution: It begins with each of us and one conversation at a time.

In this 7-week online program, you will have crucial conversations with yourself and others. In doing so, you’ll come to understand what lies hidden and unseen in your own deeply rooted beliefs—and the environment they stem from. This includes our intertwined, longstanding history of white supremacy, racism, racial bias, race-based death, and mass incarceration in the United States. A safe space for open and authentic conversations, questions, and personal transformation will be mindfully protected and sustained.

The course runs from October 5—November 20, with live webinars held weekly on Wednesdays, 12:00–1:30 pm ET.

Course Objectives

The objectives of this collaborative series are as follows:

✓ Increase your awareness of your own racial views, including conscious and unconscious biases (we all have them), informed by social-psychological research on implicit biases and racism

✓ Empower you with tools and approaches for deep listening, forgiveness, and mindful engagement in difficult race conversations

✓ Experience and apply positive psychology and mind-body tools that support you in taking sustainable action with practiced patience over a lifetime, as we strive toward ending white supremacy, racism, racial bias, foster racial healing, and end race-based death

✓ Provide steps to follow that foster and build interracial trust—steps informed by interdisciplinary fields of positive psychology, law, social psychology and human and organizational development.

Who This is For

This program is for all who want to dig deeper within themselves as the path for societal change, and want to do so in a safe environment with diverse, cross-racial perspectives. People of all racial, cultural, religious, or socio-economic backgrounds are welcomed and will benefit from this course. Because those in power hold a capacity for positive change, the focus of the course will be on the needed white/European American conversation around the Black/African American experience.

Course Content

Week 1: Embracing the Unknown

Week 1: Embracing the Unknown

In this lesson, we explore our personal stories of the current state. What brought you to this conversation? What history informs your present understanding? From this narrative, storytelling approach, we enter with a beginner’s mind, embracing what we don’t know as a valid starting point. Sharing and deep listening begins the trust-building process. One conversation at a time, we honor where we are now, and our hopes about where we are heading.

In this session, you will

✓ Increase understanding of your own personal narrative, especially the meaning behind this work and why you said yes to this course

✓ Embrace the “I don’t know” mindset of a beginner, cultivating curiosity with strong motivation to stay engaged, which helps when difficulties arise

✓ Acknowledge the level of trust currently, and use our own stories to build trust between one another

✓ Practice mindful listening as an essential trust-building skill, receiving another’s truth just as it is.

Faculty: Megan McDonough and Stephen T. Redmon, PhD

Week 2: The White Challenge

Week 2: The White Challenge

There’s a history that comes with the color of your skin, whether Black, white, or any other. In this lesson, we will specifically explore white privilege, including both the unconscious and conscious role in sustaining or ending racism. Values in Action (VIA) character strengths will be introduced, with particular emphasis on bravery—the physical bravery of Black people, the psychological bravery as we uncover painful aspects within ourselves, and the moral bravery needed to speak up for what is right and good.

In this session, participants will

✓ Increase awareness of white privilege, its relationship to sustaining or ending racism, and the common mistakes well-intentioned white people often make

✓ Improve mindful, authentic action to alleviate racial suffering, addressing the gap between values and actions

✓ Use bravery to identify how you benefit from white privilege, and then make a choice for how you want to wield that power for good—either yielding power to a  Black person or person of color, and/or leveraging it towards anti-racism and social advocacy for greater racial and social justice.

Faculty: Cheri Gurse, PhD, and Stephen T. Redmon, PhD

Week 3: Building Trust

Week 3: Building Trust

Due to both historical and current events, trust levels between people of African/Black descent and European/white people have been severely damaged or destroyed. There are countless examples of strong trust between races, including deep collaboration and strong friendships; however, the overarching reality clearly shows that the foundations of trust are deeply eroded and often in critical or devastated condition. This segment will examine the importance of trust for anti-racist collaboration and provide participants with experiences and tools to begin the lifelong journey of building, repairing, and sustaining trust to combat racism and racial bias.

