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Professional Development Programs for Educators


Integrated classroom at Anacostia High School

Unpacking Ourselves: A Discussion of Race

Due to the nature of the content, this program is designed to be a two-part series. Attendance to both is required.

How can we help both students of color and white students develop healthy racial identities, for their own sake and as future citizens in a society with unhealthy divides? How do our own racial identities and attitudes inform our collegial interaction and classroom practices? How can we teach searing history, such as the history of enslavement or of immigration, with honesty and integrity?

A two-part program that will examine educators’ own racial norms, explore students’ racial development stages and discuss ways that educators can speak more confidently about race and its legacy in American history. These workshops are designed to be relevant for both teachers of color and for white teachers as well as teachers of all grade levels.

Educators who complete both sections of the program will receive specially selected materials for their own use and to support their work in the classroom.

Discussing Race as Educators (Part One) –
Date: Saturday, April 12, 2014
Location: Hill Center at the Old Naval Hospital, Washington, D.C.
Time: 9:30am-4: 00pm (doors open at 9:00am)
Lunch will be provided

Educators will think deeply about their experiences and attitudes about race, racism, and history, how they process and understand race and ethnic difference, and what they convey, consciously and unconsciously, to students.

This is a safe space to explore your wisdom, your baggage, your fears, and your hopes. Race and racism can be polarizing, so how can we support each other to grow in our wisdom so we can navigate these waters more deftly and explicitly with our students? We will address this question, and others, by drawing on recent research, focusing on cultivating emotional intelligence, and by calling on each of our highest selves.

Participants will work with experts in racial equity and healing to explore their own racial identity and investigate how racial awareness is developed in students. The workshop will involve self-reflection, conversation, interactive exercises, media clips, and readings. Wherever you are on your journey, this workshop will invite you to the next chapter.

What to bring:
Participants are encouraged to bring an open mind, willing spirit, and zest for introspection!

The event venue is equipped with Wi-Fi access so laptops and other devices are welcome. Notepaper, pens and any other general supplies will be provided.

Please wear comfortable clothing and shoes; no need for professional attire.

Reminder: We have carefully scaffolded the agendas for Parts One and Two to provide a thoughtful and engaging experience. Thus, participants should be able to commit to the full program for both Parts One and Two.

Program Facilitators

Juanita C. Brown

  • Principal, Juanita Capri Brown & Associates
    Co-Producer, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North
    Education Program Officer, Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery

    Juanita Capri Brown specializes in racial equity, racial healing, and strategic engagement. Based in Oakland, California, her societal equity consulting practice supports educational institutions, school districts, non-profits, government agencies, and local communities across the nation to undertake breakthrough dialogues and processes. Her clients include Starr Commonwealth youth development organization, school districts in the Midwest, and the Environmental Protection Agency. Her work results in executives, faculty, students and staff having greater capacity to cultivate more equitable systems and restorative relationships in their context.

    Juanita Brown
    Juanita appears in the Emmy-nominated PBS documentary, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North, and as the film’s co-producer, was instrumental in designing the film’s racial dialogues. After the film’s debut, she co-founded the Tracing Center and served on its founding board of directors. Today, Juanita is a speaker and facilitator for Tracing Center programs on racial healing and equity, and plays a key role in the design of the center’s school programs, educator workshops, and general public programs. She is also a certified lead facilitator and curriculum developer for the Glasswing Institute for Racial Healing at Starr Commonwealth of Albion, Michigan. She supports the nonprofit organization National Equity Project in its strategic racial equity efforts in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Juanita received her undergraduate degree from Stanford and her master’s in public policy (concentration: education policy) from UC Berkeley.

Katrina Browne

  • Producer/Director, Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North
    Founder, The Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery

    Katrina Browne
    Traces of the Trade (PBS: 2008) is a critically acclaimed, Emmy-nominated documentary chronicling a family journey to retrace the Triangle Trade that Browne initiated upon discovering that her New England ancestors were the largest slave trading family in U.S. history. Over the last six years Browne and her cousins and colleagues have presented the film for dialogue and education at hundreds of schools, universities, museums, professional conferences, faith communities, workplaces, etc. in the U.S. and abroad. To deepen the impact, Katrina co-founded the Tracing Center on Histories and Legacies of Slavery in 2010 and served as its first executive director. Among the Center’s programs that she initiated are teacher trainings on how to teach slavery in a way that advances all students’ healthy development in a racialized society. She is a recognized leader in inspiring white Americans to embrace racial equity and healing work, having generated funding from the Kellogg Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and many others. Previously, Katrina co-founded Public Allies, an AmeriCorps program now operating in twenty-one cities. She has a master’s in theology from the Pacific School of Religion. 


  • “I wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed today's session. In all honesty (and I truly mean this) what you put on from 9-5 was the best workshop I have ever attended (and I have attended a ton of these things over the last 7 years!). ”
    –Teacher/attendee, Tracing Center professional development workshop on teaching slavery

    “Because of the difficult road she has followed while working on the project, Ms. Browne approached the lesson with gravity, passion, and honesty that grabbed everyone's attention and respect. She adeptly guided the students and faculty through the stages of grief all within an hour, and no one seemed to notice how smoothly it was done!”
    --Timothy B. Weymouth, Upper School Director, St. Peter's School

    “Ms. Brown's keen insights and analysis together with pertinent data backed by cited research made her exceptionally compelling: She made the material come alive by making it highly relevant to our lives. She gracefully weaved difficult subjects with personal testimony in a manner that welcomed questions and conversation. People were moved deeply and left with new and meaningful understanding about how to grapple with racial and societal equity issues, their own relationship to these issues, and food for thought about their own patterns of thinking and judging.”
    – Polly Moore, President, American Association of University Women, Albion, MI Chapter


******************** Save the Date *********************

Discussing Race in the Classroom (Part Two)

Dates: Wednesday, June 18, 2014 (Grades PreK-6)
Location: Downtown Washington, DC
Time: 4pm-7pm


Thursday, June 19, 2014 (Grades 7-12)
Location: Downtown Washington, DC
Time: 4pm-7pm

Educators will work with classroom practitioners to discuss and plan strategies for engaging in racial discussions with students within the classroom setting, whether through history classes or any classroom subject. This half of the program will allow teachers to use the knowledge of racial development theory to consider age-appropriate methods for use in K-12 classrooms. Educators should leave this half of the program with a stronger understanding of the ways that their use of language, racial viewpoints and approaches can affect their students' internal notions about race.

PREREQUISITE: Full attendance and participation in Part One. Registration for Part Two will be sent via email.

Registration for Part Two will be sent upon completion of Part One.