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Chicago-area Racial-Healing Circle tonight.

Tuesday, Sept. 1: Participate in a Chicago-area Racial-Healing Circle (virtual) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. FREE.

Register here.

Evanston resident Evangeline Su and Chicagoan Sarah Dennis will co-facilitate a Racial Healing Circle tonight, sponsored by the Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation /TRHT Greater Chicago project of the Woods Fund Chicago.

If you've never participated in a racial healing circle, now's the time. They're powerful and necessary.


What is racial healing?

Racial healing recognizes the need to acknowledge and tell the truth about past wrongs created by individual and systemic racism and address the present consequences. It is an experience and a tool that can facilitate trust and build authentic relationships that bridge divides created by real and perceived differences.

What is a virtual racial healing circle?

A Racial Healing Circle is a two-hour session led by trained facilitators, which includes group interactions as well as smaller, more intimate conversations between two partners.

The experience relies on intentional listening.

It can be an emotional experience and even transformational for participants because it can unearth truths and conscious and unconscious biases. It can also raise the awareness, consciousness, compassion, and empathy among those who participate.

As trained Racial Healing Circle practitioners, Evangeline and Sarah will help ensure a confidential, safe space for participants to have truthful conversations with one another.

Please only register if you can stay for the whole session.

A racial-healing circle provides:

• an opportunity to gather together in community and to experience our shared humanity;

• an opportunity for individuals to connect with other individuals;

• an experience to share our “heart” stories with other circle participants;

• an opportunity for deep listening and to practice “holding space” for others;

• an opportunity to dispel myths and stereotypes we may hold about other groups or individuals;

• an opportunity to dismantle false beliefs in a hierarchy of human value;

• an opportunity to transform our relationships with others and ourselves; and

• an opportunity to create and build trust between participants and communities that will often serve as the foundation for other work related to racial equity and healing – e.g., changing inequitable and systemic laws and policies.

Racial healing circles may or may NOT address race directly – depending on the co-facilitators, make-up, design, and goals/intentions for individual circles.

A Racial Healing Circle is NOT:

• confrontational;

• an opportunity to call out other people for harms that groups and individuals have perpetrated or are continuing to perpetrate;

• an opportunity to fix or sit in judgment of others;

• the place to resolve or change larger, systems-based issues or challenges;

• an anti-racism or diversity and inclusion training.

Click here For a three-minute video to learn more.

Click here for a 14-minute WBEZ audio report about racial-healing circles.

In addition to registering, please complete this form, and, where it asks, include the following info:

- Practitioner Organized

- Facilitators: Evangeline Su & Sarah Dennis

- Sept 1, 2020, 6-8pm


About Evangeline Su

Evangeline Su is a transplant from southern Virginia, who has lived in Evanston for the last 20 years. She migrated to the north away from a town that held Lee/Jackson/King Day on the third Monday of every January, only to find that things were not as different as she had hoped up north.

Because of her experiences growing up in the south, she aspired to be an educator as a child and the more she saw racial inequities play out in the school systems she attended, the more she wanted to commit her efforts in education to diversity, equity, and real inclusion.

Evangeline holds degrees in cultural anthropology and chemistry. She pursued STEM education to fit into the "model minority" label placed on her as a child, worked both in industry as a research scientist and as an educator teaching chemistry, and then veered away from that as she began to recognize her calling supporting students exploring their identity and developing their self-efficacy.

She has worked extensively with students of underrepresented minority, low-income, and first- generation-to-college backgrounds in various roles. Evangeline has particularly enjoyed developing peer mentoring programs and leading workshops and programs for students and training facilitators at Northwestern University.

About Sarah Dennis

Sarah Dennis grew up in Chicago and, in the mid-80s/early 90s, attended a Chicago Public Magnet school that attracted children from diverse racial, ethnic, religious and socio-economic backgrounds near the Cabrini Green Housing Project.

She was inspired to become an educator committed to social justice to help turn children on to the love of learning and reading, and work towards changing the inequities in many of the systems in the United States.

Sarah holds degrees in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, and Literacy Education, and has taught in public schools in New York City as well as presented her research on early childhood education nationally.

Sarah has provided professional development and coaching to many hundreds of teachers and coaches in NYC and Chicago and assessed and tutored children (Kindergarten-HS) for more than 20 years. She is the founder and co-leader of the Illinois Chapter of National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME): Advancing and Advocating for Social Justice & Equity, and also founded and co-lead Families for Racial Justice Chicago.

Sarah recently provided professional development training on Equity in Early Childhood as well as on Microaggressions in Evanston.

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