Challenging Racism:Learning to Lead
More details about the facilitator training

In Challenging Racism:Learning to Lead, we are building facilitator knowledge, skills and a supportive network of parents and community people who can talk about race themselves, and lead conversations with others. To build that network for the future, we need to build connections among the training group. We need time to know each other’s stories and to debrief the many activities and practices that we try each day. Meals together give us the chance to build a team. 

We hope you will join us! 

6 Days of training, 8:30 am - 6:00 pm

  • Tuesday, July 10
  • Wednesday, July 11
  • Thursday, July 12
  • Friday,July 13
  • Monday, July 16
  • Tuesday, July 17

 Participants are expected to attend all 6 days of training, for the full time (8:30 am - 6:00 pm)

The Challenging Racism: Learning to Lead application deadline is Friday, June 15, 2018.
Applicants will be notified by Wednesday, June 20, 2018.


  • To be announced - Arlington, Virginia

Group Size:    

  • 12-14 Arlington parents and community members


The costs are straightforward: hourly payment for the facilitators, expenses for the facilitators handbook for Challenging Racism: Learning How  parent and community workshops and the Challenging Racism: Learning to Lead participant workbook, books and materials and meals.  

What is Included?

  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Materials are provided including the curriculum and facilitator’s handbook for the Challenging Racism: Learning How workshops.
  • Arrangements for internships and other kinds of facilitation and organizational experience in 2018-2020.
  • Four 2-hour evening facilitator professional development sessions 2018-2019 (participation required).
  • The full time training skills of two facilitators for six days, the addition of other facilitators for specific work, and two RBF facilitators for two full days

Partial Scholarships:

  • Partial scholarships for tuition and the costs of other impediments to participation in the training (for example childcare) are available through Challenging Racism fundraising.  Please advise us about a need.
  • If you or your organization cannot pay the full fee, please explain in your application or call.  We will make every effort to get the balance of your costs paid when you are accepted into the training. We are beginning fundraising efforts, so no promises. But this is our intent.
  • If you or your organization can provide a scholarship to another applicant, we would be grateful.
  • Arlington Public Schools may be supporting this training to the extent of paying full tuition for a few current APS parents, staff and teachers willing to facilitate APS Challenging Racism conversations. There is a section for noting current APS connections.

Challenging Racism: Learning to Lead:

  • This training will prepare you to co-facilitate discussions on race, second language, immigration, the achievement gaps, institutional racism, and other issues related to race and privilege.  The curriculum for Challenging Racism: Learning How is the center of this training.
  • Challenging Racism: Learning How was developed and written for Arlington Public Schools (APS) parent workshops on race that support eliminating the achievement gaps. A participant in this year’s parent conversations using the curriculum wrote: “it has been extraordinary… I learned just how much issues with race impact everything from teacher selection and perceptions of (student) competence to gifted and talented selection…”  Another parent wrote that “understanding the historical (government, banking, real estate, etc.) underpinning and support for institutional and societal racism was eye-opening…” 
  • The curriculum and materials are adaptable to other settings. The facilitation skills are applicable in meetings of any kind because the design helps you plan and facilitate meetings that move to action.
  • You will work with experienced facilitators. The preparation will be both in content and practice.
  • The class will include two days of Results Based Facilitation (RBF) training, a nationally recognized facilitation and leadership development program. The RBF training will be used to practice the Challenging Racism: Learning How curriculum. Visit for further information.
  • Results Based Facilitation (RBF) is a specific, hands-on method that enables people to practice the skills for getting different and better results in their meetings and conversations. The method is useful in one-on-one conversations, small groups, and large groups whether you are a meeting participant or meeting facilitator.
  • We aim to connect you to Arlington history from the Civil War to the present with a focus on the groups of people that live here, and their interactions.
  • You will be connected to a network of facilitators and others doing this work of education, training and moving to action around race, second language, immigration, privilege and other issues.
  • Our goal is to help build a healing community in Arlington where all people can communicate honestly about race, institutional racism, and privilege.
  • People who have completed the APS parent workshops on talking about racism (including Challenge Racism: Learning How through Stories and Conversations), or the APS training for teachers currently called Becoming Culturally Competent will find this training to be a natural next step.

