September 28, 2022 (Warren, Ohio) – The Raymond John Wean Foundation is inviting community stakeholders to join them for their 2022 Racial Equity and Inclusion Workshops on October 12 and 13 or November 16 and 17. Sponsored by the Wean Foundation, this two-day virtual training is hosted by ThirdSpace Action Lab and presented by the Racial Equity Institute.
“The REI training I partook in was amazing, well executed, thought out, thought provoking, and most importantly intentionally impactful. The organizers did a phenomenal job in executing the difficulty in explaining our past and how it has had a continuous lasting impact,” says Sonnie Provitt, child recruiter, Northeast Ohio Adoption Services. “What I took away from this was the exact knowledge I needed to continue to have these conversations.”
Committed to advancing racial equity and inclusion, the Wean Foundation has provided these REI Workshops to the Mahoning Valley since 2017. Initially offered in-person, the workshop shifted to a virtual format during COVID. To date, nearly 700 community stakeholders representing over 220 diverse organizations have participated in these workshops.
“If everyone took part in the Racial Equity and Inclusion Workshop, I believe our area would benefit tremendously,” says Emily Moran, who participated in the spring workshop and is a planner in the Trumbull County Planning Commission’s office.
According to the Racial Equity Institute, the REI workshop is designed to develop the capacity of participants to better understand racism in its institutional and structural forms. Moving away from a focus on personal bigotry and bias, the workshop presents a historical, cultural and structural analysis of racism. With shared language and a clearer understanding of how institutions and systems are producing unjust and inequitable outcomes, participants should leave the training better equipped to begin to work for change.
“We cannot make any progress until we can have honest conversations about the documented causes and impact of racial inequality. Addressing the issue in the ‘safety’ of smaller groups can give one the courage to continue the conversation with a larger audience, says REI Workshop participant, Stacy Costley, housing counselor at Youngstown Neighborhood Development Corporation.
These will be the last two workshops offered by the Foundation for 2022. According to Tara C. Walker-Pollock, program officer, capacity building at the Wean Foundation, the November session is almost at capacity. Those interested in taking part in a workshop are encouraged to consider the October session.
Attendees are asked to ensure that they can attend for the entirety of the two-day training before registering. Should an individual find cost to be a factor in attending, contact Tara C. Walker-Pollock at 330.394.5600 x105 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about sponsorship opportunities. For additional information, or to register, visit www.weanfoundation.org/get-involved/#events.
About the Wean Foundation: The Raymond John Wean Foundation is dedicated to community-building in underresourced communities of Warren and Youngstown in Ohio’s Mahoning Valley. The Foundation leverages a dynamic combination of grantmaking, capacity building, convening and partnerships to provoke new thinking, strengthen communities and disrupt the status quo to achieve its vision: empowered residents creating an equitable Mahoning Valley. Visit weanfoundation.org to learn more.