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

Michele Kumi Baer

Founder and Principal | Kumi Cultural
Pronouns: she/they

Michele Kumi Baer is a social justice practitioner, facilitator, and educator working to advance intersectional anti-racist knowledge and practice in the nonprofit arts and philanthropic sectors. Michele directs her own consulting practice, called Kumi Cultural; works as project manager for the Cultural New Deal; and serves as an advisor for the New England Foundation for the Arts’ National Dance Project and as a coach for the MAP Fund’s Scaffolding for Practicing Artists (SPA) Program. They are a mixed race, East Asian, cisgender, and non-disabled woman based on the lands of the Tongva people, also currently referred to as Los Angeles.

Presentations from Facing Race 2022

Unsettling Multiracial Identity

This session is an opportunity to explore where dominant ideas about multiracial identity have come from throughout American history, and how those ideas have been contested over time. This workshop will guide attendees in excavating the history of multiracial identity construction in the United States and the Americas through a series of historical vignettes that pose the following questions: How did the early colonial state address the existence of multiracial people as it enforced the racial hierarchy? What policies have influenced the possibility and practice of multiracial identity over time? What kinds of discursive interventions have people of color made into how we think about and practice multiracial identity?

Attendees will also look at how multiracial people today are articulating their identities and ancestries in ways that challenge white supremacy, and contribute to an emergent framework for understanding multiracial identity from a racial justice perspective.

People who identify as mixed race, multiracial, and/or as having mixed racial ancestry are encouraged to attend.

Speakers: Michele Kumi Baer

Presentations from Facing Race 2020

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Beyond Lip Service: Aligning Racial Equity Frameworks and Impact in Philanthropy

Racial equity has been en vogue in philanthropy for several years. However, recent research shows that the philanthropic landscape continues to be inequitable, with less dollars flowing to African/Black, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander, Arab/Middle Eastern, and Native American-led, community-based organizations than to White-led, Eurocentric institutions. Knowing that systemic change is neither quick nor easy, how can both grantmakers and grantseekers better understand the entrenched inequities in the philanthropic sector, and make commitments to help course correct in our current cultural moment? This interactive workshop will provide attendees with the opportunity to workshop solutions with philanthropic practitioners. Questions to be explored include: How is it that philanthropy is talking so much about racial equity (e.g. recent “ALAANA” and “DEI” initiatives) while the funding landscape is actually getting more inequitable? What strategies exist to address how philanthropic frameworks (and their resulting practices) perpetuate racial inequities within/through philanthropy? Grantmakers and grantseekers alike will leave this session with an understanding of current racial equity initiatives in philanthropy, barriers to and opportunities for change, and skills and strategies for interrupting inequitable practices and promoting equity in/through philanthropy.

Speakers: Michele Kumi Baer, Keecha Harris