January 14, 2021

Advancing Racial Justice: An Online Learning Series for 2021

Who is this series designed for?

Advancing Racial Justice in Organizations (ARJ) is a capacity-building offering designed for multiracial teams of three to four people who want to develop plans for advancing and operationalizing racial justice and racial equity within their organizations or networks. The ideal team will include members of a new or ongoing Race, Equity, and Inclusion Team. Your team will be part of a cohort, learning alongside other teams about resources to design an organizational change process that includes different kinds of learning and planning activities to further racial equity in your work and internally in your organization or network.

What does the series include?

  • A strategic and supportive opportunity to learn alongside your own colleagues as well as those from four or five other organizations or networks, with the guidance of IISC’s team of experienced racial equity trainers 
  • In-depth assignments to explore your organization’s readiness, assets, and challenges, as well as your personal strengths and growing edges
  • Twenty-two hours of workshop time, spread over six online learning sessions (four sessions will be three hours long; two will be five hours long)
  • Detailed homework assignments using tools to assist your team in collaboratively designing and implementing your racial equity change process and action plan. These assignments are designed to be completed with your ARJ team, as well as with your wider equity team and other organizational leaders and stakeholders.
  • Opportunities for relationship building and coaching from your organizational team members and other members of the cohort

What are the learning outcomes and deliverables for participating teams?

By the end of this learning experience, you will be able to:

  1. Use language and analysis of institutional and structural racism that are commonly used in the field
  2. Clarify and build buy-in for the importance of addressing racism in your organization and in your program/issue areas
  3. Recognize key indicators of how racism expresses itself in organizational culture and identify ways to interrupt those dynamics  
  4. Integrate equity primes, prompts, and tools into your ongoing work
  5. Design collaborative processes that support ongoing learning, planning, and action for racial equity
  6. Integrate learning, evaluation, and assessment throughout your processes
  7. Consult racial equity resources to identify tools, protocols, and more for use in your organization
  8. Build relationships and offer and receive peer coaching from other cohort members 

What will you learn and what will you produce during this series?
You will create the following draft products using a shared online workbook that your Race, Equity, and Inclusion Team will be able to keep and refine throughout the series and beyond.

During ARJ, you will learn how to: And your team will produce:
Use language and analysis of institutional and structural racism that are commonly used in the field →  Shared analysis of key concepts
Articulate a strong case for the importance of addressing racism in your organization and in your program/issue areas →  Case for change
Recognize key indicators of how white supremacy norms express themselves itself in organizational culture and identify ways to interrupt those dynamics   →  Tools for identifying and interrupting white supremacy culture in organizational life
Assess your organization’s “Big Picture” (context, stakeholders, current reality and goals of the process) to guide your organizational change efforts →  Assessment of the “Big Picture” and initial priorities for your racial equity change process
Identify important elements to set your Race, Equity, and Inclusion Team up for success →  Elements of a Team Charter
Design collaborative processes that support ongoing learning, planning, and action for racial equity →  An initial Pathway to Action outlining activities in your racial equity change process (e.g., learning, planning, dialogue, etc.) 
Recognize the importance of integrating learning, evaluation, and assessment throughout your process →  Tools for learning, evaluation, and assessment 
Integrate equity primes, prompts, and tools into your ongoing work →  Sample equity primes and tools to weave through your process

What kind of time commitment will you be making?

  • Workshop Sessions: Each participant will commit to participating in all six sessions with 22 hours of workshop time. 
  • Individual work (initial survey, readings, and journaling questions): 30-60 minutes before each session
  • Team work (completing worksheets together): 90-120 minutes before each session
  • Gathering feedback and input from the rest of your Race, Equity, and Inclusion Team and/or other organizational stakeholders: Six+ hours, spread out across the series
  • Peer coaching: two meetings of 90-120 minutes each, outside of the workshop sessions to meet as a team with one other organizational team from the cohort
  • IISC team coaching session: one meeting of 60 minutes with one of the workshop leaders, to be scheduled at a mutually convenient time.

Altogether, each participant should plan for approximately 50-55 hours of time over the three-month ARJ series. To support effective input gathering, we recommend that as soon as you commit to this process, you schedule meetings with your full Race, Equity, and Inclusion Team to occur in the weeks after sessions 2, 4, and 5.

Workshop Schedule (all times listed are Eastern Time) – This is a sample schedule for the ARJ Series
Please note that all members of your team must sign up for the same cohort.

