Facing Race: A National Conference in St. Louis, MO — November 20-22, 2024

Kelly Bates

President | Interaction Institute for Social Change
Pronouns: she/hers/her

Kelly is an experienced facilitator, organizer, and lawyer who for more than twenty-five years has led advocacy, organizing, racial justice, and women’s organizations promoting collaboration and civic engagement, both locally and nationally. She strives each day to develop and embody the heart, skills, and mindset of a facilitative leader for progressive movement building across the country and in communities. In both personal and professional settings, Kelly is known for her passionate belief in everyone’s potential and power, the ability of leaders to transcend barriers through shared leadership, and for organizations to do the work of justice.

Instagram: @kelly__bates

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Let’s fight the return of the “Old Normal!” - Leading for Liberatory Systems and Racial Justice Transformation

Are you fighting the “return to normal”? Unsure about what “new normal” looks like? Marian Wright Edelman taught us that “You can't be what you can't see.” So we’re going to spend some time trying to see the new normal together. These past few years have taxed racial justice leaders and organizations in unimaginable ways. Join us for a moment of collective hope. We’ll co-create visions of racial justice in practice, sharing stories that feed our collective imagination. We’ll strategize about leading our organizations and networks out of “old normal” white supremacist systems and practices toward liberation and transformation. We’ll share tools for helping leaders to demand, envision, and build more liberatory and racially just futures. We’ll raise up structural and organizational strategies for creating a new normal of moving from trauma to racial justice transformation in organizations, workplaces and networks. Together we can fight going “back to normal” using the greater strength of both vision and strategy to bend the arc of society to transformative futures.

Speakers: Kelly Bates, Miriam Messinger, Cynthia Silva Parker

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Walking the Talk: Putting Racial Equity and Justice into Organizational Practice

Your team is all about racial justice and racial equity. Ever wish you could do more to put them into practice in your day-to-day work? Ways to shift organizational culture, structure, program design, or governance? Then, this workshop is for you.

1. Collaborative Leadership for Racial Justice
We'll explore the importance of collaboration for guiding organizational change. We will introduce Facilitative Leadership for Social Change, a form of leadership that is about “inspiring and creating the conditions for self-empowerment so that people can work together to achieve a common goal.” We will also introduce our Collaborative Change Framework, which is a simple way to begin mapping out your change effort.

2. Mapping the Territory: Eight Dimensions of Organizational Life
For each dimension listed below, you will explore critical questions, typical topics, and high-value resources to help shape your thinking and action. You'll also be able to share your favorite resources with other participants.
· Big Picture Analysis (vision, root cause analysis, strategy, worldview and theory of change)
· Program Design and Putting Constituents at the Center*
· Program Evaluation
· Storytelling (communications, fundraising)
· Organizational Culture
· Human Resources
· Governance
· Organizational Structure
Putting Constituents at the Center cuts across all of the dimensions.

3. Making the Case for Change.
We’ll introduce a four-step process for making a powerful case for change within your organization.
We’ll encourage you to commit to specific next steps to continue advancing racial justice and racial equity in and through your organization.

Speakers: Cynthia Silva Parker, Kelly Bates