Sessions take place on seven (typically consecutive) Fridays from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM at various locations throughout the region. Cohort Three ends in early February. Below are the dates for open enrollment programs in 2018.
We have put much thought into the design of our curriculum. Each new session builds on the preceding ones and provides opportunities to apply previous learning. Participants will learn to better understand themselves as human and social beings, to recognize the root causes and systemic nature of our racial disparities, and to design sustainable and effective strategies for personal and social change.
Focusing on the core practices of self-reflection and effective communication, we will begin to explore the relationship between introspection and outrospection. Core themes include self-awareness, perspective taking, and generative dialogue. These tools provide a foundation for leadership and for building more authentic and effective relationships.
We will examine what neuroscience and social psychology tell us about the workings of our ancient and modern brain structures and their effects on how we think and behave. Key concepts will include cognitive heuristics and the power of social context. These frames clarify our need to cultivate higher-order reasoning, self-leadership, and individual agency.
Examining key meta narratives of Western European and American culture, the group will explore how social power interacts with these ideologies and shapes our interpretations of social reality. We will consider how these narratives have propped up and justified social inequalities and how different categories of oppression intersect with one another.
In our fourth session, we will confront racism at the macro (socio-cultural) level. Following an investigation into the legacies of white supremacy in American history, the group will use data specific to the St. Louis region to develop a deeper understanding of how systemic racism has maintained and continues to perpetuate racial disparities in our local communities.
Focusing on the micro (personal) level, participants will explore racial identity theory, the need for healing, and paths to more authentic identities. We will also consider how to support one another across racial groups even while pursuing different journeys to the same end.
On our sixth gathering, we will explore research-based strategies for successful change at the personal and social levels. An introduction to systems thinking principles and skills will be followed by individuals plotting their respective plans for personal growth and increased effectiveness.
A key goal of St. Louis Renewed is to build a community of effective change agents in the region. To that end, participants will help one another finalize their personal action plans and identify ways to provide ongoing mutual support and accountability. In workplace-based cohorts, the focus will be on designing an organizational strategy for institutional change.
What can you gain by investing seven days in seven weeks?
Photo credit: Photo © Juliapom • Dreamstime. Copyright © 2017 Carmen García Ruiz and St. Louis Renewed. All rights reserved.