Cost and Schedule

The price for this series is $7,350 per team (pricing may vary for foundations and for-profit organizations).  The application process for the next two cohorts launching in March 2021 is now closed. We anticipate launching the series once or twice each quarter in 2021. Stay tuned for future workshop dates. To be notified as soon as the new dates are set and applications are being accepted, please opt into our email list here. We will also soon be offering an “in-house” version of Advancing Racial Justice in Organizations if you’d like your entire Race, Equity, and Inclusion Team and other key stakeholders (up to 22 participants) to experience this together, rather than just a team of 3-4 individuals. Stay tuned via our email list for more information on that, as well. Thank you!



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October 28, 2020

Facilitative Leadership for Social Change – Virtual

Wednesdays, May 12-June 30 (no session on June 23), 2021; 1:00-4:00pm ET
FULLY ENROLLED with a lengthy waitlist.
Join the waitlist.

Effective leadership in these times is not about striving to control what is uncontrollable; rather, it is about creating the conditions for groups, teams, organizations, and communities to effectively and creatively intervene in the structural, institutional, interpersonal, and internalized effects of the systems that shape our lives. This includes making it easy for others — regardless of race, class, gender, ability, sexuality, and other identities and experiences — to offer their perspectives and talents, speak up when they have problems, take initiative, make decisions, work with others, and share responsibility for the health of the team, organization, or community.

Facilitative Leadership for Social Change develops practical collaborative skills and tools for tapping the creativity, experience, and commitment of groups and provides participants with a forum in which to explore their challenges and aspirations as leaders. At the heart of the workshop are powerful leadership practices that, when fully embraced, create the conditions for people to move together from vision to action in extraordinary new ways.

You will leave this workshop series with practical frameworks, skills and tools to:

  • See systems by analyzing a situation from a systems perspective in order to leverage transformational change
  • Seek maximum appropriate involvement of key stakeholders in order to make well informed decisions and build commitment to successful implementation
  • Facilitate agreement across diverse perspectives in order to generate breakthrough decisions and actions
  • Focus on multiple dimensions of success — not just the measurable results — in order to ensure sustainable success
  • Discover shared meaning and understand our unconscious thought processes in order to build alignment for concerted action, especially across lines of difference
  • Design pathways to action, including meeting agendas that achieve high levels of results, process, and relationship satisfaction

In our public offering of Facilitative Leadership for Social Change – Virtual, we approach these practices through six of the seven modules. Each module is three hours, and may have pre-work and follow-up materials with which to engage between sessions. Each module includes some teaching of the tools and practices, individual reflection to help integrate the practices into your life and work, and small group time to practice and grow your understanding. We also prioritize connection between the program participants because the group’s collective wisdom is precious, and we try to give it space to grow and spread. And because we believe that building supportive networks between social change leaders is crucial to building the communal power and vision that we need to radically transform our society and our organizations.

Practices & Modules
Leaders engage the power of participation by applying the Seven Practices of Facilitative Leadership. A “practice” is a repeated action or behavior that leads to proficiency and high performance.

Introduction to Facilitative Leadership & Building Liberatory Power Equitably
Throughout this workshop series, we will offer you tools that you can bring to your work and community. It’s crucial that we ground these practices in an intention to build power with, not power over, in service of liberation, not domination. Through IISC’s Collaborative Social Change Lens of love, power, and equity, we’ll explore what power is, ways to build power equitably, and how to make participation accessible to everyone, especially those with marginalized identities. All participants are required to attend this module before attending any other modules.

See Systems
Facilitative Leaders recognize their work exists within a broader, whole-systems context. There is much to be understood that is hidden beneath the immediate, visible surface, and leaders cannot make sense of the complexity of the whole alone. They must involve others in understanding events that are often parts of patterns, supported by underlying structures, informed by people’s mental models, and perpetuated by cultural and institutional values. Understanding these levels of complexity and how they are connected leads to more innovative and creative leverage for change and, therefore, greater potential for long lasting, systemic change. 

Seek Maximum Appropriate Involvement
People want to participate in decisions that affect their daily work and lives. Facilitative Leaders make conscious choices about when and how people can best participate. They leverage the interest and talent of those around them by including them appropriately in the decision-making process. Seeking maximum appropriate involvement pays several dividends: better communication, more informed decisions, increased commitment to action, and higher levels of trust. 

Facilitate Agreement
People notice what leaders say and do, taking their cues from the leader’s behavior. Facilitative Leaders model behaviors that create a safe environment for participation and teamwork. They encourage diversity of opinion and honor individual perspectives while helping team members stay focused on the task at hand. By facilitating understanding and agreement, leaders demonstrate the power of teamwork to produce clear decisions and quality results.

