This is a conference for those seeking to understand and move beyond our struggles with race and racism. We look forward to equipping and empowering participants in this innovative and highly interactive full-day experience.
Carlos Hoyt, Ph.D., LICSW
Dr. Hoyt explores the dynamics between social identity, social bias, and social justice, including race and racial identity as a scholar, teacher, psychotherapist, parent, and anti-racialization advocate.
Dr. Mason's twenty-year study of all things "race" and racism has resulted in her signature theory of racelessness. When properly understood, racelessness is synonymous with liberation from being the cause and experiencing the effects of race(ism).
For over thirty years, Mr. Thomas' work—as an educator, journalist and cultural critic, and business and social entrepreneur—has centered on cultural excellence and human creativity over the delusion and decoy of race and racialization.
We have yet to overcome racism because we have yet to move beyond “race” as an acceptable basis for identity, solidarity, or policy.
Join leading voices in the movement to correct misguided notions about “race” that keep us trapped in the racial worldview.
Learn how racialization produces the illusion of “race” and racism, how to deracialize your worldview, practice antiracialization, and recognize the racelessness of the human species.
Explore methods of translating the misleading language of “race” into the actual issues that drive discrimination and oppression, build connections with others who are eager to not only understand how to move beyond racism but take meaningful action, and consider joining an effort to improve our government's approach to addressing race-based discrimination - one that does not require perpetuating self-racialization.
This is a conference for everyone interested in overcoming racism – teachers, parents, scientists, scholars, social justice leaders, mental health professionals, journalists, and political leaders.
Follen Church Community Center 755 Massachusetts Ave, Lexington, MA 02420
Date & Time
September 24, 2022 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. EST
$299 per person $249/each for 4+ people $99/each for students
Includes: - Conference program and materials, including curated reading recommendations - Meals: breakfast and lunch - Certificate of participation
Familiarize yourself with our space for the day. Meet your partners in this work. Energize for the day with coffee, tea, water, juices, and breakfast bites.
Welcome | Facilitator Introductions
Immerse yourself in the moment and engage yourself in our plan for the day. Meet Carlos, Sheena, and Greg. Hear a bit about their journeys and what inspired them to come together to design this conference.
Inspiration for Constructive Interaction
Take in our Conference Norms. This day is about empathy, openness, and expansion of thinking. Lean into the guidance that will help each of us and all of us learn the most from this experience and take the most productive tools onward into our day-to-day interactions.
Enjoy an interactive exercise designed to help get to know each participant of your table discussion group. You will engage throughout the day to explore, interpret, and absorb the topics we cover together as a conference working group.
Our Journeys to Racelessness, Deracialization, and Antiracialization
Learn more from Carlos, Sheena, and Greg about their experiences and work in these spaces. Be inspired as you embark on your own personal journey of discovery and self-examination.
Refresh with additional conversation opportunities and snacks.
Synthesis: YOUR Journey
Take the concepts you've learned about through the morning's activities and discussions, along with tools and resources from Carlos, Sheena, and Greg, and consider your own personal journey with race, racial identity, and racism. Can you imagine adopting a raceless, deracialized, or antiracialization orientation? Have you already arrived at such an orientation? How did you get here? What does it mean for you and those who encounter you? What do you want the next chapter of your journey to be? Share your bearing with you table partners. After lunch we’ll share the salient themes from this discussion.
Greg, Sheena, and Carlos will provide three practical focal projects for this work: advocating for changes to the U.S. Census, developing a better way to achieve the aims of affirmative action, creating a racelessness translator. After these focal project presentations, participants will synthesize their bearing on each in discussion groups.
With the rise of antiracist discourse and initiatives, many people are unintentionally upholding racism and missing opportunities to identify and celebrate actual diversity over perceived diversity based largely on misconceptions encouraged by the belief in "race" ideology. People are prevented from their rightful unification, healing, and reconciliation, a prevention that is, in large part, a result of continued self and assigned racialization. Sheena's fresh framework for analyzing, talking, thinking, and teaching about race(ism) is presented in her book, Theory of Racelessness: A Case for Antirace(ism), published by Palgrave Macmillan.
