Engaging our community to end poverty

Race Awareness Workshop (RAW)

Group of people at a workshopBetween now and 2050 America will become a nation without a majority ethnic group. Your community, your workplace and your schools are becoming more diverse. Race Awareness Workshop will help you see the value of cultural diversity. Race Awareness Workshops are designed to help you understanding racism, cultural stereotypes and personal biases and show you how these issues significantly impact the way we relate to others. This series of transformational workshops will help businesses improve their bottom line, schools to create welcoming environments and people to impact their communities by:

  • Countering racial bias
  • Boosting employee retention (by understanding cultural norms)
  • Navigating conversations about race (by understanding the creation of race)

Combined, these trainings provide your staff or employees with the tools they need to succeed in a world that values inclusion.

(4) 4 hour session X $45.00 per hour- per seminar – per attendee.
Travel accommodations additional.

Racial Equity Minnesota
Community Action Duluth is a member organization of Racial Equity Minnesota—a network of community based leaders working to help deliver positive outcomes and solutions to the complex topic of racial equity. Learn more here.

Workshop Offerings

RAW Immersion Sessions—choice of one (3 hour) workshop
Session 1. RAW Culture—Culture Group Builder
This group building experiential session allows people to understand and experience social norms and racial bias as a result of RACE. It includes group exercises, group debriefing and an introduction to race as a social construct. Certificate of completion provided.

Session 2. RAW Walk—Historical Privilege Walk
This racial distinction group immersion provides attendees with an understanding of the historical outcomes of RACE as a social construct. This session includes a group experience centered on the historic impact, generational impact and social acceptance and resistance to RACE. Certificate of completion provided.

RAW Days—half day (4 hour) and daylong (8 hour) sessions
These sessions explore the intersections of poverty, race and class. Community convening and candid dialogues are facilitated using a peer-to-peer facilitated process. Attendees receive tools surrounding race, poverty and class. These sessions promote cross-cultural racial understanding and build social cohesion. Certificate of completion provided.

RAW Business Workshops—four (3.5 hour) interactive sessions
We will help you compete in a world that values diversity and inclusion. Race Awareness Workshops are customized to give your business the edge in a multi- cultural, multi-racial environment. Certificate of completion provided.

RAW Education Workshops—four (3.5 hour) interactive sessions
Session 1—will enlighten your teachers about the social construct of RACE.
Session 2—will educate staff about how stereotypes and bias intersect the structure of RACE.
Session 3—will help your administrative team identify policies and practices that may perpetuate racial privilege and bias.
Session 4—will teach you how to be a leader in a community that values inclusion and diversity. Certificate of completion provided.

RAW Conversations
This customized planning process is for community leaders. A discussion on the social constructs associated with race in American will help your community listen and identify shared values around RACE.

RAW Opportunity Presentation—(1 hour) orientation
This session is designed to:

  • Help you determine if your business, organization or group is right for
    RAW training.
  • Help us provide you with RAW sessions that are more customized for your
    particular needs.

How to connect
If you are interested in learning more about Race Awareness Workshops (RAW) and our process, call 218.726.1665 x 232 or email kristi@communityactionduluth.org or xavier@communityactionduluth.org.




Intersections of Poverty, Race and Class

“I was surprised, being a person from the middle class, at the concepts of Intersections of Poverty, Race and Class.”

“I realize that it is incredibly rare to have an individual from poverty at the table as we are making decisions that will impact them.”

“The group conversations are fantastic!”

“We had a good free exchange of ideas with the opportunity to clarify things that were stated.”

“I realized that we never talk about his stuff. Why not, especially when it’s happening every day?”

RACE Awareness Workshops

“The video, stories and visual examples make the issues of race easier to see and understand.”

“It saddens me that discrimination still exists. I know, however, that I can do something to eliminate micro-discrimination in my workplace.”

“Especially powerful process.”

“I felt that I needed more time to talk. I guess the conversation has been 200 years in the making.”

