Capacity Building for Nonprofits

Racial Equity Trainings

Addressing challenges and creating lasting improvements is something we focus on as a community foundation – it’s what we were built to do, over a century ago.

Pursuing equitable opportunities for all Rhode Islanders and addressing the causes of disparate outcomes among our communities are core to our strategy.

We are pleased to make three new opportunities available to the public, which we hope will encourage learning and dialogue specifically around racial equity. These learning opportunities will be provided by the Racial Equity Institute, an alliance of trainers, organizers, and institutional leaders devoted to creating racially equitable organizations and systems.

Upcoming trainings





Racial Equity: A Groundwater Approach

October 21, 1-4 p.m., The Gamm Theatre, Warwick

This Groundwater presentation is a three-hour introduction to racial equity. In this lively and participatory presentation, organizers from the Racial Equity Institute will use stories and data to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural in nature. By examining characteristics of modern-day racial inequity, the presentation introduces participants to an analysis that many find immediately helpful and relevant.

Who should attend: Anybody with an interest in advancing racial equity in Rhode Island.

Simultaneous Spanish translation will be available. This event is open to the public, but registration is required. Please register here by October 16.

Training facilitated by the Racial Equity Institute and led by REI’s co-founder and Associate Director, Suzanne Plihcik and REI trainer and organizer Jennifer Schaal, M.D.

Racial Equity: Phase 1

November 5th and 6th, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Meehan Overlook at Governor Notte Park, North Providence.

This two-day Racial Equality Institute training is designed to develop the capacity of participants to better understand racism in its institutional and structural forms. Moving away from a focus on personal bigotry and bias, this workshop presents a historical, cultural, and structural analysis of racism. Topics covered include the Racial Equity Institute’s fish/lake/groundwater analysis of structural racism; understanding and controlling implicit bias; race, poverty, and place; markedness theory; institutional power arrangements and power brokers; importance of definitions of race and racism; history and legacy of race in American economic and policy development; and racial identity and its interaction with institutional culture. With shared language and a clearer understanding of how institutions and systems are producing unjust and inequitable outcomes, participants should leave the training better equipped to work for change.

Who should attend: Anybody with an interest in advancing racial equity in Rhode Island.

Due to the format of this training, capacity is limited and participants must be able to attend both days. This workshop is at capacity. Please email jhull@rifoundation.org to be added to the waitlist.

Training facilitated by the Racial Equity Institute and led by REI’s co-founder and Associate Director, Suzanne Plihcik and REI trainers and organizers George W. Clopton and Bayard “Bay” Love. Given the trainer’s experience and preference, simultaneous translation will not be available for this two-day workshop.

Latino Challenges Workshop

November 15th and 16th, 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m at Child & Family Services, Providence.

Latino Challenges is a two-day workshop where participants engage in a critical analysis of how racism disempowers Latinos, hindering both individual well-being and community development.

In the workshop, participants examine how Latinos have been racialized in the US, as well as the cultural backdrop of race and racism in Latin America that shapes our layered identity today. At the same time, participants will explore how our particular cultures, identities, and histories of struggle are vital sources of strength for individuals and families of Latin American origin in the United States. Further, participants will directly address how racism is used as a wedge between Latinos and African Americans and undermines anti-racism movement.

Who should attend: Those who live in or work with Latino communities and are interested in ending racial disparities in institutions and working together for social justice.

Due to the format of this training, capacity is limited and participants must be able to attend both days. Please register here by November 12.

Training facilitated by the Racial Equity Institute, and led by Dr. Raúl Quiñones-Rosado and María I. Reinat-Pumarejo, Latino community educators and antiracism organizers for over 25 years. Given the trainer’s experience and preference, simultaneous translation will not be available for this two-day workshop.

About the trainers

George W. Clopton is an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute. He has spent more than 40 years in industry using leadership and interpersonal skills to blend competing interests and gain the support of diverse groups. Presently, George is the CEO and Founder of Clopton & Associates LLC, a facilitator for the Racial Equity Institute and is a graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. Clopton’s versatility and wealth of knowledge in supply chain design, process measurement and operations leadership were from the training he received at companies such as Ralph Lauren, Nike Inc., Johnson & Johnson, and Frito Lay. Throughout his career, George continually progressed in leadership positions and retired from Ralph Lauren Inc. as the Corporate Vice President of Distribution and Supply Chain Operations.

George was the 2012 Chairman of the High Point Chamber of Commerce. He also served on The Board of Visitors for North Carolina A&T, High Point University, Past Chair and Board Member for the International Civil Right Center and Museum. George was awarded the 2013 Change Agent Award by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, the 2014 Distinguish Citizen of the year award from the High Point Chamber of Commerce and the 2015 Rhythm’s of Triumph Unsung Hero Award. George Clopton deeply believes that service to the community is imperative and should be a priority.

