RTRW 2022 Conference Agenda

Not able to make it to a certain workshop? Register ahead and we’ll send you a copy of the recording post-conference.


Monday, August 22, 2022:

RTRW 2022 Kick-Off & Foundational Workshops


9:00 – 10:00am | RTRW Kickoff, Welcome to RTRW

Join Racial Truth & Reconciliation VA Coalition Chair, Kristin Lennox, to learn more about the origins, mission, and future opportunities within the RTRVA Coalition. This workshop will also introduce the practices of Land Acknowledgments and Diversity Welcomes that will be modeled throughout the week.

Presenters: Kristin Lennox from Voices for Virginia’s Children




11:00 – 12:30pm | The Great Backlash

Presenter: Sarah Milston




1:00 – 2:30pm | When The Time Is White: Performativity Amidst Social Justice Movements

Why was the year 2020 the rise of white empathy and passion for social justice? We all have heard of the murder of Emmet Till in 1955, the brutal beating of Rodney King in 1991, the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012. The timeline lives on until the most recent murder of Malachi Carroll in Henrico, Virginia July 14, 2022. This workshop will propose ways in which what is just and right is often dependent upon the white timing of empathy for social justice. It will further explore the root causes of the way in which the white dominant cultural norm surveillances social justice, and the outcomes in which it leads to. Furthermore, we will explore symptoms of internalized racism and oppression and ways in which people of color also conform to the white dominant cultural norm. We will close in actionable tools to avoid the trendiness and performativity of social justice movements and strategies to overcoming whiteness. You are encouraged to register for the Good Troublemaking- Strategies for Professionals, Organizations, and Community Leaders workshop to delve into deeper actionable steps following this presentation. This presentation is offered through Transformative Change LLC’s Woke Literacy Institute. For more information on the Chlo’e Edwards Brands, visit www.ChloeIEdwards.com.

Presenter: Chlo’e Edwards




3:00 – 4:30pm | When Cultural Competency and Intersectionality Backfire

As more and more individuals gain an understanding of intersectionality and aim for inclusivity we must stop and ask ourselves if our efforts have unintended consequences. In my experience navigating higher education and non profit organizations as a working professional I have seen well intentioned efforts cause harm. This program is intended to raise awareness about such unintended consequences as well as open up a dialogue about forms of liberal white supremacy. The program will be interactive with room for discussion, reflection, and act.

Presenter: Veronica Quinonez




Tuesday, August 23, 2022:

Good Troublemaking: Necessary Trouble to Enact Change


9:00 – 10:30am | How to Raise Children to be Social Justice Advocates

Social Sciences suggest that children start to notice race-based differences as early as 4-6 months of age. This workshop will discuss psychological scientific principles that inform identity-development, socialization practices, and implicit bias development/ The training will provide actionable tips and suggestions on how to incorporate racial socialization into daily lives and ways to promote discussions of inclusivity within the home.

Presenter: Dr. Anjali Ferguson




11:00 – 12:30pm | Allyship: Why, When, and How to Use One’s Privilege in Support of Others

A discussion of how people can use their privilege in a given moment to support others with less safety and privilege in that situation. This can feel scary or awkward, but it’s something that becomes easier with practice. A person could be an ally in one situation but need an ally in another. We’ll discuss being on both sides of allyship–and what to do if you fear, flounder, or fail.

Presenters: Briana Green, Valerie L’Herrou & Ali Faruk




1:00 – 2:30pm | Good Troublemaking – For Organizations, Professionals, & Community Leaders

Good Trouble highlights the rhetorical tension between “Good” and “Trouble.” This is a tension that has been replicated itself across decades and is grounded in the legacy of civil rights activities making intentional acts of troublemaking to dismantle unjust and oppressive laws, policies, and practices. Good Trouble is referred to as the process of finding a way to get in trouble or necessary trouble to disrupt, to protest, to interrupt, to persist, a legacy, one in which Congressman John Lewis carried in his own work. When the activist body takes up space, resistance may occur. Oppression is felt and lived in the way in which the activist physically moves through the world. Therefore, the process of Troubling refers to the process of continuous action. While many have heard the trendy term, little know good troublemaking is a theory, thus we will dive into realistic ways to implement good troublemaking in action and ways to resist the status quo within your work, institutions, and communities. The goal is to promote and aspiration in developing solutions to systemic issues endured day-to-day. What does good troublemaking look like within your institution, and what are ways in which youth shake up good trouble in their schools? Do they get in trouble for it? We will explore concepts related to equity detours and resistance to give participants more tools in their toolbox.

