Happenings, book reviews, the latest from the blog, new publications, upcoming events, and more.
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Greetings and thanks for signing up to receive the Hackman Consulting Group newsletter. This summer is a bit quieter than usual at HCG as Heather takes a bit of time away from trainings to work on her book, and so this month’s newsletter is shorter than usual (we're taking a break from "Training Tidbits" and "Climate Change Corner" this month) but look for us to be back in the full swing again with lots of reflections and  upcoming events in our next issue in September. For those of you who are new to the list, this newsletter is meant to highlight some of the work we are doing at HCG, but it is also meant to be responsive to folks reading it. So if there is information you would like HCG to consider sharing in the newsletter (like great conferences you want announced), training questions you would like addressed, or other resources and content you think would be helpful, please don’t hesitate to contact us at

Conferences & Presentations


More Than Skin Deep: Dismantling White Privilege and White Supremacy One Cell At A Time” Summer Institute, August 1-3, Minneapolis, MN

Between 2009 and 2012 Susan Raffo and Heather have conducted a number of one-day workshops (same title as above) for White folks doing racial justice work in their personal lives, work lives, and community lives. We estimate that over the course of those 4 years perhaps 250 people have gone through that initial Skin Deep workshop and, based on the feedback from participants and our own assessment of how to best do this work, we are now offering a 3-day “More that Skin Deep…” Institute. If you have any interest, please read the description in this newsletter and/or go to the HCG website for information on registration, location, and other details. See below for more details!
More than Skin Deep: Uprooting White Privilege and White Supremacy One Cell at a Time
A Three-Day Workshop
August 1-3, 2014 Minneapolis, MN
Downtown YWCA
Presenters:  Heather Hackman and Susan Raffo
This institute is for White people who already have an understanding of Race, Racism and particularly Whiteness (RRW), and who want to learn more about how to dismantle Whiteness (White Privilege and White Supremacy) through embodiment work, education, visioning and practical action. While the focus of the institute is on Whiteness, all concepts and tools presented are geared toward improving our racial justice work and ultimately ending racial oppression.
Here’s what you can expect to learn:
  • The connection between RRW and trauma in the individual and social body of White people
  • The ways this trauma inhibits effective and consistent racial justice work on the part of White people
  • Tools to better respond to how this interruption happens and to then build resiliency in White people
  • A framework for a collective pathway to dismantling Racism and Whiteness in U.S. society

 Here's what others are saying about Skin Deep:

"The Skin Deep workshop is clearly needed. The conversations were stimulating, challenging, and the environment was safe enough to dig into the hard work of untangling the effects of white privilege. Susan and Heather are amazing facilitators with individual, yet complimenting strengths. They led the group on a daylong exploration that I am still contemplating, years later." - Ethan T.

Cost: Sliding scale $225-$450
For more information go to

Back to School Presentations

As schools, universities and youth-serving nonprofits all prepare for another school year, HCG is often invited to offer keynotes or lead training sessions for student, staff and faculty on issues of deep diversity, equity and justice. Below is a sample of two presentations we’ll be offering this year:
  • August 16, 2014, College Possible Twin Cities, St. Paul, MN: Heather will be offering a key note presentation for College Possible Twin Cities’ annual AmeriCorps members kick-off event.
  • September 1, 2014, Hamline University, St. Paul, MN: Heather will be leading sessions on deep diversity and equity for Piper Passages, Hamline’s new student orientation program.

Racial Disparities, Provider Bias, and a Path to Health Equity, October 22, 2014, Northwestern Health Sciences University, Bloomington, MN

Stephen will be offering a key note presentation to the staff of Northwestern. Please contact the University for ticket information. 

International Symposium for Contemplative Studies, October 30 - November 2, 2014, Mind and Life Institute, Boston, MA

Heather will be attending the Mind & Life Institute's International Symposium for Contemplative Studies this fall. Featuring a keynote address by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama and master lectures by leading edge scholars, the Institute brings together scientists, scholars, artists, and contemplatives to focus on advancing our understanding of the human mind and how training the mind through contemplative practices can lead to valuable insights that promote a reduction in suffering, enhanced health and cognitive/emotional functioning, and increased social harmony.

Mark your Calendars!

It's never too early to make your plans to attend the following upcoming conferences - and keep an eye out in future newsletters for HCG participation at many of these great learning opportunities:
  • Creating Change: The National Conference on LGBT Equality, February 4 - 8, 2015, Denver, CO
  • American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Annual Convention, March 5 - March 8, 2015, Tampa, FL
  • White Privilege Conference, week of March 9, 2015, Louisville, KY
  • The Forum on Workplace Inclusion at St. Thomas 27th Annual Conference, March 17 - 19, 2015, Minneapolis, MN
  • NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Annual Conference, March 21 - 25, 2015, New Orleans, LA
  • National Conference on Race and Ethnicity (NCORE), May 26 - 30, 2015, Washington, DC

Developing Work

Racial Justice As a Spiritual Imperative

Heather has been doing more and more racial justice work in communities of faith lately and in the process has developed this talk for a range of spiritual communities that can span 1-3 hours and be done as a stand-alone or an interactive workshop. If you are interested in bringing this talk to your community of faith please contact us through the HCG web site.

