From Denial to Action: Unpacking Whiteness through the Stages of Grief

A six-part workshop series cohosted by Refugium and the Avarna Group

What is this workshop series about?

Despite our best intentions, white people continue to perpetuate systems of harm and oppression. One of the barriers to aligning our values with our actions is our unprocessed, complex grief around whiteness. This workshop series is designed to guide white professionals through the process of reckoning with their whiteness in order to deepen their efficacy and reduce their harm in racial justice work. 

In this interactive workshop series, we will lead participants through an exploration of how whiteness shows up in our individual actions, thoughts, and ideas. Through a combination of personal storytelling, content delivery, and group discussions, you will learn how to grapple with the emotions that arise while doing racial justice work. Using the framework of the five stages of grief developed by Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, we will explore how denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance each emerge as we begin unpacking our own white racial identities. These workshops will provide you with tools for resisting defensiveness, strengthening resilience to discomfort, and moving with vulnerability and curiosity towards racial healing. 

Who are these workshops for?

This course is designed for people who are curious to learn more about their own whiteness and how it impacts and distracts from becoming a change agent. Facilitators Ava Holliday and Kellum Tate-Jones have experience in the fields of conservation and natural sciences primarily within universities and non-profits. While this series is open to any person wanting to explore their own whiteness, our examples will draw from our particular experience in these settings. 

Expectations of participants

Participants should exhibit a willingness to:

Workshop limitations

Though we will be talking about the emotions that arise when doing racial justice work, these workshops are focused on building awareness and tools/skills to address the emotions. These workshops are not a therapeutic setting, meaning that we are not able to support deep emotional processing in the session itself. They are not meant to certify participants as allies or “good white people” or to absolve white guilt. Rather this workshop is intended to serve as a foundation or step in the personal journey of unlearning oppression and moving towards a liberatory mindset. 


All sessions will take place from 12:00-1:30 PM Mountain Time on the following dates.

Session 1      |      Getting Started with Whiteness and Grief      |      July 9, 2024

Session 2      |      Dealing with Denial      |      August 13, 2024

Session 3      |      Navigating Anger      |      September 10, 2024

Session 4      |      Bargaining and Whiteness      |      October 15, 2024

Session 5      |      Addressing Depression      |      November 12, 2024

Session 6      |      Embracing Acceptance       |      December 10, 2024

Pricing and Sign-up

The registration fee for this workshop series is $600. Click the link here to sign up today!


If you have questions, please reach out to Kellum or Ava for more information. We look forward to hearing from you!