In this session, participants will

✓ Increase understanding about the role of trust in building a foundation to engage in productive courageous conversations about race and racism

✓ Identify trust challenges in the racial context and practice trust-building

✓ Become empowered to proactively build trust for sustained anti-racist actions

✓ Increase understanding of how to use personal inner resources and other available resources, such as powerful questions, to sustain antiracism.

Faculty: Will A. Gunn, J.D, LL.M. and Stephen T. Redmon, Ph.D.

Week 4: The Wholebeing Approach to Healing Racism

Week 4: The Wholebeing Approach to Healing Racism

We are currently living in the midst of a “horrible-wonderful” storm that includes overt racism, economic recession, and the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, people are still coping with daily stressors involving raising children and/or caring for older relatives, the state of community policing (or lack thereof), and balancing overall holistic health and well-being. Racism is both an acute and a long-term stressor that can be both passive and aggressive—and sometimes deadly. The Wholebeing approach to healing racism includes whole-person health and well-being. This means looking at all aspects of a person through SPIRE (Spiritual, Physical, Intellectual, Relational, and Emotional), informed by practices from positive psychology, yoga therapy, character strengths, and meditation, to sustain antiracist actions long term.

✓ Learn how holistic health and well-being includes addressing personal and community issues concerning race, racial bias, and racism

✓ Explore evidence-based tools from holistic medicine that can be used to boost and sustain the health and wellness of people engaged in anti-racist work 

✓ Experience yoga therapy and meditation as a Peace Practice to heal race-based trauma and promote community healing

✓ Draw on self-compassion, grit, and leveraging signature strengths as tools to eliminate racially biased and racist actions, and help heal race-based trauma.

Faculty: Hisla Bates, MD, and Stephen T. Redmon, PhD

Week 5: Resilience Tools that Fuel Courageous Conversations and Sustain Courageous Action

Week 5: Resilience Tools that Fuel Courageous Conversations and Sustain Courageous Action

The heart of this session is learning how to use resilience tools grounded in character strengths to engage in effective courageous conversations and antiracist actions. Character strengths can help us sustain effective antiracist action and empower us to overcome stress related to this work, which is often draining physically, emotionally, and spiritually. For example, character strengths such as curiosity, judgment, creativity, bravery, honesty, honesty, fairness, and love can support building trusting communications that help heal broken or damaged relationships across racial lines. This session will challenge participants to harness their best selves as the foundation for authentic and sustained conversations about race and antiracism.

In this session, participants will

✓ Learn to identify and strengthen resilience-protective factors to fuel the individual and collective resilience necessary for sustained antiracist action

✓ Explore and overcome the discomfort of personal antiracist transformation that sometimes lead to avoidance (e.g. cognitive, emotional, and behavioral)

✓ Develop personal resilience practices and toolkits to enhance endurance needed to sustain the struggle against racism.

Faculty: Uneeda Brewer and Stephen T. Redmon, PhD

Week 6: Teaching our Children by Walking the Walk: Suggestions for Modeling Diversity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism, and Respect for All

Week 6: Teaching our Children by Walking the Walk: Suggestions for Modeling Diversity, Inclusion, Anti-Racism, and Respect for All

White/European Americans are more aware than ever that this country and the world are not in a post-racial era. Recent police violence and shootings continue to disproportionately impact Black people and people of color. Parents are faced with making sense of the realities about the extent, depth, and prevalence of racism in the United States and globally. Parents are thinking more deeply about their own participation and privilege in terms of institutional racism, their racial bias, and possibly their racist actions—both conscious and unconscious. This session will provide parents with understanding, tools, and resources to help them teach their children about diversity, inclusion, and counter-racism by walking the walk.

In this session, participants will

✓ Examine how racism and racial bias influence the mindset and actions of children

✓ Understand the racist and racially biased messages that children unconsciously absorb

✓ Learn the power of parental modeling of diversity, inclusion, and counter-racism as the best way to teach children what really matters

✓ Learn how to develop action plans for raising mindful, awakened, and inclusive children.

