2019 Overcoming Racism Conference - Bemidji

Dismantling White Supremacy, its Power, its Structure and its Culture

Friday, November 15, 08:30 AM - Friday, November 15, 2019, 05:15 PM
Friday, November 15, 2019, 08:30 AM - 05:15 PM
Bemidji State University, Hobson Union
1500 Birchmont Dr.
Fee: $50 for MCN members or nonmembers

This year the Overcoming Racism Conference in St. Paul will be offered as a local partner conference in Bemidji.

In Bemidji, conference participants will watch the live-broadcast of the keynote session from St. Paul. Attendees will also gather in-person for locally-organized peer conversations and breakout sessions. Throughout the day, the conference aims to increase knowledge, build skills, and create strategies for change.

The Bemidji conference is organized and presented by a local Northwest Minnesota organizing committee, on behalf of the Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative. The Northern Minnesota conference will take place concurrently with the annual event taking place in St. Paul.


Conference Fee: $50 Register at:
Visit the Peacemaker Resources website for information on scholarships and vendor opportunities.

Conference Agenda

8 a.m. Registration and Breakfast

8:30 a.m. Bemidji Welcome

9 a.m. Keynote Presentation (Live Stream)

Joe Feagin is the Ella C. McFadden distinguished professor at Texas A&M University, where he does major research on systemic racism, classism, and sexism issues. He has published 70 scholarly books in these research areas.

Winona LaDuke is an internationally recognized activist on issues of sustainable development, renewable energy, and food systems. She is the founder and co-director of Honor the Earth and founder of the White Earth Land Recovery Project. Winona has written extensively on Native American and environmental issues.

10:30 a.m. Keynote Debrief
Join with peers to discuss the keynote and share reflections.

10:45 a.m. Break

11 a.m. Keynote Panel

12 p.m. Networking Lunch

12:15 p.m. Greater Minnesota Facilitating Racial Equity Collaborative

12:45 - 1:45 p.m. Breakout Sessions A

The Impact of Historical Trauma on Individual and Community Wellbeing
This workshop will introduce the concepts of historical trauma and epigenetics from the American Indian perspective and help attendees begin to uncover the ongoing impact on our youth, families, communities, and ourselves. We can reflect on our own roles in coming together to create a shift in our relationships and community cultures that will best support positive outcomes, resilience, and healing for today’s children and families as well as for generations to come.
Linsey McMurrin, Minnesota Communities Caring for Children
Northern Room

European Body Work
The presenter co-created a training module for people of European descent with the Soul Medic Team, in communion with a licensed social worker and therapist who specializes in Somatic Therapy for PTSD. The Soul Medic training is designed to foster an ethic of building resilience in the face of racial violence and trauma. The presenter uses her training in traditional Chinese massage, critical race theory, and conflict mediation to connect the emotional, physical, and cognitive bodies in the disease of confronting internal biases and external oppressive forces of the capitalist, imperialist, white supremacist, heteropatriarchy as a healing justice facilitator.
Magie Baumgartner, body work practitioner
Oza Win Dib Room

Fair Housing (Live Stream)
Michelle Rydz, High Plains Fair Housing Center
Crying Wolfe Room

2 - 3 p.m. Breakout Sessions B

Jumpstart your DEI Journey and Intercultural Development Inventory Discussion
Do you have room to improve on your DEI work? This session will offer insights and inspiration to get you going. Participants will gain helpful tools and resources they can use at each level of their organization, including the board of directors, staff teams, clients, and partner organizations, to jump start an intentional diversity, equity and inclusion journey. The session includes discussion of what the Intercultural Development Inventory is and how can you use it as a tool to start a conversation about difference, its practical application, and how to infuse a social justice lens with the IDI.  
Chandler Essenger, Mahube-Otwa Community Action Partnership
Northern Room

Indigenous Worldview
In this session the presenter will lead a discussion on indigenous worldviews, or “ancient people living in a modern world.” The idea that we are still here after 20-30,000 years of occupation on our indigenous lands is a testament to our wisdom. It is just as valid today as it has always been, without disruption and change. Be honored and celebrate our presence and contributions to mankind and the environment as the term “we are all related” has more meaning now with the disruptions of our natural world and people than it ever has.
Vivian Delgado, Bemidji State University
Oza Win Dib Room

Colored Lines: Diversity in Itasca - Video Screening and Discussion
Colored Lines: Diversity in Itasca is a documentary short film that explores challenges faced by people of color and native descent in Northern Minnesota. Featuring Itasca Community College faculty, students, and residents - these voices are part of a local awareness movement for cultural diversity, with the goal for making Itasca a more welcoming community. The screening and discussion will be facilitated by members of the Grand Rapids-based Community Action Team, whose purpose is to build communities where people of color and Native descent are respected and everyone can thrive. 
Deanna Ensley, Bernadine Joselyn, Becky LaPlant, Grand Rapids Community Action Team
Crying Wolfe Room  

3 p.m. Break

3:15 - 4:15 p.m. Breakout Sessions C

White Ally Tool Kit
This session will a presentation of a portion of the White Ally Toolkit by Dr. David Campt. The focus is on finding ways to be more effective in our interactions with racism skeptics. We will identify our response patterns to problematic thoughts and statements, and develop strategies to be more effective and intentional in our responses. In this session we will discuss strategies to stay calm in order to listen and promote connection, and we will practice having courageous conversations by role playing in a brave, safe space.
Chelsea Ottman Rak, Bemidji School District
Northern Room

Connecting Equity Goals to Rural Funding
Grantmakers are including questions around equity more often in applications - how do you answer when your community has 2%, 5%, or 15% people of color? Should you even apply? YES! Funders are looking for partners committed to building equity in their organization from the project design process to board recruitment. Join this session for a dynamic conversation focused on how understanding the people, power, and processes in your nonprofit can increase equity and improve your organization's access to funding for your work. The presenter will share insight from funders, data and software tools, and an interactive activity to try out the concepts.
DeeDee LeMier, Charities Review Council
Oza Win Dib Room

Anti-Bias Education: A tool for Dismantling White Supremacy in Education (Live Stream)
How does white supremacy show up in classrooms and schools? Why is culturally responsive teaching not enough? Anti-bias education is a foundational framework that speaks to the root causes of identity, differences, and bias. This workshop will unpack white supremacy in education and explore the concepts introduced through anti-bias education.
Rebecca Slaby, AMAZEworks
Crying Wolfe Room

4:30 p.m. Closing Panel Conversation
Discuss next steps, identify priorities, and share in inspiration for taking action in your community. The panel will be facilitated by Katie Carter of Northern Community Radio.

Jonae Bond is a student at Bemidji State University. She is the vice president and social media promoter for the Black Student Union at Bemidji State University. 

Ernest Joseph Oppegaard-Peltier III is an organizer and public speaker. Joey is the chair of Our Revolution Bemidji, which works at the local level for a progressive change. He has held positions at the North Dakota FosterCare TaskForce, NDYouth, 4NDYouth, and the Youth Advisory Council of North Dakota.

5:15 p.m. Adjourn

Register for the conference.


This event is sponsored by:

This event is funded in part by:
Minnesota Social Services Association
Laura Jane Musser Fund
Bemidji State University; Social Work Department
Bemidji State University; Center for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

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