“The pervasive operation of the principle of race (or racism) in American society leads many … to confuse culture with race … While others worry about racial superiority, let us be concerned with the quality of culture.” — Ralph Ellison
Untangling the confusion between culture and race is a crucial step in the effort to move beyond the grip of race and racialization. As a method of analysis and mode of synthesis, cultural intelligence leverages an understanding of what culture is and how it works to not only battle against racism but to engender civic understanding and human cooperation in a pluralistic, open society. Participants will be introduced to cultural tools to elevate their agency beyond the stranglehold of a racial worldview.
Refresh with additional conversation opportunities and snacks.
Abolishing Compelled Self-Racialization: The Most Important Reparation
“The right to speak and the right to refrain from speaking are complementary components of the broader concept of ‘individual freedom of mind.” - Chief Justice Warren E. Burger
The U.S. Census compels citizens to self-racialize. While it’s true that monitoring discrimination based on social identity is crucial to advancing justice, it is not true that doing so by perpetuating the very basis of racism, race, is a useful way to go about it. In fact, going about it by forcing people who resist racism by refusing to self-racialize to then self-racialize for misguided government purposes is a violation of the first amendment right to be free from endorsing a belief one does not hold. This discussion will invite participants to explore what it might mean to advocate for breaking our harmful habit of keeping people locked inside the social construct that is the foundation of racism and shifting to a better way to monitor and reduce social bias.
Conference Close: Reflection, A Call to Action, Resources, Ways to Keep Connected
Come together as a full group to discuss conference reflections and what's next.
"He was intentional about creating and fostering an environment that elicited vulnerability and encouraged growth; promoting collaboration to identify best practices; and inspiring [us] to work as a community to develop tangible action plans that will improve diversity and inclusion."
For Carlos Hoyt, Ph.D., LICSW
"I left feeling somewhere between gratefully stilled and galvanized—[it] made me think in entirely new ways, and I felt simultaneously refreshed and challenged to learn more."
For Sheena Mason, Ph.D.
"I cannot tell you, Sheena, how much I love & appreciate you in all of the most innocent & purest ways. You gave me the red pill. You did. You’re my Morpheus. You said, ‘Hey. I can put you on. But once I put you on, there isn’t any turning back.’ And I’m starting—I mean, it’s literally like the time we were together, we were on the Nebakanezer. Now, I’m going back into the Matrix, and I see it all for what it really is. And I see it everywhere. It’s not like I am necessarily looking for the boogieman everywhere, like most folks are, I’m looking for the racialization. I’m not looking at victims & the victimizations, so to speak. I’m looking for the manipulation & the division & the stirring up of emotions around the idea of all of this [race(ism)]. I see it more and more, even without trying to see it. Sheena Mason, you truly liberated my mind. If there isn’t anyone else who tells you that in your life if you don’t touch anyone else in your life with what you’re doing, you have touched me. You have changed my life. You have changed my mind. And I am forever and eternally grateful and thankful for you."
For Sheena Mason, Ph.D.
“The Theory of Racelessness is not as scary as it may sound. Racelessness pertains to you identifying as having no race, but the theory in which it is situated has a profound implication, much more than race or what it means to be racialized itself. In “removing your race,” you may assume that you are removing your culture, history, past, ancestors, and the community you are situated within now, but this is simply not true. In fact, you are more so embodying your individual characteristics that represent your culture in its truest sense, instead of some watered down version of it, which “race” does. Race waters you down to an arbitrary category that does not account for YOUR true family and YOUR true history. It brings you and those who may physically look like you to this one simplified narrative that doesn't even account for a fraction of who you are, what you think, or what you believe."
For Greg Thomas
"I found this incredibly helpful. The whole idea of race as a construct that creates division and culture as a much more unifying classification makes total sense. It also helps me override a kind of “mind hiccup” I have when faced with people whose skin may look the same in colour, but whose cultures are very different. I once asked a man with very dark skin where he was from and he replied flippantly “Africa”. I pressed, because I wanted to know what country….Africa is huge! He kind of sheepishly said “Jamaica”. I then laughed at him a bit. We laughed together. Defining by culture puts Africa and Jamaica in somewhat different places. Fabulous talk and excellent presentation skills. Using analogies really hits the concepts home!"
For Greg Thomas
"Thank you so much for this conversation. It invited me to expand my horizon and be more aware of our humanity such of what we may have in common vs. what makes us different."