Co-facilitator, Shari Benites, is an experienced facilitator who has been with Arlington Public Schools (APS) for over 20 years.  She is the Minority Achievement Coordinator at Yorktown High School and also Yorktown’s Director, Center for Leadership and Public Service. Her work includes facilitating Becoming a Culturally Competent Educator: Talking About Race training for APS staff, helping develop culturally responsive curriculum, and creating safe spaces for students to discuss issues of race and equity.  Shari co-facilitated Challenging Racism: Learning to Lead in 2016 and 2017, and Challenging Racism: Learning How in 2016 and 2017. (Read more about Shari Benites)

Co-facilitator Michele Chang has been facilitating for Challenging Racism at Jefferson and Yorktown, after graduating from the conversations in 2013, and taking RBF and Challenging Racism facilitator training. She has been an active member of the Challenging Racism alumni and board since its inception, and contributed to the 2nd edition of the Challenging Racism curriculum facilitator handbook and participant workbook.  Michele was a member of the training team for Challenging Racism: Learning to Lead last year, and continues to take an integral role expanding and developing new opportunities for Challenging Racism conversations in faith communities, neighborhood groups and for teens. As an Asian American, Michele offers an additional perspective to Challenging Racism as a person of color.  (Read more about Michele Chang)

Shari and Michele will be joined by other facilitators and special guests. 

Steven Jones, Ph.D., the Co-Founder of Results Based Facilitation (RBF) Network and founder of SEJ Consulting will assist in the training.  Steven has held senior leadership positions in private and public organizations leading change efforts, with 25 years’ experience providing facilitation, coaching and training to organizations focused on building more effective workplaces. He develops coaching and training protocols that transform people’s skills in the areas of leadership, team building, communication, systemic change, and diversity management.  He has been strongly connected to Challenging Racism since 2010.  

Participating facilitator for Challenging Racism: Learning to Lead, Marty Swaim, has over 14 years of experience facilitating Challenging Racism and Becoming a Culturally Competent Educator: Talking About Race. She is a certified Results Based Facilitation trainer.  (Read more about Marty Swaim). 

The Path to Becoming a Challenging Racism Co-Facilitator:

This training is a major step in your facilitator development process, however doing the training does not mean that we guarantee facilitating with Challenging Racism right away. It is the start of a training journey that has more than one possible result. Your path may be different, but typically the steps to becoming a Challenging Racism co-facilitator are: 

  1. Joining an 11 session Challenging Racism: Learning How workshop series. (Can be done after facilitator training under special circumstances.)
  2. Taking part in the Challenging Racism: Learning to Lead 2018 six-day facilitator training.
  3. Participating in four 2-hour evening facilitator professional development sessions 2018-2019.
  4. Accepting an internship with an 11 session Challenging Racism: Learning How workshop series or other Challenging Racism program. (Generally unpaid.)
  5. When both the new facilitator and Challenging Racism’s facilitation subcommittee are satisfied the trainee is ready, an intern can move into the role of co-facilitating an 11 session Challenging Racism: Learning How workshop series. (Sometimes paid, sometimes unpaid.)

Following the facilitator training, individual paths may diverge for the following reasons:

  • Some trainees finish the training having learned how much more they need to learn, and therefore feel unready for an internship. Challenging Racism will work with trainees who need more support to write and implement an individual development plan.
  • Other trainees face a year in which committing to an 11 session workshop series is not a choice because of personal circumstances.
  • And sometimes Challenging Racism does not have enough internship spaces, because of fluctuation in the number of programs run. For example, while our goal is expansion to six 11 session Challenging Racism: Learning How conversations, at the moment, APS has not committed to any 2018 groups.

 Unfortunately funding for Challenging Racism: Learning How workshops is up in the air for 2018-2019, so we cannot guarantee intern placement in a full 11 session conversation next year. But we commit to finding ways for you to continue your training while you work with experienced Challenging Racism facilitators.

The Challenging Racism: Learning to Lead application deadline is Friday, June 15, 2018.
Applicants will be notified by Wednesday, June 20, 2018.

If you miss the application deadline, please go ahead and submit your application.  We will let you know if the group is full.  If there is space, we will consider your application.​

 Questions:  Please email us.

Deeper Knowledge + Hands-On Practice
6 days of training: July 10-13 + July 16-17
8:30 am - 6:00 pm (meals included)

Application Deadline: Friday, June 15, 2018
Partial Scholarships Available

2018 Facilitator Training - More Details

Challenging Racism: Learning to Lead
​          through Stories and Conversations