Antiracism and Whiteness Training for White LGBTQ Helping Professionals

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For White LGBTQPIA+ Helping Professionals: Facing Our Whiteness, Unlearning Racism, and Decolonizing Mental Health

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An intensive anti-racism training for fifteen white socially conscious LGBTQPIA+ mental health providers, social service workers, and related helpers*

Fee: A (reparations) donation to Black Visions Collective or Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center | No one is turned away for inability to pay.

This 20-hour weekend training offers an intentional and serious dive into our anti-racism work.

  • Take the 40-minute pre-training assessment of your racial beliefs, judgments, bias', stereotypes, and knowledge
  • Firmly, honestly, humbly, and compassionately challenge, and be challenged, by the other members of this fifteen-member training group
  • Explore our (Queer) whiteness in the context of our LGBTQPA2SI+ communities
  • Increase our racial literacy
  • Explore the insidious and comprehensive nature of patriarchal, capitalistic white supremacy
  • Examine the colonization of the mental health and social work fields
  • Examine how completely white supremacist culture influences and benefits us personally and professionally
  • Face our "white savior" and entitlement, especially as it relates to our work as helping professionals
  • Address our conflict-avoidant "white niceness" and "white is right" defensiveness
  • Identify how racism and white supremacy hurt us, and share strategies to heal our moral injury and reintegrate our bodies, minds, and hearts
  • Explore how our personal and professional values can fortify our anti-racism work
  • Role-play personal and professional scenarios that challenge our white-body privilege, conscious and unconscious biases, and white discomfort with conflict
  • Imagine the wonder, health, wellness, and joy of a truly liberated multi-cultural community and world
  • Develop our gained anti-racist perspectives into meaningful anti-racist professional and personal practices

We European-American LGBTQPIA+* helping professionals may deem ourselves to be more socially conscious and oppression-aware. We often believe because we have experienced queer oppression, discrimination, and hate crimes that we automatically understand our white privilege.

The reality is we white LGBTQPIA+ people have a cultural and social history of centering whiteness and overtly and covertly excluding, exploiting, denying, dismissing, appropriating, harming, eroticizing, and micro-aggressing the Black, Indigenous, Two-Spirit, and People of Color members of our LGBTQP2SIA+ communities.

Professionally, we may think the compassionate nature of our work means our helping professions are above systematic white supremacy. Realistically, we white mental health and social work professionals participate in and benefit from education, training, testing, evaluation, and service provision rooted in racism, white supremacist patriarchy, capitalism, anti-Blackness, assimilation, and colonialism.


To decolonize therapy is to reconnect to the humanization of therapy, to reclaim therapy, to include systems and oppression into our therapy practices and analysis, and to re-humanize therapists (bring them down from some pedestals), as well as to center the person and their cultural and political identities back into the work. It is snatching psychology, social work, and counseling back from the wrinkled white hands of European men…To decolonize our therapy, we have to work on decolonizing our darn selves FIRST and really looking at our education, decisions, ways of living, and how we are part of the exploitation of resources (Mother Earth), and people (labor). - Jennifer Mulan PhD


Current events present a unique moment in time for white people to step up and out and do our anti-racism work with intention. As socially-conscious white queer helping professionals, we have decisions to make about if and what we will do; and when we will do it.

Some of us don't know where to start. Or are overwhelmed or too busy. Some of us could use support, structure, and guidance. Some of us haven't thought about it. Some of us have been doing "the work" and desire deeper exploration and self-reflection. Some of us haven't figured out when or what.

Join us. We all start somewhere. And hopefully, we don't stop until all of us are free.

Winter life during COVID-19 may provide unforeseen opportunity to hunker down and commit to your racial justice growth.

Similar versions of this training held in October 2020, November 2020, and January 2021 sold out. They included participants from many states within the USA, Canada, and the UK.