Faculty: Benjamin Webb, MA, and Stephen T. Redmon, PhD

Week 7: Job Crafting for the Antiracist

Week 7: Job Crafting for the Antiracist

Living into anti-racism is the work of a lifetime. It’s not something you check off of your to-do list, and voila, you’re all set, thank you very much. No, the antiracist life, like any commitment, takes planning, practice, patience, and perseverance. In this session, we will integrate all that you’ve learned, and set the stage for your continued action over the long term. What does living an antiracist life look like six months from now? A year? Five years? At the end of your life? You will use the tools from positive organizational scholarship to craft your work in the world, playing your part to end social injustice.

In this session, participants will

✓ Learn job-crafting tools to reimagine, develop, and implement action plans that support ending racial bias, racism, and race-based death

✓ Integrate key concepts into that plan, including naming your strengths, spelling out your relational support system, and setting the steps you’ll use to practice forgiveness and compassion for yourself and others as we sustain antiracism.

Faculty: Stephen T. Redmon, PhD

Resources

Participants will explore and generate interdisciplinary solutions inspired by Emergent Strategy (Brown, 2017), em>Love 2.0: Creating Happiness and Health in Moments of Connection (Fredrickson, 2013), How to Be an Antiracist (Kendi, 2019), Flourish (Seligman, 2011), The Most Good You Can Do (Singer, 2015), Race Talk and The Conspiracy of Silence (Sue, 2015), Decolonizing Wealth (Villanueva, 2018), and Mindfulness for All (Kabat-Zinn, 2019).

Technology

We use Zoom for live webinars. We strongly recommend that you plan to attend each live session, as we will have breakout groups in which we practice conversations together, creating a richer experience for all. Recordings will be posted following each session for those unable to join live or who would like to review the material again.

Schedule and Time Commitment

We estimate a commitment of 3 hours per week, including a 90-minute live weekly webinar on Wednesdays from 12:00–1:30 pm ET. The course runs from October 5–November 20. The weekly webinar will be recording and posted in Wholebeing Institute’s virtual classroom, along with homework assignments and pre-work.

Lead Faculty
 
Stephen T. Redmon, PhD, was born and raised in Harlem, New York, and first became engaged in anti-racist and social justice work in his middle school years, fighting for basic human living conditions for his family and community in his Black/Latino neighborhood of Sugar Hill. Today, he is a holistic legal advisor, yoga therapist, and community servant who retired from his role as an army lawyer in 2008, and from the Department of Veterans Affairs in 2018. Stephen has served students as an educator at every level from elementary school to doctoral-level seminars and dissertation committees, at institutions including the US Military Academy, University of Maryland, and George Washington University. A certified yoga teacher currently training as a yoga therapist, Stephen has developed holistic health and wellness programs for veterans and for the general population, and has taught at Kripalu, Sivananda Ashram, and WBI's Embodied Positive Psychology Summit. He holds a PhD from Fielding Graduate University in Human and Organizational Development, a JD from North Carolina Central University, and an LLM in environmental law from Pace University School of Law.

Co-Facilitators
 

  Will Gunn is a lawyer, leadership consultant, and retired Air Force Colonel who served as the General Counsel for the US Department of Veterans Affairs during the Obama Administration. Will also served as a White House Fellow during the George H. W. Bush Administration. A 1986 cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School, where he served as president of the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, Will was selected in 2003 as the first-ever Chief Defense Counsel in the DoD Office of Military Commissions. In that position, he established an office that defended detainees brought before military commissions at the Guantanamo Prison Camp. After retiring from the military, Will served as president and CEO of Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, DC. More recently, he has served as Chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Legal Profession, and was selected to chair the ABA’s 2021 national commemoration of Law Day. Will serves as a deacon in his local church and has received numerous awards and honors, including an honorary doctorate from Nova Southeastern University Law School and the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau’s Outstanding Alumni Award.