Focus on Results, Process, Relationships
Facilitative Leaders build a framework for performance and satisfaction by balancing their focus among results, process, and relationship. While monitoring bottom-line performance (results), leaders also encourage continuous improvement in the way the work gets done (process) and how people treat one another (relationship). Balancing their focus across these three dimensions of success enables leaders to produce results, sustain productivity as well as quality, and build a supportive work environment for their teams and networks. 

Discover Shared Meaning
Facilitative Leaders realize that all of the Facilitative Leadership practices are carried out in conversations. Through open, honest, and direct communication, people can understand each other, build shared meaning, and work together to make informed decisions that lead to concerted action and significant results. The ladder of inference helps Facilitative Leaders understand how they and others select data, make meaning of that data, make assumptions, draw conclusions, and then act on those conclusions. By inquiring into other people’s meaning-making and making explicit their own sense-making, Facilitative Leaders are able to discover shared meaning that can lead to understanding or action. 

Designing Pathways to Action Part 1: Design Excellent Meetings
In our work and our communities and our lives, time is often the most important resource we have. In our work lives in particular, especially for managers and leaders, most of our time is spent in meetings. And yet, almost one-third of meetings are considered unnecessary by the people who attend them. By focusing on meeting design through six key elements of planning meetings, we honor the people in the meeting and their time, and create the conditions for stronger collaboration.

$1,050/per person Nonprofit | $1,350/per person Foundation

Subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to know about how to register when new dates are announced.


Facilitative Leadership for Social Change for your organization or network

The workshop is also available as an offering for participants from one organization or network.

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June 17, 2020

Bringing Facilitative Leadership for Social Change to Virtual Work Webinar Recordings

We appreciated the enthusiastic response to our webinar series and are happy to announce that IISC is available to deliver one or more of these webinars live to you and your colleagues, grantees, or other stakeholder groups. If you are interested in learning more, please send us a detailed message. 

AND…the recordings are now available to those who participated as well as those who were unable to do so.  Click here to access the recordings.

Have COVID-19 and social distancing thrown you into the unfamiliar world of virtual meetings as the only way to connect? While there are plenty of tips and tricks circulating about how to make your virtual meetings more effective, join us to learn how to make them more equitable by leading with love, nurturing networks and relationships, and managing power dynamics.

This free series of webinars will help you integrate the collaborative values and practices of Facilitative Leadership for Social Change into your virtual work.

Session 1: Managing Power Dynamics in Virtual Meetings.

In this webinar you will learn to:

  • Articulate how facilitative leaders understand what power is and how to work with power dynamics
  • Use meeting design considerations to normalize discussions of power and share responsibility for shifting power dynamics
  • Use facilitation tips and the role of facilitator to make it easy for everyone to participate

Session 2: Designing for Love and Equity in Virtual Meetings.

In this webinar you will learn to:

  • Articulate why bringing love and equity into virtual meetings is an important practice for facilitative leaders
  • Use transformative prompts, mindfulness and affinity spaces
  • Use arts and healing to bring love and equity into your virtual meetings

Session 3: Balance the Dimensions of Success: Results-Process-Relationship.

In this webinar you will learn to:

  • Articulate why focusing on multiple dimensions of success is important to your virtual meetings
  • Balance your focus on results, process, and relationship as a leader
  • Design your virtual meetings to balance results, process and relationship

Session 4: Collaborative Decision-Making and Shared Leadership.

In this webinar you will learn to:

  • Articulate what “shared leadership” is and why it’s important to organizations, networks, and the world right now
  • Promote equitable leadership and operate in ways that foster “power-with” instead of “power-over”
  • Engage stakeholders in collaborative decision making

As always, thank you for your interest in and support of our work. We appreciate you!

P.S. Please subscribe to our mailing list to be among the first to know about other new, virtual IISC offerings. (For example, we expect Facilitative Leadership for Social Change to be available for scheduling in the new year!)

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October 20, 2014

Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work – Virtual

Wednesdays, April 7-May 5, 2021, 1:00-4:00pm ET
FULLY ENROLLED with a lengthy waitlist.
Join the waitlist.

Tuesdays, May 25-June 29, 2021 (no session on June 22), 9:30am-12:30pm ET
FULLY ENROLLED with a lengthy waitlist.
Join the waitlist.

Are you looking for new ways to help people who are different from one another talk about racism and then figure out what to do together? Have you ever been leading a group and been stopped in your tracks by someone’s comment or question?

In our work as leaders, knowing about structural racism and understanding the difference between “inclusion” and “equity” are one thing; being effective at helping other people talk about them and facilitate impactful action is another. The workshop will deepen your skills to do just that, in both virtual and in-person environments.