Presenter: Chlo’e Edwards




3:00 – 5:00pm | Reproductive Justice – Then and Now

Reproductive rights have been under attack, and through the overturning of Roe v. Wade we have witnessed the intersectional ways in which people of color and queer and/or trans folx experience significant harm when denied access. As we advocate for reproductive justice in Virginia, it is important to understand the history and context to inform and sustain the courageous work ahead. Join reproductive justice advocates, Kenda Sutton-EL and Reed Bohn, for a candid discussion on where we have been, where we need to go, and how we can get there – together. 

Presenters: Kenda Sutton-EL & Reed Bohn




Wednesday, August 24, 2022:

Voices of Virginia’s Future


9:00 – 10:30am | Youth Voice and Mental Health

What happens when youth programs center youth voice and mental health? In this presentation, you will hear from three lived experience experts – people who have participated in local youth programs and now run their own programs – about how to create youth-centered spaces where young people feel they can express themselves and be heard. Presenters, Peace Bowles and Shakirah Jones, will describe the development of Virginia Community Voice’s YEER program (Youth Empowerment through Eviction Research) program. YEER is a youth participatory action research project for young leaders that focuses on evictions and mental health on Richmond’s Southside. Youth advocate and current YEER participant Jamara Harvey will also share how their experience in YEER has inspired them to develop their own mental health program for young girls in Richmond’s East End, called The Mara Diaries. Together, presenters will demonstrate the powerful impact of listening and centering the voices of young people in the design of youth projects and the ripple effect this has when program participants go on to become program leaders themselves.

Presenters: Peace Bowles, Jamara Harvey, & Shakirah Jones




11:00 – 12:30pm | Parenting an Activist: Supporting Young Changemakers

Young people are taking charge and speaking out against injustice more and more. Listen in as three mothers discuss challenges, joys, and all that it takes to raise and support young changemakers and activists.

Panelists: Jessica Lee (Elijah’s mom), Amanda Lynch (Ava’s mom), Ann Zweckbronner (Grace’s mom)




1:00 – 2:30pm | Re-imagining DEI: Using Self-Reflection to Build a Better Future

Join a diverse group of change agents as a young advocate reflects on his own experiences and shares his nationally recognized speech on the failure of DEI to meet the transformative needs of our communities. Based on the ideas presented, attendees will participate in reflective and curious conversations with the co-facilitators. Finally, participants will be provided with a framework for building belonging in their personal lives and organizations. Conversations will center in Shawn Ginwright’s first Pivot from his book The Four Pivots (“From Lens to Mirror”) as well as reference john a. powell’s research on Belonging.

Presenters: Ruth Frierson, Levi James, Leanne Lytle & Jennifer Murphy-James




3:00 – 4:30pm | A Movement, Not a Moment: Young Leaders in Change

In an increasingly divisive and politically-charged world, young people are finding power in their stories and speaking truth to power to improve their schools, communities, and livelihoods. Join this youth-led panel of young activists and changemakers to hear how we as adults can support young people as allies and advocates.

Moderated by Elijah Lee with members of our 2022 Youth Advocacy Cohort



Thursday, August 25, 2022:

Organizational Change: Reckoning & Reconciling Our Truth


9:00 – 10:30am | Creating a Culture of Equity & Inclusion in the Workplace – A Practical Approach

Creating a Culture of Equity & Inclusion in the Workplace – A Practical Approach. Over the past 4-5 years, CHS has, through a committee named DITTO, strategically built a foundation of equity and inclusion throughout the agency. Through collaborations, trainings and teamwork has increased the diversity of both staff and board, adjusted policies, increased trainings and created an infrastructure to ensure diversity, inclusion and equity remain forefront for the agency. This presentation will discuss the strategic approach taken, the hurdles that had to be overcome, the lessons learned and the successes achieved through this strategic approach. Overall, this approach has benefited staff, board and most importantly, the clients served by our agency.

Presenters: Children’s Home Society of Virginia




11:00 – 12:30pm | Equity Ain’t Free

In the last two years, organizations have been called on to increase their diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. But at what cost? Join Voices team members as they discuss the financial and emotional burdens of equity work and share recommendations from lessons learned.