		Antiracism and Whiteness Training for White LGBTQ Helping Professionals image

		Antiracism and Whiteness Training for White LGBTQ Helping Professionals image

Friday, March 12 - Sunday, March 14, 2021. Friday is from noon to 5p. Saturday is 9 - 5p and Sunday* is 10-530p CST. There are generous breaks throughout. (*The Sunday meeting time of this training is typically 9-430p. However, since it is Daylight Savings Time we are meeting 10-530p.)

This 20-hour training is a commitment and investment of time and energy!

The 20-hour weekend training will incorporate lecture, video, storytelling, large and small group discussions, personal reflection time, role-playing, somatic body check-ins, homework, personal sharing, and racial bias assessments. Using template options, each participant will create a plan for specific, meaningful, and realistic anti-racist action and accountability in their personal and professional lives.

To help create a more meaningful and personal connection, the participant number is capped at 15 members.

*"White helping professionals" includes therapists, nonprofit mental health workers, CD counselors, social workers, psychologists, mental health counselors, marriage and family therapists, wellness coaches, school and career counselors and social workers, community health workers, etc. This includes, graduate students or interns, or folx who are working in group practices, agencies or private practice, or unemployed, or retired. Participants from throughout the USA and beyond are welcome.

Please see the Appendix below for Why this training is a white affinity training space? and To white-passing helping professionals.

Format: Zoom is the virtual platform. Specific information about the topics, terms, and concepts, as well as the writers, trainers, researchers, etc. are listed below in the Appendix.

Participants are asked to:

  • commit to confidentiality and active participation
  • stretch our personal and professional comfort edges with each other
  • strive for congruence with our professional ethics and personal values
  • bring a willingness to be open to our and others' mistakes, healing, risks, change, and growth
  • develop meaningful and realistic plans for anti-racist actions and accountability

Facilitator and developer of this training: Irene Greene MSED | Greene Growth & Training | Irene works and lives on Ojibwe land, which is known as Minneapolis, MN | | This training is an expanded version of shorter similar trainings Irene has offered over the years. For information on her training and experience see the Appendix.

When you register, you will be asked to complete a list of questions. See the Appendix.

Fee: A (reparations) donation to Black Visions Collective or Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center | Note: No one is turned away for inability to pay. Contact Irene at if you have any questions.

The MN LGBTQ+ Therapists' Network will match each member's registration towards a scholarship fund for QBIPOC students in the fields of mental health and social work.

Tech help is needed: Irene is in need of someone to do tech assistance during the weekend training, i.e., coordinate Zoom break-out rooms, post links and content on The Chat, etc. If you are interested, contact irene@irenegreene. (All of the information will be given to you ahead of time.) - Thank you to the persons who have volunteered.

Any profits will be donated to MN Indian Women's Resource Center, 2300 15th Avenue South, Mpls, MN 55404

CEUs or College Credit: Depending on your profession, you may receive up to 20 Continuing Education Units (CEUs). CEU forms to submit to your boards are available from Irene. Check with your board to confirm your board's particular requirements for topic acceptance and CEU allotment for workshop hours provided. College independent credit may also be possible. Check with your educational institution.

Provided: Throughout the training, you will receive handouts with definitions and concepts, worksheets, articles, self-assessments, and an extensive resource bibliography.

General points about this training

(1) In this training (as with all of Irene's workshops and trainings) our diversity is nurtured, valued, and celebrated, including, though not limited to, the richness of our varying sexual, affectional, gender, spiritual, racial, ethnic, class, age, educational, employment, size, ability, and family configurations.

(2) Why is this training a white affinity training space? This program is designed for people of European descent.

There are many training formats available for white people to address our whiteness and anti-racism work. There are differing opinions about anti-racism trainings being taught by a white trainer or being geared towards only white people. Based on my experiences of giving and receiving anti-racism trainings in various configurations, I have found unique value for some white people to do some of "their work" in a white affinity space format.