By the end of this workshop series, participants will have:

  • A set of practical skills and tools for guiding others through productive conversations about race, racism, and racial justice that build understanding and agreement
  • A foundational framework for understanding racial identity development and the system of racialization in the U.S.
  • Addressed some of your key challenges and aspirations as a facilitator in your racial justice work
  • Experienced well-facilitated conversations about racism and racial justice and a supportive community of practice

Workshop participants should enter this workshop already having some level of familiarity with racial justice concepts.


This workshop provides an understanding of the role facilitation plays in racial justice work and explores the “who,” “what,” and “how” of racial justice facilitation. By the end of this workshop, participants will:


  • Be able to identify a learning edge in your racial justice work and a tool, concept, or practice to address it.
  • Have explored the impact of how we “show up” as facilitators on the effectiveness of discussions and meetings about race.
  • Be familiar with ways to maintain your center and tap into the strengths of your own identities to advance the work.
  • Be able to facilitate with increased presence, grace, and authority.


  • Have developed a clearer understanding of racial justice concepts (such as institutional and structural racism, racial justice framing) and knowledge of how to use these in design and facilitation.
  • Be able to make strategic choices about when to use different facilitation tools, when to use racial justice concepts and when to engage additional resources and people to address challenging situations.
  • Have become familiar with common racialized dynamics that show up in conversations and other interactions about race, racism, and racial justice, and ways to facilitate effectively.


  • Be familiar with the role of facilitator in racial justice work and how this role can be leveraged to move the work forward.
  • Be familiar with collaborative process skills for designing and facilitating understanding and agreements that advance racial justice work in your organization or network.
  • Have learned how to intervene to deal with hot button issues and challenging situations in meetings about race, racism, and racial justice work.
  • Be able to use adult learning principles to help design effective conversations and meetings about race, racism, and racial justice.

This workshop is focused primarily on discussions that lead to action, not open-ended dialogues or racial healing work. In addition, while the larger organizational change or movement building strategies within which conversations about racial justice might be situated are important, those change strategies are not the focus of this workshop.

$750/per person Nonprofit | $1,100/per person Foundation

Subscribe to our mailing list to be the first to know about how to register when new dates are announced.


Fundamentals of Facilitation for Racial Justice Work for your organization or network

The workshop is also available as an offering for participants from one organization or network.


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September 27, 2014

Essential Facilitation (in-person only)

Please note: IISC is not at this time offering Essential Facilitation as it is a heavily practice-based learning experience that does not translate easily onto a virtual platform. While we are not yet making plans to start offering in-person trainings again, we certainly hope conditions will allow us to do so soon. Thanks for your patience.

Chances are, the more responsible you are for organizational or community outcomes, the more meetings you will need to facilitate and the more agreements you will need to build. Facilitation is critical to success whenever a decision involves several people.Essential Facilitation® provides a solid framework and proven techniques for resolving conflict, creating buy-in, and building lasting agreements – skills as valuable in every day life as they are in organizational settings.

Benefits for Participants

In this three-day facilitation intensive, you will learn the essential strategies and skills for helping groups solve problems, resolve conflict, and build agreement. Led by expert practitioners, this workshop will provide you with a solid foundation of facilitation theory and practice for immediate use.

After completing this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Keep discussions on track
  • Design results-focused agendas, group processes, and implementation plans
  • Design and conduct planning sessions and team meetings
  • Use collaborative problem solving tools to make decisions more easily
  • Leverage diverse points of view and communication styles
  • Share ideas, responsibility, and success in a way that values everyone’s contribution
  • Use win-win thinking to resolve conflicts
  • Model behaviors that help others improve group interaction.

With an average participant-to-trainer ratio of 10:1, you will receive considerable attention, including both group and individual feedback and coaching. This approach produces immediate gains in skills and awareness. We tailor the course to the participants, creating the opportunity for novice and advanced facilitators to improve their skills.

Benefits for Your Organization

Effective facilitators unlock the power of the individual and show groups how to reach their desired goals. When leaders model skillful facilitation, they put their commitment to participation and collaboration into practice. As facilitation skills improve throughout an organization or community, everyone involved becomes more creative and productive, and is better able to seize opportunities for dramatic improvements in how work is done in order to achieve more ambitious results.

$1050 Nonprofit | $1350 Foundation

If you have questions about our workshops and/or the workshop registration process, please review these FAQs. If after doing so your question remains unanswered, we’d be happy to hear from you. Please send us a detailed message. 

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