Institute for Healing Racism
About the Program
Over the years, racism has become one of several highly sensitive topics that people avoid talking about in public. The sad truth is that racism happens every day, whether or not we choose to discuss it with our peers or coworkers. This silence likely even perpetuates racism, encouraging ignorance through a lack of understanding.
Racism can assume many forms. Whether it’s the explicit judgment of others because of skin color, telling a bad joke in the break room, or more subtle versions where the person doesn’t even realize they carry an implicit bias – like assuming someone is less qualified for a job.
To the Grand Rapids Chamber, racism is a disease – and like many other diseases, there is a cure. The Chamber believes the most effective way to combat racism is to educate individuals by use of honest and open dialogue.
The Institute for Healing Racism is an opportunity to start this dialogue by bringing racism to the forefront of discussions and examining it as both a personal and societal problem. Once this is accomplished, the framework is set for not only knowing how to identify racism but learning how to take steps to combat it in our workplaces and communities.
Chamber programs prioritize creating spaces where diverse perspectives can come together to learn, grow, and push our community forward.
Many folks say that this past year we have been fighting two pandemics, COVID-19 and the cumulative effects of systemic racism. To the Grand Rapids Chamber, racism is a disease – and like many other diseases, there is a cure. The Chamber believes the most effective way to combat racism is to educate individuals by the use of honest and open dialogue. Chamber programs prioritize creating spaces where diverse perspectives can come together to learn, grow, and push our community forward.
The Institute for Healing Racism is an opportunity to start this dialogue by bringing racism to the forefront of discussions and examining it as both a personal and societal problem. Once this is accomplished, the framework is set for not only knowing how to identify racism but learning how to take steps to combat it in our workplaces and communities. The Grand Rapids Chamber is proud to have housed the Institute for Healing Racism since 1997 and are honored and committed to its continued success in our community.
We have asked a few recent participants to reflect on their experiences in the Institute for Healing Racism and wanted to share these testimonials with our members and community.
“As an aspiring diversity and inclusion practitioner, there aren’t ample outlets within my workplace to have candid conversations about racism. The Institute provided me a safe space to ask sticky questions and engage in dialogue with a diverse set of community members. I walked away feeling more confident in language around diversity and inclusion that I can use in my day-to-day work. I also walked with resources that I can share with my colleagues to help them in their learning journey as well. I highly recommend the Institute!”
Diversity Recruitment Specialist
Steelcase | Human Resources
2021 Session Dates, Program Details, and Cost
Due to ongoing circumstances surrounding the pandemic, we are currently offering two experiences: a virtual session broken into two half-day segments, and a full day, in-person session .
Virtual, two-day sessions:
- Wednesday, August 25 (1:00 - 5:00 p.m.) and Thursday, August 26 (8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)
In-person, full day session:
- Wednesday, September 22 (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) (Sold out)
- Wednesday, December 8 (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
The Institute for Healing Racism is designed to attack the disease of racism from all sides. Throughout the program led by co-facilitators, a racially diverse group of people commit to learning how to diagnose and heal the disease by first dissecting their own thoughts, feelings, and actions. Most importantly, each participant must be able to listen in a non-judgmental, objective manner.
Once this first step of trust and understanding has been taken, the members of the group are more receptive to open and honest discussions about some of the most understated and controversial topics related to racism. What does it mean to be a person of color? What does it mean to be white? How is this racism affecting my company? By the end of the session, each participant will be empowered with the knowledge and insight of how to face racism in his or her workplace, personal life, and community. Ensure the health of your company and community by becoming a healer of racism.
The below pricing reflects varying tuition depending on the format of the session. It must be paid in full by the session date.
- Member: $300
- Future Member: $350
- Member: $350
- Future Member: $400
Questions or Comments?
Please reach out to Emily Smith, Inclusion Program Manager (616-771-0331 or [email protected]).