In Celebration of the Life of
Dr. Shakti Butler is a multiracial African-American woman (African, Arawak Indian, and Russian-Jewish) whose work as a creative and visionary bridge builder has challenged and inspired learning for over two decades. She is the producer and director of groundbreaking documentaries including The Way Home, Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible, and Light in the Shadows. Her latest film Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity uses story, theater and music to illuminate the larger frame of structural/systemic racial inequity.
Dr. Butler is an inspirational facilitator, trainer and lecturer. Her work emerges from years of self-exploration and her commitment to social justice. Dr. Butler’s services are sought after by schools, universities, public and private organizations, and faith-based institutions.
Dr. Butler invites her audience to grapple with both the intellectual and emotional complexities of race. She conveys the interconnection between internal and external/structural components of racial inequity, and reveals how self-perpetuating systems reinforce disparities in institutions. This framing, along with the use of Butler’s films, set the context for constructive conversation. Dr. Butler inspires a collective will and develops deeper, cohesive understanding that can be directly applied to analysis and action.
A warm and compassionate person, Butler uses her ability to listen deeply while asking critical questions that support self-directed learning in others. Her speaking and teaching styles enrich people’s abilities to expand their capacities for building community, an important first step in effecting change. Group dialogue, self-inquiry, reflection and whole body learning by participants are some of the strategies she employs.
Dr. Butler received her doctorate from the California Institute of Integral Studies in the School of Transformative Learning and Change. She holds an MA in Guidance and Counseling from Bank Street College of New York and graduated magna cum laude from City College of New York.
Schedule of Events10 a.m. - 12 noon: Session Block I
1 p.m. - 3 p.m: Session Block II 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m.: Keynote Speaker
Film Screening & Discussion: Cracking the Code: The system of Racial Inequity
Facilitators: Dr. Shakti Butler & Dr. Sonia Mañjon
Location: Usdan 108 (Session I); PAC 001 (Session II)
Film Screening & Discussion: Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible
Facilitator: Professor Sarah Mahurin & Professor Lois Brown
Location: Usdan Multi-Purpose Room (Session I); PAC 002 (Session II)
Exploring Privilege by Examining Socialization
The messages we grew up with have implications for how we perceive ourselves and others. The power and privilege associated with our group identities often account for how we experience life. By reviewing the Cycle of Socialization and taking the Privilege Walk it will illuminate dynamics that impact the situations we find ourselves in on Wesleyan's campus.
Facilitators: Tanya Bowers & WesDEF's
Location: Fayerweather 106 - Theater Rehearsal Room (Session I & II)
Inside-Out & Outside-In: A Creative Identity & Ally Workshop
This workshop will use the arts to explore the perception and reality of our own identities. The impact of examining what we perceive from others and who we really are will inform an understanding of our own bias. We will then use that information to explore key concepts in allyship.
Facilitators: Elisa Cardona & Joanne Rafferty
Location: Usdan 110 (Session I & II)