When white people “do our work”: When we white people do our educational work in white affinity or white caucus spaces, we can more appropriately center the needs, experiences, feelings, and perspectives of our whiteness. We are often more honest and vulnerable in unpacking our conscious and unconscious internalization of white supremacy. We can directly encourage ourselves and each other to shift to anti-racist and liberation-based insights and practices. We can directly address our desire to be "the best white person," "the best white ally," or "the most anti-racist."

In white affinity spaces, we white people more honestly grapple with our inevitable micro-aggressions and racial biases. We can address our stumbling reactions in the company of other white people, i.e., over-apologizing, over-explaining, guilt, white tears, shame, anger, blame, denial, etc. In these white spaces, we will not be able to look to BIPOC for permission, forgiveness, education, responsibility, validation, or comfort. Doing our whiteness work together may help reduce at least some of the pain and disrespect our unexplored whiteness may cause BIPOC.

When we racial ally-intentioned white people develop supportive connections with similar white people, we may more effectively process our white perfectionism, white exhaustion, mistakes, and discomfort. We are often more open to examining our racial stereotypes and assumptions. Together, we can claim the growth and liberation that come with accepting our anti-racist responsibility and accountability.

A white affinity space offers white people an opportunity to muck around in our messiness, fear, and upset. We have space to heal our inter-generational moral injury, guilt, shame, and loss. Additionally, together we can learn to understand the roots of our white identity development and increase appreciation for our own ethnic background. (Connecting with our European ancestry often decreases white people's tendency to appropriate BIPOC culture.)

Note: It is essential to understand that too much time in white-only spaces can keep us in a safe, artificial allyship bubble. If we are protecting ourselves from taking risks, we are continuing to center our whiteness. Being in only white spaces significantly reduces our potential to build personal and professional relationships with people of the global majority. Additionally, it minimizes potential professional and personal alliances in our commitment to decolonizing mental health and social work and limits our agitating together for justice and liberation. True allyship is a verb, not a noun.

(3) To white-passing helping professionals: please note this particular training may not be a fit for you. Hopefully, the text below will explain why. Feel free to contact me to discuss.

First, I realize there are not many dedicated places for white-passing people to address how race, racism, and white supremacy impact you. You may find this upcoming training to be of interest and a better fit. Rysse Ellen Guzman organizes it: People of Complexity (POC): Decolonizing Identity and Reclaiming Ancestral Wisdom.

There are a few reasons I ask white-presenting folks to contact me about why this particular training may not be a good fit for you (or the other participants). I want you to be able to make an informed decision. It may be helpful for you to know that the anti-racism trainings I do are not just informative, factual, and academic in nature. They get personal, intense, and real, especially those of this nature that are 20-hours long.

a. Meeting the needs of white-passing folks: This training is not designed to address the specific needs of white-passing people who are working on their anti-racism issues. Because I am white and there is no white-presenting or BIPOC co-presenter, I do not feel that I can adequately provide the service, information, perspective, context, and experiences that may be most helpful for people with "skin privilege." While there is overlap in the anti-racism work for white and white-passing people, there are important differences. I have done versions of this training to multi-racial groups, with and without BIPOC co-trainers. Those trainings, however, are designed for multi-cultural spaces and marketed that way.

b. Harm: the inevitable micro-aggressing (i.e., causing white supremacist-based harm in real-time): This training will include participants talking and processing their specific racist conscious and unconscious stereotypes and beliefs. (I welcome these types of frank discussions. They are essential steps in white people doing this work.) This dialogue often includes folks speaking, justifying, and grappling with racial micro-aggressions. These comments may indirectly impact you or may even be directed at you. While most of these racist statements will be "unintended," they will still be racist. If (when) this happens, there would be processing and efforts towards repair. However, I am concerned about the harm that may be caused. (I realize racial micro-aggressions may be common experiences for you. Nonetheless, in my consultation with my consultants and friends about the dynamics of a white affinity space, the strong likelihood of unnecessary harm is the main reason they suggest that white-presenting folks do not attend.)

