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Our two day workshop helps participants understand what racism is, how it functions, why it persists and how it can be undone. The workshop emphasizes history, leadership development, accountability to communities most impacted, networking, the dynamics of internalized racial oppression and understanding the role of organizational gate keeping as key elements toward working effectively to usher in humanity and racial equity.

Through dialogue, reflection, role-playing, strategic planning and presentations, this intensive process challenges participants to analyze the structures of power and privilege that hinder racial equity and prepares them to be effective organizers for social justice.


Organizations and institutions often seek technical assistance support from The People’s Institute as they develop organizational strategies to address racial disparities. People’s Institute Northwest organizers are available to provide consultation, facilitation and technical support that is based on People’s Institute organizing principles.


The People’s Institute Northwest works in local partnership with the American Friends Service Committee and many other partner organizations to support the Tyree Scott Freedom School.

Nationally, the People’s Institute used the civil rights era Freedom School model to provide racial justice education to youth through a number of organizing networks around the country. Locally, the American Friends Service Committee has taken the lead in developing the program which provides an opportunity for young people ages 15-21 to gain knowledge and skills as community organizers through an intensive process that teaches the history of racism, draws from the histories of local racial and social justice struggles and connects youth to elders in the community.

Freedom School is conducted during the summer in Seattle and at Edmonds Community College and in Seattle during summer and winter break. A Tulalip Freedom School in partnership with the Indian Education Program in the Marysville School District is planned for summer 2010. Since 2001, Freedom school has developed significant leadership, and today the school is almost entirely facilitated by former Freedom School Participants.


Youth Undoing Institutional Racism (YUIR) was developed in 2001 as a partnership between The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, the American Friends Service Committee, and the Seattle Young People’s Project. YUIR is a youth centered multi-generational vehicle for young people to engage in ongoing anti-racist and anti-oppression education, and to take action in their schools and community to bring forth social change. It is an extension of Freedom School and is facilitated by and for youth. YUIR meets weekly on Tuesdays at The Cannon House in Central Seattle.

For more information on YUIR please visit


Education — specifically reading — has a direct connection to disparities around housing, economic development and criminal justice. We are committed to ensuring that every person in this region is able to read.

Currently the People’s Institute Northwest is represented on the City of Seattle Race and Social Justice Round Table which is focused on education disparities and has worked to ensure accountability to the community.

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