Presenters: Cynthia Coleman, Allison Gilbreath, & Kristin Lennox




1:00 – 2:30pm | Healing-Centered Engagement 101

Trauma-informed care continues to become a prevalent approach in schools and agencies that serve young people who have been exposed to trauma. However, while trauma-informed care offers an important lens to supporting young people who have been harmed, it also has limitations. People are more than what has happened to them. People are more than their trauma. Healing-centered engagement, founded by Dr. Shawn Ginwright, is an asset-based approach that recognizes people are not harmed in a vacuum. A healing centered approach to addressing trauma requires a different question that moves beyond “what happened to you” to “what’s right with you” and views those exposed to trauma as agents in the creation of their own well-being rather than victims of traumatic events. This approach is holistic, involving culture, spirituality, civic action, and collective healing. It views trauma, not simply as an individual isolated experience, but rather highlights the ways in which trauma and healing are experienced collectively. Learn more about this approach from a cohort of practitioners practicing healing-centered engagement in their personal lives in addition to their professions.

Presenters: Ram Bhagat, Christina Bowman-Peterson, Chlo’e Edwards & Trey Hartt




3:00 – 5:00pm | Introduction to Equitable Community Engagement & Decision-Making

Virginia Community Voice offers organizational leaders a simple framework for how to equitably make decisions, and engage in communities of color and with historically marginalized groups. In this two-hour training, participants will: Learn about the four stages of the Community Voice model of engagement: Listen, Connect, Craft, and Reflect Reflect on their own experiences making decisions about and engaging people in historically marginalized communities Consider the difference between intent vs. impact in our volunteerism, research, investments, or programming Learn strategies for maximizing impact and minimizing harm in decision-making and engagement.

Presenter: Florencia Fuensalida




Friday, August 26, 2022:

Allyship in Action: Practical Application


9:00 – 10:30am | Innocence Erased: Intersections of DEI & Child Protection

How do program practices and unconscious biases undermine innocence and contribute to the myths of a universal child or a perfect victim? How can we work around our strongest bias, our own lived experience, to reshape our approaches and accommodate diversity? As child advocates we must explore and internalize the linkage between child protection and diversity, equity, and inclusion. Not only because when our most vulnerable are made safe, all children are safer, but because we are too often certain of our impartiality and unaware of the impact of individual and system biases. If you join our interactive deep dive into the intersection of DEI and child protection you will:

  • Understand the myths of the universal child and the perfect victim.
  • Explore your own intersectional strengths.
  • Identify features of age compression, adultification bias, and adultism and their impact on child protection.
  • Engage in reflective conversations and planning with colleagues around how DEI informs child protection and vice versa.

Presenters: Kristin Lennox & Laurie Tasharski




11:00 – 12:30pm | Now What? Allyship in Action & the Pledge to End Racism

This workshop will present ideas and strategies for how to apply an anti-racist, pro-belonging, pro-healing lens to your personal and professional lives, including introducing you to the Pledge to End Racism. Based on the Birmingham Pledge, the Pledge to End Racism is a personal commitment to work on ourselves and with others to address racism in all its forms. It invites conversation and action. Workshop attendees will have time to reflect together and individually on their take aways from Racial Truth & Reconciliation Week, and be guided to identify their own actionable commitments to help end racism in their community.

Presenters: Sheryl Johnson & Kristin Lennox




1:00 – 2:30pm | DEI Inquiry Project: Questions for Educators and Leaders

Policies, created by “others” and implemented by practitioners in community, are not always useful in action. Practitioners are not able to change policies to best support the changing needs of the children and families in our care. Now, we have a system of inquiry that allows communities to recognize, advocate for, and implement (policies and programs) that will reduce racial inequities and improve success for all. The DEI Inquiry Project incorporates the action research in our classrooms and communities, engagement of families, children, teachers, staff, and community partners, and our educational love of questions! it is our collective goal to develop experiences, programs, and policies with thoughtful consideration of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We have developed and implemented the DEI Inquiry Project. We found that when DEI concepts are not explicitly brought into operations and decision-making, inequities are likely to be perpetuated. This process provides a structure for institutionalizing the consideration of diversity, equity, and inclusion. Join me as we discuss ways we can use this series of questioning to further the work in all of our communities. There will be discussions and opportunities to share with other leaders and practitioners. There is no one answer – just good questions.

Presenter: Susan Keightley, M.Ed





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