Raising Children In An Era of Climate Disruption: Teaching Truth, Supporting Justice, and Building Resilience

Building off of Heather's more recent work around climate change and climate justice, Susan and Heather have developed a workshop (can be adapted to last from 4-8 hours) specifically geared toward parents and the incredible challenges that lie ahead for their children as a result of climate change. Addressing the profound mix of feelings parents and adult caregivers of children face (ranging from the fear for what their children will be inheriting to the intensity of their parental commitment to help them be prepared for it), this workshop is designed to 1) share a range of critical information about the coming climate reality, 2) provide a socially just framework through which to address it, and 3) offer up tools and suggestions to help build our children’s’ resiliency as they do. If you are interested in bringing this workshop to your area please contact us through the HCG web site.

Book Reviews

Kolbert, E. (2014). The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History. New York: Henry Holt.

            There’s something about journalists writing about science that I am incredibly drawn to and this book is no exception. One of Kolbert’s previous books, Field notes from a catastrophe, was about climate change and this one is also about that topic but in a tangential manner. Instead of addressing climate change head-on as in Field notes, Kolbert takes a sweeping look at the five major extinctions known to modern science (there were many other smaller-scale events, but only five large-scale) and suggests via various global examples that we are on the cusp on a possible sixth extinction. What marks this book as being related to the overall conversation regarding climate change is the fact that she is obviously attributing this potential sixth extinction period to human activity and our creation of the “Anthropocene”. Admittedly, it’s both a fascinating book to read if you dig evolutionary history and/or various areas of the biological sciences, and a troubling book with respect to the hard-to-deny implications for the future of our planet and countless species upon it. Throughout, Kolbert makes the science accessible, the concerns clear, and the implications incontrovertible. It’s written for the lay public (each chapter is a self-contained topic / commentary ranging from frogs in Panama to Italy and the acidification of the world’s oceans to zoos in the U.S. and species preservation) and therefore can be equally classified as a summer read or a good resource for secondary and post-secondary educators. I definitely recommend it.
Rose, S. (2014). Abolishing White Masculinity from Mark Twain to Hip Hop: Crises in Whiteness. Boulder, CO: Lexington Books.

            About a year and a half ago I did a workshop with my colleague, Marie Michael, entitled “Decolonizing the Word” for 7-12th grade Language Arts teachers. The intent was to examine racial representations in literature, expose the racist ideologies therein and provide educators and students alike with a racial justice lens with which to dismantle them. Specifically, the goal was to help educators gain a few insights and tools to be able to teach from a racially just perspective, with an emphasis on interrogating the racial narratives and how they buttress systems of racism and White privilege in education and society as a whole. I say all of this to say that I wish I had been able to read Dr. Stephany Rose’s book prior to that workshop because she totally lays it down in terms of White masculinities and how they play out in literature. To be sure Dr. Rose has written an intense piece here and I recommend it for those who are trying to find ways to more deeply and critically examine the manifestations of Whiteness, specifically White masculinity, not only in literature, but in the larger U.S. society. There is, of course, a racial narrative of Whiteness that permeates this society so thoroughly as to seem “invisible” to so many White folks (and some People of Color / Native People) and thus the value of this book – it sheds light on the normative, subtle, largely unseen dimensions of Whiteness and its corrosive impacts on our minds, our social interactions, and our society as a whole. Additionally, Dr. Rose’s voice is unabashed, crystal clear, and intellectually comprehensive making this book not one for the uninitiated regarding Whiteness. While she traces White masculinities (and thus the narrative of Whiteness itself) through history via the work of three authors (Twain, Fitzgerald, and Mansbach), her analysis offers a broader understanding of the evolving and yet perniciously powerful specter of Whiteness over the full course of the last century making this book an excellent historic source as well. I recommend Dr. Rose’s book and appreciate her complexity of analysis coupled with her passion for critically and thoughtfully educating, as she puts it, “those yet to come”.

(Looking to buy a copy? Support local! Find these at Magers and Quinn or get them delivered from Boneshaker Books!)


Just a reminder, that if you would like to get the blogs as they are posted via email, there is a way for you to “opt in” to that on the “Newsletter” link on the web site. Otherwise, you can join HCG on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter. Or, you can wait for the newsletter and view them through the blog link. This newsletter we have:
  • “Close Cousins, But Definitely Not The Same”, May 8, 2014, Heather Hackman
  • “Losing a Little Hope, Gaining a Little faith”, July 3, 2014, Heather Hackman
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