Authentic Dialogues: Talking about Racism and Moving to Action
2 hour presentation with time for community conversation. Can be shortened to work as keynote or webinar and expanded to include more dialog and reflection.
This interactive session is designed to look critically at racism in our communities and our nation by examining the roots of white supremacy and how the past impacts our present. A key goal will be teaching, sharing, and learning practical tools for working in our own communities to combat racism and to start conversations on addressing racism and difference in predominantly white spaces. This session is a mixture of lecture and small-group work, which will allow participants to deepen their knowledge of racism in 2022, examine their own biases, and learn techniques for starting conversations on racism and how to be an effective ally.
Tell Me the Truth: Exploring the Heart of Cross-Racial Conversations
90 minute on-stage conversation with Debby Irving, followed by community dialog
How can we speak openly and honestly in cross-racial conversations? What would such a conversation even look like? Shay Stewart-Bouley (Black) and Debby Irving (White) show us as they share racism’s impact on their lives and how cross-racial conversation has been instrumental in their own understanding of 21st-century racial dynamics. Shay and Debby will explore the common fears and pitfalls of cross-racial conversation that keep people isolated in their own racial groups, at the expense of personal, professional, and societal growth. They’ll also help audience members understand how interpersonal social patterns hinder organizations from living up to their own ideals for diversity. No two conversations are alike as they step on stage with no agenda. Current events, in their own lives and in the larger world, inspire the organic conversation they engage in. Finally, Shay and Debby will offer suggestions to create racial justice habits that can move us from isolated events to sustainable connections.
Shay is a prolific blogger at her award-winning website/blog Black Girl in Maine Media, where race is a major theme but also other social and political issues, as well as sometimes just commentary on daily life as a Black, middle-aged woman in a world where these traits frequently are not valued. Shay’s writing also has been featured in a variety of national publications as well as several anthologies. In November 2016, she gave a TEDx talked entitled “Inequity, Injustice… Infection.” In June 2021, she was elected to the Portland, Maine Charter Commission.