Mary Ferguson

Racial Justice Director
YWCA Metro St. Louis
Joined YWCA in this role mid-2016 after serving as volunteer Witnessing Whiteness facilitator for two years; community arts administrator and community educator for over 30 years; co-convener of 2006 White Privilege Conference at the University of Missouri-St. Louis; expertise in the role of white people in racial justice and educational equity

Presentations from Facing Race 2016

Activating White Solidarity and Accountability for Racial Justice: Models and Challenges

It IS possible for white people to do effective, accountable work in solidarity with frontline communities without defaulting to the White Savior Syndrome! Hear the challenges and rewards of activating white solidarity and accountability for racial justice from one national and two regional organizations. The workshop will share tools and allow participants to practice concrete ways to bring more white people into racial justice work. SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) is a building a broad-based, nationwide, multi-racial progressive movement for racial, social, environmental, and economic justice. SURJ has been significantly expanding the base of white people in powerful, accountable and respectful partnerships with people of color. The program staff from the Center for Ethical Living & Social Justice Renewal has been successful in moving beyond voluntourism in New Orleans. Staff will share their experiences guiding service learning volunteers in racial justice work in the post-Katrina city. Both before and in the interim since Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, the YWCA in St. Louis has made a significant impact in activating the consciousness and connections of white racial justice allies within their own communities and spheres of influence. Staff will share their experience in leading Witnessing Whiteness groups over the past five years.

Speakers: Mary Ferguson, Amy Hunter, Coleen Murphy, Carla Wallace