Bayard “Bay” Love is an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute. He is based in Portland, Maine. Bay holds a BA in Latin American Studies from Wesleyan University, an MBA from University of North Carolina, and a Master’s in Public Policy from Duke University. Bay spent the first part of his career founding and building a health clinic in post-Katrina New Orleans, where he was part of a three-person leadership team and involved in a number of rebuilding and community development initiatives. He left New Orleans to complete his graduate studies in North Carolina and then began the second stage of his career as a consultant at a premier corporate strategy firm from 2014 – 2015. Bay moved to Greensboro, NC to invest more fully in racial equity work and to serve as COO / Director of Development at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, where he worked closely with the CEO and board until February of 2016. Since 2006, Bay has provided training and consulting services to organizations working to incorporate racial equity principles.

Suzanne Plihcik is a trainer and organizer with the Racial Equity Institute. She is also REI’s co-founder and Associate Director. She works locally and across the nation to assist communities and organizations working to strengthen grass root and institutional relationships through an increased understanding of systemic racism. In Greensboro, she and her colleagues organize to address social justice issues.

Suzanne has a long history as an anti-racism trainer, having worked with Dismantling Racism and the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.She was executive director of the National Alliance for Non-Violent Programming, a coalition of national organizations seeking to reduce violence in entertainment through media-literacy. Her community experience includes extensive work organizing for changes in public schools and city government, as well as service on the Commission on the Needs of Children. She is a founding member of the Greensboro Public School Fund, rewarding innovation in teaching and Dance on Tour, a professional dance experience for children.

She has served on the national boards of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the National Assembly of Health and Human Service Organizations and the Association of Junior Leagues International, where she served as President. Locally, she has served as a member of many boards of directors, including the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, the Greensboro Children’s Museum, the Greensboro Community Initiative, the YWCA, the Greensboro Civic Entrepreneur Initiative, and Uplift Inc. Suzanne is the recipient of the Kathleen Price Bryan Award for community service, the YWCA Women of Color Committee Community Service Award, and was the Greensboro Woman of the Year in 1994. She is the co-recipient of the Nancy Susan Reynolds Award for race relations and received the Mary Harriman Award for Community Leadership from Association of Junior Leagues International.

Dr. Raúl Quiñones-Rosado is an organizer and trainer with REI. He is a social justice educator, racial equity organizer and trainer, and integral change consultant. A social psychologist, he is author of Consciousness-in-Action: Toward an Integral Psychology of Liberation & Transformation. Raúl is founder of c-Integral through which he teaches the consciousness-in-action approach. He established the Institute for Latino Empowerment (ILE) in Northampton, MA, and was a founding member of Ilé: Organizers for Consciousness-in-Action in Puerto Rico. He has developed and conducted numerous Latino empowerment, leadership development and organizational transformation efforts with low-income community members, college students and educators, government workers and administrators, as well as in corporate settings.

For close to twenty-five years, Raúl has designed and organized anti-oppression strategies, and provided Latino leadership development opportunities in the US and in Puerto Rico. During this time, he has been part of a large network of anti-oppression educators and organizers in struggles against racism, sexism, colonialism, militarism and other forms of oppression. As someone deeply committed to social justice, racial equity and cultural transformation, Raúl is also a part of liberation spirituality, transpersonal psychology and integral development movements, seeking to create greater awareness and effective praxis that integrates self-development and contemplative practice with social, economic, political and cultural transformation.Raúl is currently working to organize Latinos and people working within Latino communities around the country through leading REI workshops including Latino Challenges in Racial Equity workshops.

María is Founder, Director and Senior Organizer of Colectivo Ilé, and is a Core Trainer with The People’s Institute for Survival & Beyond.

As a Latino community educator and antiracism organizer for over 25 years, she applies the principles and practices of consciousness-in-action, antiracism organizing, and integral transformative leadership.

Jennifer Schaal, M.D., is a trainer and organizer with the Racial Equity Institute. She retired in 2006 from Greensboro Women’s Healthcare, after practicing gynecology in Greensboro for two decades. While in practice, Dr. Schaal was a clinical investigator for several national studies, was on the Community Advisory Board of the Women’s Health Initiative, and was an active participant in multiple hospital and community-based committees.

Dr. Schaal is a founding member of the Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative (GHDC), a community-based participatory research (CBPR) group based on antiracism principles that was organized in 2002. She is a member of the board of directors for The Partnership Project, an antiracism organization and the fiscal agent for the GHDC. As a medical-community member of the GHDC, she has actively participated in multiple research projects in various capacities, including the NCI-funded CCARES (Cancer Care and Racial Equity Study) and Accountability for Cancer Care through Undoing Racism and Equity (ACCURE), the “Respectful Prescribing” study, a pilot study for the Community Translational Science Award Grant Application by the UNC Center for Community and Clinical Research. She has been an active participant in the development and implementation of the GHDC’s Health Equity Training.

With academic and community partners she has served on multiple advisory boards, delivered multiple keynote addresses and scientific presentations and co-authored multiple peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. She is an active member of the Guilford Anti-Racism Alliance and has been a trainer for the Racial Equity Institute since the fall of 2016.