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

Laura Shmishkiss

Principal | Regeneration Consulting
Pronouns: she/ her

Laura Shmishkiss, founder of Regeneration Consulting, is an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) consultant and coach committed to advancing racial justice and collective liberation. She brings 25 years of experience as an organizational leader, trainer and educator, and recently served as Co-Executive Director at Center for Racial Justice in Education. Laura specializes in training and facilitation; leadership coaching; white anti-racist practice; program and curriculum design; EDI strategy; and organizational development. As a white, Jewish woman, Laura has a vested interest in dismantling racism and all other interconnected forms of oppression, and approaches her work from an intersectional, anti-racist, healing-centered framework.

Twitter: @lbshmish
Instagram: @lbshmish

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Embodying a White Antiracist Identity and Practice

One of the main ways white supremacy maintains its system of dominance is through perpetuating dissociation -- from our bodies, emotions, communities, and the natural world. At its worst, dissociation in white people manifests as violence and terror inflicted on BIPOC bodies. White dissociation can also look like denial, defensiveness, appropriation, silence, and/or distancing (especially from other white people). In our white antiracist organizing, disassociation impedes our ability to build authentic relationships, act with accountability, sit with discomfort and conflict, and share or release power. It can manifest as competition, unsustainable work habits and burnout, isolated and unaccountable action, lack of vision and imagination, and the inability to follow leadership of BIPOC communities.

As we seek to build a white antiracist identity and practice that is still emerging as a collective, we have the opportunity to reconnect to that which white supremacy seeks to destroy: our wholeness, interdependence, and humanity. In reclaiming and embodying these parts of ourselves, we enhance our ability to viscerally attune to the impact of racism, discern where we are responsible for its perpetuation, access the courage and vulnerability to repair, and engage in accountable organizing and action.

In this session, we'll explore what embodied antiracist practice looks and feels like. We will imagine a white antiracist identity that divests from practices of domination, extraction, consumption, and scarcity. We will explore how to take action, relate to each other, and organize from a place of embodiment, connection and interdependence. Come prepared to engage in emergent practice together.

Speakers: Laura Shmishkiss

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

Building Anti-Racist Schools: Strategies to Talk About Race and Racism

How do we actively dismantle patterns of race and racism in schools? What are some effective strategies to address white supremacy, structural racism and create more racially equitable spaces? This interactive workshop will include an analysis of systemic racism and practical tools/exercises to apply this analysis in everyday educational settings. We wil explore key racial equity concepts and strategies that support an educator’s ability to identify, address, and interrupt inequity in educational settings. Educators will leave with a deeper understanding and practical tools for engaging in sense-making conversations about racial equity that lead to productive action.

Speakers: Laura Shmishkiss, Bianca Anderson

Presentations from Facing Race 2014

Transformative Approaches for Addressing Race, Healing and Taking Action for Equity in Schools

Have your attempts to have “the equity conversation” in your school or district led to increased marginalization and upset? Are you struggling to connect how a conversation about race will lead to improved outcomes for children?

This interactive session will explore key racial equity concepts and strategies that support an educator’s ability to identify, interrupt and address inequity in their classrooms and schools. Educators will walk away with a deeper understanding and practical tools for engaging in sense-making conversations about racial equity that lead to productive action.

Speakers: Jaime-Jin Lewis, LaShawn Routé Chatmon, Victor Cary, Laura Shmishkiss, Benny Vasquez