“I have been changed. Race Awareness Workshops have changed me!”

Past Participants of RACE Awareness Workshops

  • 148th Air Wing Duluth, MN
  • American Indian Commission Member
  • AEOA (Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency)
  • Arrowhead Regional Corrections Staff
  • Beacon Interfaith Housing Collaborative
  • Circles of Support Network Members
  • City of Duluth—Workforce Center
  • Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial, Inc.
  • Community Action Duluth Staff/Board
  • Duluth Chapter of the NAACP
  • Duluth Head Start
  • Duluth School District–ISD-709
  • Edison Charter Schools
  • ISD-709 Unity High School Staff
  • JDAI (Juvenile Detention Alternative Initiative)
  • Kootasca Community Action Agency (Circles of Support)
  • Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC)
  • NEMOJT (Northeastern Minnesota Office of Job Training)
  • Race Equity Minnesota Network
  • St. Anthony Villagers for Equitable Community
  • Superior School District
  • Torrington/Winchester Connecticut Early Childhood Collaborative
  • University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Woodland Hills


Meet Your Facilitators

Xavier BellXavier Bell has been the director of community/civic engagement at Community Action Duluth since 2009. He was the Circles of Support program manager from 2007 to 2009. He has been the volunteer coordinator and Race Awareness Workshop designer and author, as well as the Intersections of Poverty, Race and Class initiative developer since 2005.

More Experience

  • Minnesota Circles of Support initiative coordinator, 2006-present
  • Public policy advocate for Circles of Support—Legislative Commission to End Poverty in Minnesota by 2020
  • Community advocate
  • Stanislaus County Juvenile Hall chaplain-youth guidance director, 2002-2004
  • Youth outreach director, 1996-2002 Education
  • Certification of Ordination Non-Denominational Faith Tradition
  • Laney College, Oakland, California. Business Marketing, 1982

Doug Bowen-Bailey is a sign language interpreter, mentor and educator. He draws on his background to facilitate communication across cultural and linguistic divides in his work with the community. He has been involved in a variety of efforts to build racial equity both through organizing and educational efforts. He served for five years as a member of the Duluth Task Force for Improved Community Police Accountability and is an inaugural member of the new Duluth Citizen Review Board. He has facilitated a wide variety of educational experiences addressing racism and racial justice and enjoys the challenge of creating safe space for challenging conversations that lead to meaningful action.


  • Distance learning technology internship, DO IT Center
  • Front Range Community College, interpreter training program, 2003
  • Interpreter training program, St. Paul Technical College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1992
  • Bachelor of arts—History and African Studies, Macalester College, St. Paul, Minnesota, 1991
  • Summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa; Southern African Studies, School of International Training, Harare, Zimbabwe, 1989

Kristi BurtonKristi Burton is a youth advocate at Life House in Duluth, Minnesota. She serves as the liaison for Race Awareness Workshops. Her experience includes being an Achievement Center Coordinator Promise Fellow, a leader for Duluth Denfeld High School’s Asian cultural club, a Multicultural Leadership Orientation mentor and an identity group facilitator.


  • Bachelor of Arts—Global, Cultural and Language Studies, The College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota, 2015.

Elyse Carter-VosenElyse Carter-Vosen is associate professor of Global and Cultural Studies and Women’s and Gender Studies at The College of St. Scholastica. As an ethnomusicologist, she writes articles and teaches courses on song and dance as cultural activism. She also directs the Oreck-Alpern Interreligious Forum, a twelve-year community partnership, which promotes respect, understanding and peace among the diverse spiritual communities of our region.

More Experience

  • She learned and taught Ojibwe language for fourteen years and has more recently worked with Indigenous colleagues on justice issues in the Duluth community.
  • She is a member of the Jewish community at Temple Israel, where she serves on the social action committee.
  • She is a founding board member of the Cross-Cultural Alliance of Duluth.