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ERIC Number: EJ1024045
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1089-5701
Our Pathway toward Healing Racism
Honour, Robert
Reclaiming Children and Youth, v22 n1 p46-49 Spr 2013
In this article, Robert Honour, Training and Staff Development Manager, at the Fairfax, Virginia, Department of Family Services (DFS), reports on the outcome of "Healing Racism" training at his organization. Participants in "Healing Racism Institutes" are transforming relationships and creating an organizational culture that embraces and celebrates the oneness of humankind. This was the shared experience of the staff at the Fairfax, Virginia, DFS. Every individual struggles with unproductive messages about race passed on from the larger society. This hits hardest on children and youth who lack the life experience to understand the context and the ability to respond with maturity. DFS Director Nannette Bowler suggested sending a number of senior employees to the "Healing Racism" workshop at Starr Commonwealth in Michigan. This led to the decision to work with Starr to implement "Healing Racism" training across the department, which involved 1,700 employees working in multiple locations. DFS built on the two-day core training by following up with six weekly 90-minute small-group guided discussions. Participants explored topics such as the presence of racism today; microaggressions, the small, often unintentional interactions that are harmful; and unconscious associations that can impact interactions with others perceived as different. Evaluations show that about 85 percent of participants found "Healing Racism" and its follow-up discussions helpful. The remaining 15 percent did not embrace the "Healing Racism" experience for several reasons. Some simply resent mandatory training. Others wanted training to expand its focus beyond the "black-white" racism in a county with growing diversity. The DFS staff appreciated the overall experiences and received eight practical suggestions on countering racism by embracing the oneness of humankind.
Reclaiming Children and Youth. PO Box 57 104 N Main Street, Lennox, SD 57039. Tel: 605-647-2532; Fax: 605-647-5212; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Virginia
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A