  Megan McDonough As the founder of Wholebeing Institute, Megan leads with divergent thinking and creative perspectives to build organizations and networks that harness the best in people for the greatest good. She has decades of leadership experience in diverse settings, in roles ranging from Alliance Manager of a $300 million relationship at DuPont; to General Manager of RISE at Kripalu, the largest yoga retreat center in North America; to numerous online-learning startups. A yoga enthusiast, Megan has practiced for more than 20 years and taught for more than a decade, and brings that mindfulness practice to her leadership. Her degree in biology, natural science, and nuclear medicine has little to do with her current work, and everything to do with her radically receptive approach to life. She is the award-winning author of four books on living mindfully.




  Ben Webb is an educator, diversity and ethics consultant, and retired Army Colonel who served in the Obama Administration as the Executive Director for Policy, Planning and Requirements at US Customs and Border Protection, the nation’s largest law enforcement agency. Ben graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point with a degree in American Politics and also holds an MA in International Relations and National Security from Duke University. Later in his career, he became a strategic planner serving at the highest levels of the Pentagon on the staffs of the Chief of Staff of the US Army and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. At West Point, Ben served as the Values and Ethics Officer for the 4,000-member corps of cadets, developing programs on diversity and inclusion, ethics, and the profession of officership. Upon leaving federal service, Ben founded Phase 2 Education and Training, a multifaceted business that includes consulting, strategic planning, and diversity and inclusion work. His awards and decorations include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star, and Master Parachutist Badge.




   Dr. Hisla Bates, MD, is a board-certified, Harvard-trained pediatric and adult psychiatrist with more than 20 years of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of severe mental illness and managed care. She completed her general psychiatry training at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and her child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship at Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts General Hospital program in the Department of Psychiatry; and had additional training in Primary Care Internal Medicine at Yale School of Medicine. A graduate of WBI's Certificate in Wholebeing Positive Psychiatry, Hisla takes an integrative and holistic approach to the treatment of mental illness, integrating mindfulness, positive psychology, and the expressive and creative arts. She is the co-chair of the Art Committee for the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Hisla is also an artist and printmaker with a fashion design degree from Parsons School of Design.




    Cheri Gurse, PhD in Human Development, is an experienced and respected ally, bridge-builder, and educator. Her life path and joy centers on welcoming diverse perspectives, sharing stories, and facilitating understanding across differences. As a professional in higher education, she has substantial experience in teaching, diversity, equity and inclusion leadership, and university administration. Her scholarship interests focus on actions to effect justice, belonging, and social change. Cheri is active in many local initiatives dedicated to assistance, advocacy, equity, and justice. Currently, she teaches sociology and psychology at Antioch University; co-facilitates multiracial, multicultural groups called Heart 2 Heart, in which people can share openly about race, culture, and connecting; and participates in learning groups with other white people to deepen commitment to racial justice.




  Uneeda Brewer has more than 20 years’ experience in developing leaders in corporations and non-profit organizations. During her time at Johnson & Johnson, she held a variety of positions, including consulting director and program director in Global Talent Management, leading the design and implementation of a global mid-level executive development program. She also managed the online leadership 360-degree assessment process and provided developmental coaching for senior leaders as well as global team leaders. Uneeda is currently an independent executive coach, working with women executives employed by Fortune 100 corporations as well as leaders in not-for-profit organizations. 

A Winslow Certified Coach, she is certified in the Myers-Briggs Type Inventory, Hogan Personality Profile, the Motivation Profile, and the Leadership Preferences Inventory, and completed the accredited coach training program at Coach Inc. A graduate of WBI's Certificate in Wholebeing Positive Psychology, Uneeda holds a BA in American Studies from Goucher College and an MSW from Clark-Atlanta University School of Social Work, and is a board-certified practitioner in psychodrama, sociometry, and group psychotherapy.


Tuition for this course is $795 USD

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A portion of all proceeds will be donated to United Negro College Fund