The Social Justice Training Institute:
A Trainer and Practitioner Development Program Focusing on Race and Racism

Institute Goal

To provide diversity trainers and practitioners with an intensive laboratory experience where they can focus on their own learning and development to increase their multicultural competencies as social justice educators.

Seminar Objectives

  • To deepen understanding of the dynamics of oppression at the individual, group, cultural, and systems levels through the lens of race and racism.
  • To explore dominant and subordinated group dynamics within the system of racism.
  • To broaden understanding of the breadth and depth of institutionalized racism.
  • To examine the impact of racism on ourselves as trainers, as diversity practitioners, and on participants.
  • To explore how to manage ourselves during “triggering” events:
    identify our personal triggers and hot buttons
    explore the factors and “roots” which fuel our triggered reactions
    learn and practice strategies to manage our own triggered reactions
  • To encourage the application of learnings from this experience to other areas of oppression.


Preparing for the SJTI Experience

Participants who have gained the most from SJTI tend to come into the Institute with a foundation of skills and knowledge, including the capacity to:

  • acknowledge their racial identity and the ways they were socialized in a racial/racist society.
  • recognize common racist experiences of people of color and people who identify as biracial/multiracial.
  • understand the dynamics of white privilege and differential access to power and access based on perceived racial identity.
  • recognize how most organizations are infused with white culture and whiteness and the resulting advantages for whites and barriers for people of color and people who identify as biracial/multiracial.

Many potential participants have developed this foundational level of knowledge, skills and self-awareness through readings and attending courses, workshops, dialogue groups, and conferences. Some conferences they have found helpful include:

  • White Privilege Conference (usually held in April)
  • NCORE, National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education (usually held in late May)
  • ACPA Institute for Social Justice (held every 2 years)
  • NASPA National Multicultural Institute (held every 2 years)