Pre-Forum Institute

Diversity Forum 2022 | Pre-Forum Institute

Illuminating the Vaccine for Racism: Embodying Grounded Personal and Collective Racial Equity Consciousness

Dates: Monday, July 25 – Tuesday, July 26 | Times: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Registration Fee: $199 (Free to University of Pittsburgh faculty, staff, and students)

Register for the Pre-Forum Institute

General Registration ($199) 

Pitt Alum, Faculty, Staff, Student Registration 

About the Pre-Forum Institute

"There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures."

— bell hooks —

Figure 1 – Critical systems thinking mental model of racial equity consciousness development consisting of six interconnected, bilateral spheres of embodiment

Systems informed human cognitive processing—systems thinking—and decision making are fundamental facets in effectively disarming systemically-ingrained biases, sparking systemic innovations & collaborations, constructing systemic interventions, and addressing systemic public health challenges. Systemic racism is a longstanding public health crisis, and as such, the work of uprooting racism in our communities must extend and endure beyond reacting to instances of racism with performative, siloed, or linear responses to embodying and institutionalizing substantive, structural, and systemic antiracist praxis and initiatives to advance racial equity.

The historied racial justice organization and leader of innovative systems analyses and structural approaches to complex race issues, Race Forward, defines racial equity as “a process of eliminating racial disparities and improving outcomes for everyone. It is the intentional and continual practice of changing policies, practices, systems, and structures by prioritizing measurable change in the lives of people of color.” This transformative effort is informed, catalyzed, and sustained by the conscious and systematic development of our personal and collective consciousness of the dispositions, knowledge, awareness, and skills that empower us to contemplate and cultivate racial equity—i.e., our racial equity consciousness. The Pre-Forum Institute guides participants through the critical systems thinking racial equity consciousness framework to grow mindsets and abilities to develop antiracist, strategic, organizational, and systems thinking approaches to dismantling racism. The Institute is facilitated through immersive community learning and dialogue modules that integrate narrative guides, reflection exercises, small group dialogues, and more, to support learners and teachers in analyzing the complexity and pervasiveness of racism, and reflecting on action they can take, personally and collectively, to advance racial equity in their institutions and communities.