Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

‘Overcoming Racism’ To Address The White Racial Frame


Many members of the media have declared that the United States entered a ‘post-racial’ period with the election of President Barack Obama. There’s a different story in today’s headlines, filled with deepening racial disparities right here in Minnesota and across the nation. The 2011 Overcoming Racism conference will examine the ‘white racial frame’, a dominant frame that shapes thinking and action in everyday life situations

The two-day conference focuses on understanding the nature and impact of the white racial frame, and offering other ways to frame our realities. The 2011 theme, “Overcoming Racism: Listen, Connect, Commit,” will feature keynote speakers Dr. Joe R. Feagin and Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya (see below for biographical information). Scheduled November 18-19 at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, the conference is organized by the Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative (FREC), made up of two dozen Minnesota groups, institutions and individuals committed to overcoming racism and ensuring racial justice.

In addition to the keynoters, there will be performances by a diverse array of artist/activists, along with a diverse and challenging set of workshops, all designed to:

● Examine the white racial frame: What is it? How does it work?

● Explore how the dominant racial frame affects antiracism work

● Offer alternative framing and understanding of our lives and realities

● Provide models, skills and tools for advancing antiracist transformation that participants can apply in their daily lives, their work and their institutional and community contexts.

The conference runs all day on both Friday November 18 and Saturday November 19, at Metropolitan State University’s St. Paul campus, 700 E. 7th Street in St. Paul. Each day will include a morning keynote, networking time, lunch, and a rich menu of breakout workshops offered by leaders and advocates from local and national organizations, faith communities and institutions. Friday’s agenda concludes with Arts as Activism, a dynamic line up of diverse artist-activists, and the conference closing on Saturday will include images from the conference as well as a performance created with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater.

Participants can register for the whole conference or for one day only. The preregistration fee (through November 10) is $120 for both days or $75 for one day, with a half-price student rate. Organizers expect the conference to be full, so preregistration is highly encouraged. Fees are waived for Indigenous (First Nations) people. Details and registration links can be found at

2011 Overcoming Racism Conference Keynote Speakers

Dr. Joe R. Feagin is a sociologist, scholar and author, currently serving as the Ella C. McFadden Professor of Liberal Arts at Texas A&M University. His research and teaching interests concern mainly the development and structure of racial and gender prejudice and discrimination, especially institutional and systemic discrimination and racism. Dr. Feagin also produces and maintains RacismReview online, providing extensive and accessible research and analysis from scholars and researchers across disciplines. Dr. Feagin is author of over 190 research articles and 50 plus books on racial, gender, and urban issues, including most recently The White Racial Frame: Centuries of Racial Framing and Counter-Framing. His books have won numerous national and professional association awards. His book Ghetto Revolts (Macmillan 1973), was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. He was the 1999-2000 president of the American Sociological Association.

Dr. BraVada Garrett-Akinsanya, a Licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years of experience in the field of mental health. She serves as the Executive Director of the African American Child Wellness Institute, a children’s mental health agency dedicated to the research, delivery and coordination of comprehensive wellness strategies for children of African descent. Dr. Akinsanya also serves as the President of Brakins Consulting and Psychological Services, which has the mission of “providing excellent, culturally competent mental health and consultation services that meet the needs of children, adults, families and organizations.” Dr. Garrett-Akinsanya specializes in violence recovery and multicultural mental health. She is known for her “Culture-based Wellness Model” which explains mental health within the context of each individual’s cultural identity and environment. Recognized for her strength-based approach, Dr. Garrett-Akinsanya’s practice includes assisting children, couples and families in the development of healthy relationships. She is especially effective with clients whose lives have been touched by severe psychopathology, abuse, trauma, sexual assault and domestic violence issues.


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