c. White people often center their whiteness at the cost of the BIPOC and white-presenting people: White people are very aware of color differences, even if the person is white-passing. White people become very aware and conscious of the race dynamics. This often means that at least some of the white people in this training will inevitably focus on white approval-seeking of the co-participants who are multi-racial (i.e., "please validate me as one of the good white people in this room"). They will also likely move into white protector / white savior mode. I have concerns that these dynamics are not helpful or healing for BIPOC or multi-racial participants to contend with, on top of you trying to do your work.

d. This training is marketed as a white affinity space. (I am aware that naming a space a "whites-only" space may mirror decades of blatant exclusionary racism.) The white people who are attending this training are expecting that the participants will all be white. There are reasons this space is designed for whites of European descent. Some white people can unlearn their racism in a multi-racial space. On the other hand, other white folks can do more in-depth and more meaningful work in a white affinity space. In this work, I have noticed how white people learn and grow differently. When non-white people are present, some white people inevitably refrain from doing the deeper, more vulnerable (not fragility-based) anti-racist work required.]

My general thought is this training is not a good fit for white-passing people. However, you know yourself and your needs. If you do, I support your choice to join. If you choose not to participate, I will share all of the materials with you.

Respectfully, Irene Greene (I am happy to talk about other ways to view white affinity training spaces.

- The Emperor Has No Clothes: Teaching About Race and Racism to People Who Don't Want to Know by Tema Okun

- White Anti-Racism Affinity Groups: I Used to Be a Skeptic, But Now I'm an Evangelist (blog post by Justin C. Cohen)

- Guide to Race-Based Affinity Groups (UUA Youth and Adult Ministries)


• *LGBTQPIA+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Pansexual, Intersex, Asexual / LGBTQPI2SA+: Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Pansexual, Intersex, Two-Spirit, Asexual

• **QBIPOC: Queer Black Indigenous and People of Color


Appendix A:

Topics, terms, and concepts we will address or reference during the 20-hours include:

Decolonizing mental health and social work | white savior complex| The Pathology of Whiteness | Inter-generational white moral injury | Characteristics of White Supremacy | Racial equity, racial equality, racial justice | Racist, non-racist, and anti-racist | Impact over intention | White Liberalism, "white lady" liberalism, white woman violence, white feminism , "white women's tears" | Cultural appropriation, appreciation, and assimilation | Whiteness, white-body privilege, white violence, white gaze, white defensiveness, complacency and complacency, white fragility, white entitlement | Being the "good white person," performative allyship, earning allyship | White fear, trauma, and our psycho-biology and brain science: flight, fight, freeze, fawn and face| Dismantling the imperialist, white supremacist, capitalist, and patriarchal systems of oppression | Healing Ethno-Central Trauma (HEART), Healing-Centered Engagement | Moving beyond Trauma-Informed Care | Healing justice, racial justice, reparations | Intersectional feminism| Professional ethics and personal values | The intersections of environmental justice, queer justice, disability rights, women's rights, gender justice, health justice, religions freedom, and economic justice | Land acknowledgment | personal, cultural and systematic racism | Collective liberalism and liberatory consciousness: Awareness, Analysis, Action, Accountable Ally-ship | Complacency is Complicity| White racial identity development | Decentering whiteness, "calling in" and "calling out" | Multi-culturalism, white humility, cultural humility| Defunding the police, abolition, transformative justice, state violence, and the prison pipeline | White Queerness | Colonization, imperialism, fascism, white nationalism | Systematic racism and COVID-19| Anti-Blackness, transmisogyny, and the killing of trans women of color | Racial bias and microaggression | Racial trauma, racial exhaustion, Black rage, and post-traumatic slave syndrome | Why ally is a verb; not a noun.

