CTRUlogopngComing Together for Racial Understanding

A collaborative effort between the LSU AgCenter and the Southern University Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

Program Description

Coming Together for Racial Understanding (CTRU) participants will engage in civil dialogue around race relations. CTRU helps participants develop competencies around multi-cultural communication and interaction and develop the ability to organize, convene, and help lead an effort to bring people together for conversations around a challenging issue.

CTRU has a vision to grow a community of Extension professionals well prepared to foster meaningful community conversations around race, leading to positive change. The foundation of the effort is built upon four major principles:

• Cooperative Extension Service (CES) is positioned to help organize and facilitate these challenging conversations, as they are viewed as trusted resources in some communities*.

• CES must demonstrate in our own practices what we seek for communities.

• CES must do our own work around race before we can effectively engage communities.

• Dialogues are vital to understanding, and understanding is vital to healing and enduring change.

Coming Together for Racial Understanding:

A Dialogue Around Challenging Issues

Location: TBD

Dates: December 9-10

Workshop Interest Form


Download Flyer

For more information or inquiries, you may email Tiffany Wilkerson-Franklin, Ph.D. , Tiffany Wilkerson-Franklin, or diversity@agcenter.lsu.edu

Training Team

lsuag500jpg Marquettajpg Marquetta Anderson , FCS Extension Agent LSU AgCenter

Derekjpg Derek Landrum, Assistant Extension Agent (4H) LSU AgCenter
SUAglogojpg KaylaFjpg Kayla Fontenot, Assistant Area Agent, Youth Development SUAREC

newfranklinjpg Tiffany Wilkerson-Franklin , Ph.D, Associate Youth Specialist, Program Leader SUAREC


Conversations about race and racism (and other issues related to human differences) can be very difficult. Many of us lack positive role models or very many opportunities to engage in discussions focused on complex issues in ways that lead to increased understanding and positive relationship-building across differences. In addition, conversations about race, gender, class, and other differences can trigger strong emotions in people including guilt, shame, anger, trauma, and despair.

Deborah Flick, Ph.D. author of From Debate to Dialogue: Using the Understanding Process to Transform Our Conversations suggests that moving from debate to dialogue can increase our understanding of ourselves and others while improving our communication skills and relationships.

Currently, only Southeast Region faculty and staff are eligible to participate. The goal is to expand to other regions in the future. If you would like to communicate interest and you are outside of the Southeast Region, please email us at diversity@agcenter.lsu.edu.

The participant workshop will consist of two days of activities where participants will take part in a dialogue centered learning process about the topic of racism. Participants will go through foundational material about racism, past and present. They will also participate in the Everyday Democracy Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation Dialogue Process. Participants can expect to: expand their exposure to and skills related to race relations and learn about the purpose and use of dialogues in addressing this topic.

The workshop registration and workshop materials are free. However, travel, lodging, and per diem are to be covered by your office or unit. Note all sessions will include morning refreshments and lunch.

All workshops are currently provided in-person. There are no virtual/online options. If you are unable to fully engage in-person and need accommodations, please contact us at diversity@agcenter.lsu.edu.

CTRU Facilitator includes:

• Work around racial understanding

• Guided experiential practice/participation in the two dialogue processes, giving CTRU teams the opportunity to select the process that is the best fit to their state/communities.

• Guided planning

• Ongoing national community of practice support

The workshop registration and workshop materials are free. However, travel, lodging, and per diem are to be covered by your office or unit. Note all sessions will include morning refreshments and lunch.

CTRU Facilitator Workshop: This training is by invitation only; you must attend the participant workshop to be considered).

Innovate . Educate . Improve Lives

The LSU AgCenter and the LSU College of Agriculture