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Racial Justice Facilitator Program

Spark the Conversation of Change

Many people want to bring about positive change, but don’t know where to start. The practice of racial justice is a muscle you can strengthen. With tools and practice, you can facilitate meaningful conversations about race and racism in your community and help people work through bias, shame, guilt and prejudice. Everyone has a role to play in ending racism — you can be a leader for racial justice in your family, work, faith community or neighborhood.

Leading the conversation about diversity and racism is difficult, but necessary. These topics often give rise to challenging and emotional moments, which can generate progress, or end in negativity. This is where our facilitators come in — to help ensure conversations can proceed in a supportive environment with participants able to share their thoughts openly.

No one starts out perfectly prepared to handle the nuances of these dialogues, and no one should be expected to take on this important work without guidance. Our facilitator program gives you the tools and opportunities you need to stand against racism and advocate for racial justice.

Become a Facilitator

YWCA Minneapolis provides free racial justice facilitator training. Through the indigenous tradition of circle dialogue, facilitators gain experience and confidence navigating through difficult conversations about race and the effects of racism. After completing our three-part training program, you will be prepared to facilitate community conversations and our yearly It’s Time to Talk: Forums on Race™ event.

2023 Cohort Dates:

  • Cohort 1: Wednesdays, Feb. 15, Feb. 23, March 1
  • Cohort 2: Mondays, June 5, 12, 21

All sessions are held between 4:00 – 6:30 pm on Zoom.

Facilitation Training

Time Commitment:

7.5 hours spread over three 2.5-hour sessions with a single cohort, or group of facilitators.

Group Training:

It is important for community building and continuity of learning that you complete your training within a single group.


The training is FREE.

Application and Evaluation Process

Applications will be reviewed by a committee. Those accepted into the program will be notified four weeks prior to the start of the cohort to which they applied. Please keep a note of the cohort you requested. YWCA Minneapolis staff might contact you sooner if they have further questions regarding your application.

Participants who are accepted into the training will be evaluated throughout the training period on skill set, participation, knowledge and adherence to the process.

We ask that new facilitators commit to facilitating our annual It’s Time to Talk™ event. If you are unable to commit, please contact to discuss program fees.

What Will You Learn?

Facilitator training covers seven and a half hours in total, spread out over three sessions of two and a half hours each. To ensure continuity of learning, you will complete your training alongside the same people at every session. Our program breaks the learning process down into three distinct segments, with the ultimate goal of preparing you to act confidently as a facilitator and guide future conversations.

Session 1: Getting Together

The first portion of our facilitator training focuses on bringing participants together and familiarizing them with YWCA Minneapolis’ racial justice philosophy. You will also learn about the models YWCA Minneapolis uses to talk about this topic and surrounding issues.

Session 2: Circle and Facilitation

The second section of training examines circle dialogue as a beneficial and productive means of conversation. During this time, you will learn the mechanics of the method and begin to take on the role of facilitator.

Session 3: Practice Makes Practice

The third and final session is dedicated to practicing and improving participants’ facilitation skills. Discussion leaders can still feel nervous and make mistakes, even after comprehensive racial justice training — but we are all continuously learning and developing our skills. In this session, everyone will have the chance to assume the role of facilitator and guide the conversation.

“…for it is not difference which immobilizes us, but silence. And there are so many silences that need to be broken.
– Audre Lorde

Facilitator Testimonials