Resources and references will include writings, blogs, speeches, art, videos, interviews, research, concepts, papers, and trainings from QBIPOC, BIPOC, and non-BIPOC:

Kay Cheng Thom, Jennifer Mulan, Resmaa Menakem, Ijeoma Oluo, bell hooks, Rachel Cargle, Janet Helms, Tema Okun, Kenneth Jones, Angela Davis, Cara Page, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Pema Chodron, Mary Pender Greene, Paul Levine, Judy Ryde, Staci K. Haines, Megan R. Gerber, Tyler McKinnish, Claire Burgess, Colleen Sloan, Joy DeGruy, Tiffany Jana, Renee Linklater, Jordan Flaherty, Ibram Kendi, Stephanie Jones-Rogers, Daina Ramey Berry, Kali Nicole Grow, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Beverly Daniel Tatum, Lama Rod Owens, Robin DiAngelo, Jennifer C. Nash, Layla F. Saad, Zeshan Mustafa, Reni Eddo-Lodge, Barbara J. Love, Paul Kivel, Ali Michael, Mary C. Cooper, Adam Getachew, Babe Kawaii-Bogue, Akala, Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Asha Bandela, Susan Raffo, Kenneth Hardy, Atum Azzahir, Manijeh Daneshpour, Jose G. Luiggi-Hernandez, R. Brockman, Paul Gorski, Noura Erakat, Catrice M. Jackson, Elisa Lacerda-Vandenborn, Mimi Khuc, Lambers Fisher, Patrick Grzanka, Keri Frantell, Ruth Fassinger, Vikram Kolmannskog, Ruth King, Brene Brown, Sonya Renee Taylor, Tarana Burke, Bree Newsome Bass, and more.

Appendix B:

Irene Greene MSED | Greene Growth & Training | Irene lives and works on Anishinaabe land, which is commonly known as Minneapolis, MN

I am a European-American (Irish, German, and Roma Gypsy) cisgender older woman, an "out" lesbian for over 35 years, a survivor, an intersectional feminist, a single parent by creative means, an avid Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) & MN Lynx Basketball fan, a community organizer and activist. I hail from a small conservative Catholic farming community in rural Minnesota. My mother was a schoolteacher, and my father was a farmer on land stolen from the Anishinabe, the Indigenous people who originally lived in this part of the Midwest. I am the third child of eight siblings. With all of their colliding lessons, these identities inform my motivation and dedication to the services I provide and the communities I choose to serve. - Irene

Irene has 29+ years as an individual and relationship therapist, positive psychology wellness coach, activist, and educator. The majority of her clients identify as LGBTQ2SPIA+, BIPOC, QBIPOC, social justice activists, and health and wellness professionals. Irene has facilitated dozens of trainings on the topics of political trauma stress and oppression fatigue; compassion fatigue, burnout, vicarious trauma, and resiliency; wellness during COVID-19, and anti-racist allyship. Irene facilitates a support group for Twin Cities Executive Directors (EDs) of LGBTQ+, HIV-AIDS & Social Justice Nonprofits. She is the Chair of the MN LGBTQ+ Therapists' Network and a psychological first-aid street medic trainer. Irene is a past member of the MN Women in Psychology's steering committee and the first Director of the UM-Twin Cities Aurora Sexual Violence Program.

Specialized training and education

Racial Trauma Assessment and Treatment Techniques for Trauma Rooted in Racism by Monica Williams, PhD

Transforming White Privilege Curriculum

Kente Circle Training Institute:

  • Reclaiming Our Humanity and Voices through PROTEST: Responding to Racial Trauma and Violence by Kente Circle Training Institute – Fall Conference 2020
  • Order for A Communal Discourse: Embracing Racial Consciousness by Kente Circle Training Institute - Fall Conference 2019
  • Keeping the Faith: In the Midst of Racial Oppression by Kente Circle Training Institute - Fall Conference 2018
  • Healing in Community: Shifting the Burden of Dismantling Racism by Kente Circle Training Institute - Fall Conference 2017

