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Racial Awareness and Mindfulness Festival


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Clarification on Times:

  • The Hopin platform will open at 9 AM EST for participants to explore the platform on their own and/or in a guided session. 
  • Programming begins at 10 AM EST with our Opening Ceremony and Welcome.  
  • Please see the full schedule below. All times are listed in EST.

Featuring Two Powerful Keynotes:

  • Christena Cleveland - “Rethinking Reconciliation: Addressing the (Powerful)Elephant in the Room” 
  • Gay L. Byron - "Race, Ethnicity, and the Bible"

Workshops (offered twice):

  • Drumming Circle
  • Language Legacy
  • Emotional Emancipation Circle (African Diaspora Only)
  • It's in the Cards Interplay
  • White Privilege & Systemic Racism (White Caucus)
  • BIBOLOVE/Interplay Race Talk for Children
  • Workshop with Christena Cleveland (Block 1 only)


The Racial Awareness Festival, in it’s fifth year, started because of the ongoing murder of black bodies, mostly black boys and men, in large part by police. The killing continues most recently with the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia by white vigilantes, while Arbery was jogging; Breonna Taylor in her own home by Louisville, Kentucky, police—no words spoken—the police were at the wrong house; George Floyd murdered under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer; and Christian Cooper, smart enough to avoid his plotted murder by police from the call of a lying white woman, followed by current protests and riots at this writing.

This festival is not for those who wish to gather information without an urgent need to change! Americans continue to debate the shape and extent of racism in society. Yet shootings of unarmed African-Americans, disproportional incarceration, poverty rates, neglect, and the disproportionate deaths of African Americans during COVID-19, as well as a continuing list of disparities, remind us, as the Church and as citizens, that the U.S. and the world must continue to press ahead with addressing issues of racism and white supremacy. Politicians are promoting bigoted ideas and organizations. Many whites have watched crisis after crisis unfold and still proclaim, “I don’t see color.” 

Because something must be undertaken to raise awareness of the systemic nature of racism and its many effects, we continue this movement to raise awareness and to commit to change. Our long-term goal was to make this annual festival event nationwide. Instead, because of this historical pandemic, we are becoming a virtual event, reaching across our Nation and perhaps globally with activities and plenary sessions designed to share information addressing racial awareness and healing for those who choose to participate.

Racial Awareness and Mindfulness 2020: A Virtual Festival of the Arts, Awareness, Healing, and Justice intends to help people of goodwill reflect on the reality of racism in our society and our world in many forms, through rhythm, blues, keynotes, and practical exposure through experiential workshops with both African-American and white caucuses, as well as multiracial spaces, opening our awareness of privilege and supremacy, and their systemic effects, hopefully opening us for healing centuries of unresolved trauma. 

This Year's Event:

This year, we have invited two keynotes from social psychologist and public theologian, Christena Cleveland, and Howard University professor, Gay L. Byron. The event will offer a virtual lunch space with music by Clarence Bluesman Turner, a virtual exhibit hall with book store, and opportunities to engage the speakers as well as introduce yourselves as festival participants.

At the end of this one-day event, we hope churches, communities, and individuals will be more self-reflective regarding the impact of racism on their lives, and we hope they will be inspired to join anti-racism organizations, have their churches partner with others across the faith and racial divide, and or continue to engage with other festival participants throughout the year. The festival event will be streamed for a period of time after the live event.

The festival will offer perspectives from the arts, media, and workshop facilitators to help people engage with the reality of racism in a new way. We will offer music, media, Interplay modalities, an engagement group for whites only, and Emotional Emancipation Circles for African Americans. At the end of the day, we will gather again for a second keynote and a closing ritual of lament, confession, conciliation, and healing. All of these methods offer opportunities for people to explore the reality of racism from a new perspective.

Bring your lunch and enjoy the Virtual Lunchroom. 

Sponsors include: 

Howard University, Interwoven Congregations, National Capital Presbytery Black Presbyterians United, National Capital Presbytery Mission Coordinating Committee, NEXT Church (PCUSA), Spiritual Directors of Color Network, Ltd., and others addressing racial awareness and healing nationwide. 

Proudly Supported By


· Sessions
Pre-Festival Hopin Tours
· Stage
Opening Ceremony
Therese Taylor-Stinson (she/her)
· Stage
Keynote - Christena Cleveland
Reconsidering Reconciliation -- Addressing the (Powerful) Elephant in the Room
Christena Cleveland (she/her)
· Sessions
Workshop Block 1
Alanna Taylor Victor  Udoewa Soyinka Rahim P.S.  Perkins   (she/her) Christena Cleveland (she/her) Ursula Young Katy Gaughan (she/her) Eleanor Abarno (she/her) Cathy Roberts  she/her/hers
· Stage
Lunch Break -- Music provided by Clarence Turner Blues
Clarence Turner
· Stage
Keynote - Gay Byron
Race, Ethnicity and the Bible
Gay Byron
· Stage
Ritual of Lament, Confession, Forgiveness and (Re)conciliation
· Sessions
Workshop Block 2
Alanna Taylor Victor  Udoewa Soyinka Rahim P.S.  Perkins   (she/her) Ursula Young Katy Gaughan (she/her) Eleanor Abarno (she/her) Cathy Roberts  she/her/hers
· Sessions
Breakout Groups
· Stage
Post-Festival Cool Down
Gather at the stage for a final moment together. After a moment of breathing and a few words, process the day while listening to Clarence Turner.
Clarence Turner
· Sessions
Table Talk and Networking
Informal time of mingling, sharing and dialogue. Meet 1-to-1 in Networking, or gather in groups at Table Talk.


P.S. Perkins (she/her)

Workshop leader

Soyinka Rahim

Workshop leader

Victor Udoewa

Workshop leader

Alanna Taylor

Workshop leader

Therese Taylor-Stinson (she/her)


Cathy Roberts she/her/hers

Workshop leader

Eleanor Abarno (she/her)

Workshop leader

Katy Gaughan (she/her)

Workshop leader

Ursula Young

Workshop leader

Clarence Turner


Gay Byron

Keynote speaker

Christena Cleveland (she/her)

Keynote speaker and workshop leader

The event is over

Hosted by

Racial Awareness and Mindfulness Festival

A Mini-Festival of the Arts, Awareness, Healing, and Justice

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Quiltings by Renee Womack-Keels

Amelia Shachoy

Racial justice art work

RAF 2021 Sponsorship

Learn how you can support next year's festival!

Spiritual Directors of Color Network

As children of God and members of the human family, we seek to use our collective gifts as spiritual directors of color to bring love and healing to all seekers

National Capital Presbytery

Sent by the Triune God to be agents of salvation, reconciliation and justice, we empower and challenge our congregations to be Missional, Pastoral and Prophetic.

Interwoven Congregations

Promoting racial healing by partnering diverse congregations together!

RAF 2020 Bookstore

RAF 2020 Bookstore

RAF 2020

RAF 2020 Donations