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UW Dream Project

January 24, 2017

Dream Project Goes Deeper with Professional Development for Leaders

By Dream Project staff

In line with the University of Washington’s Race & Equity Initiative and as part of an ongoing effort to become a more actively anti-racist and social justice-oriented program, Dream Project staff has been working to coordinate workshops and trainings aimed to help leaders develop an informed lens for racial equity and equitable practices. We are excited to offer a full-day professional development workshop titled “Leading with a Racial Equity Lens for Structural Transformation” on February 25th, 2017 for staff and student leadership. The workshop will be facilitated by two faculty members of the UW School of Social Work, Norma Timbang and Scott Winn. Timbang teaches master’s courses on dialogue facilitation, social justice and diversity, and collaborative participatory research and evaluation. Timbang also provides consultation on integration of principles and practices of social justice and equity in organizational development and has a private mental health therapy practice. She is a recipient of the Tony Lee Social Justice award and the School of Social Work Martin Luther King award. Winn teaches master’s courses centered on the role of social workers as agents for social and economic change. He is active with a variety of community groups, including the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites and The Western States Center, where he serves on the Board of Directors. He is also a Policy and Development Lead for the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative.

Scott Winn -- one of the facilitators for Dream Project’s upcoming Racial Equity Workshop in February

Scott Winn — one of the facilitators for Dream Project’s upcoming racial equity workshop in February

This workshop aims to provide leaders with the tools to understand how racial inequity impacts and informs their lived experiences, including but not limited to their roles as leaders within Dream Project. Through exercises, discussions, and presentations, participants will reflect on their own identities, critically engage in conversations about privilege, explore ways that racism is embedded in structures and institutions of education, and strategies to create equity and justice. Participants will also learn about and critique differing philosophical approaches to comparing colorblindness, diversity, and anti-oppression/equity lenses. We will discuss how leading with racial equity is a strategy for structural transformation that brings collective liberation and social/economic productivity for all.

Since its inception, one of Dream Project’s primary goals has been to support first-generation and low-income high school students in gaining equitable access to higher education in the most sustainable and culturally relevant way possible. In order to continually work towards this goal, it is essential for us as a program to strive to equip ourselves with the knowledge and skills needed to further advance social and racial equity, especially in the context of our college access work with minoritized and marginalized youth. It is our hope that the upcoming training will move us beyond colorblind paradigms and closer to strengthening our anti-racist practices with a common vocabulary and the ability to self-reflect and assess ways to challenge biases on a programmatic and personal level. We are very excited for this opportunity and look forward to engaging in it with all leaders this February.