Invitation to Join

Invitation to Join

by | Jul 8, 2020 | Updates | 0 comments

Dear Dance Community,

Our Founder and Executive Director, Emily Running, is an active member of Cohort 1 of the White Arts Leaders Confronting Racism group started as an ally group for Arts Workers for Equity.

This is an invitation to join cohort 2! DEADLINE JULY 15, 2020

About the group
This group is a peer-to-peer learning journey. Jenny, our facilitator, will guide us through an arc of learning over the course of six months. The hope is that we build a sense of connection and rapport so that people are able to be vulnerable and real with each other in a “brave space.” This work is deeply personal. It is also interpersonal, organizational and systemic — and we will weave it all.

Focus areas and activities will include:
* Facilitated reflection: learning from our personal journeys with racism.
* Pattern mapping: what are the trends, systems and stories that we keep running into in this work?
* Arts focus: how does racism show up in the arts? How have groups worked with these dynamics? Where do you have leverage to make change?
* Deep dives: We will pick two topics to focus on for the six months. We will assign homework to learn about those topics, with a focus on hearing from authors of color. We will also invite participants to bring a personal challenge or organizational conundrum specific to that topic so that we can learn from and support each other’s current questions.

* Attend all six monthly sessions (August – January). If something comes up and you have to miss one, you would commit to finding out what the conversation was about and doing some kind of homework (that Jenny would suggest) to keep practicing the work. There is a strong expectation of full and active participation in the six month journey.
* Participate in as open, authentic, personal and vulnerable way you can – this work is about changing ourselves internally as much as it is about changing the world.
* Do homework: some kind of reading or reflection activity.
* Offer compensation: we want this to be accessible to everyone who wants to participate, and we want to value Jenny’s time planning and running these meetings. We also want to value our counterpart group, the AWE BIPOC affinity group, and as such we will be splitting the money we bring in 50/50 with them. Suggestion is $300 for the six months, and if you are unable to pay this amount we are happy to work together so that you can participate at a level you can give.

Optional addition: book group
Both cohorts will be invited to join a shared book group that will meet every other week. Once we know who wants to participate we will choose the book and timing.

How to join
Please fill out this application by July 15th to share with us your interest and availability. We will let you know the last week of July if you are invited to join and which day the group will meet.

Please email Kirsten Collins at or our facilitator Jenny Leis at

About the facilitator:  Jenny Leis is a white, Jewish, middle class woman and professional facilitator but not a formal trainer around equity, diversity, inclusion, white anti-racism work. She is, however, immersed in her white anti-racist journey and has years of lived experience with this work within a non-profit organization, communal land project (with two residential collectives, one specifically for people of color and currently populated mostly by Native people) and informal groups/friend circles. She is not part of an arts organization; her work for the past 19 years in Portland has been based in neighborhood community organizing, forest conservation, fundraising, sustainability education, cooperative businesses and grassroots social change. She is now a full time group facilitator and consultant. Jenny brings enthusiasm and compassion for this work, and her style is based on interactive and visual activities, reflection and learning from each other.

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