Advanced Equity Skills for Clinicians by Rebecca Davis and Shea Lowery Anti-Racist Trauma-Informed Care by artic LLC (Anti-Racist Trauma-Informed Care)

Movement Trauma Healer Training Program, School of Global Citizenry

Understanding Movement Trauma for Healers TRACC (Trauma Response and Crisis Care) 4 Movements by Teresa Mateus

Racial Trauma by Lilian Daz, American Psychologists Association

White People Confronting Racism 20-hour training by Training for Change

Multi-cultural Awareness and Diversity: Strategies to Advance Rapport and Cultural Competency by Lambers Fisher

A Therapists' Path for Exploring Implicit Bias and Racial Trauma with Janina Fisher, Debra Chatman-Finley, and Gliceria Pérez

White Fragility and White-Body Supremacy by Resmaa Menakem and Robin DiAngelo

Journey to Allyship by Catrice Jackson

Training the Trainer Anti-Racism Project for nonprofit programs of MN Coalition of Battered Women and MN Coalition Against Sexual Assault Services

Post-Graduate Certificate in Positive Psychology Well-Being Coaching, (PPWBC) National Board Certification Training Program, College of Executive Coaching

Master of Science in Education Degree with a concentration in Guidance and Counseling: Community Counseling & Counseling Women from the University of Wisconsin-Superior's Guidance and Counseling Program of the Educational Leadership Department, Clinical Mental Health Counseling Track, Highest Honors

Appendix C:

Registration Questions

Answering these questions is part of the registration process. Brief answers are welcome. Understandably, some concepts may be unfamiliar. That's okay. These questions will give you a window into our discussion topics. Hopefully, your answers will offer you clarity about where you are and hope to be in your personal and professional journey of unlearning racism and decolonizing your work. Your answers will also help me get to know you and ensure this training is a good fit. - Thank you. Irene

1. Please share a bit about yourself, i.e., gender and sexual identities? You live where? Your helping profession? If you know, include your ethnic background (your European ancestry).

2. This is a 20-hour training and is capped at about 15 people. It is designed this way to aid in fostering participant connection and trust-building. It is expected that participants attend the full 20 hours and attend with the intention of openness to learn, participate, and share. What will make this easy or challenging for you?

3. This training is designed as a white affinity space, i.e., for people of European-descent. (See the statement above "Why is this training a white affinity space?" and "To White Passing Helping Professionals.") We white people can often do "our work" in more honest and open ways when we are in the company of other white people. We can also address our whiteness, racial stereotypes, and racist beliefs without causing harm to BIPOC. When we white people are doing our anti-racism work, we often become self-protective and defensive. This can show up as fear, denial, anger, competition, discomfort, guilt, dissociation, blame, or shame. When you do your whiteness work, which of these reactions are you likely to have?

4. What are you hoping to gain from your participation?

5. What concerns, if any, do you have about participating?

6. Participants will be at different places in our understanding of racism, our whiteness, white supremacy, anti-racism, decolonization, and liberation. How will this be for you?

7. What is a race-related issue you grapple with? (i.e., guilt, looting during protests, blue lives matter, slavery, defunding the police, talking with white clients or family about race, talking with BIPOC / QBIPOC clients about race, police at Pride)

8. This training is specifically designed for white helping professionals who identify as LGBTQPIA+? (I do offer other similar trainings that are open to all genders and sexual identities.) As a person who is LGBTQPIA+, is it helpful to you to participate in this training with only other LGBTQPIA+ participants? Why or why not?

9. What do you see are the differences and similarities between being a white LGBTQPIA+ person and a Black Indigenous or person of color (BIPOC) who is also LGBTQPIA+ (QBIPOC)?

10. At the end of the 20-hour training, do you want a CEU certificate of attendance for you to submit to your board? (Please check with your board to see how many credits they will confirm.)

c 2020 | 2021

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