• The Institute for Healing Racism

The Center for the Healing of Racism was founded in Houston, Texas, in 1989 with the mission of serving as “a catalyst for the healing of racism through education and individual empowerment.”  One year later, the Center began offering a weekend workshop called “Dialogue: Racism.” That workshop was the forerunner of the Institutes for Healing Racism that are offered in west Michigan by several organizations, including the Bob and Aleicia Woodrick Diversity Learning Center at Grand Rapids Community College, the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, the Holland Area Chamber of Commerce, the Grand Rapids Area Center for Ecumenism, and the Institute for Healing Racism of Muskegon.

The goal of each Institute program is to help people identify and eliminate individual and institutional racism by examining the origin of the disease of racism and breaking down racial barriers.  The program involves an intense and rewarding two-day discussion led by trained facilitators. 

Bringing the Institute for Healing Racism to west Michigan was the passion of Bob Woodrick, a west Michigan grocer and restauranteur.  Early on, the Institute was embraced by leaders in the business community.  D&W Food Centers, Steelcase,  and other businesses led the way in encouraging their executives and employees to participate.  In the past 10 years, over 230 senior level executives, including CEOs, company presidents and executive directors, have participated in an Institute offered by the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce.

WNJ of counsel John Tully, went through an Institute in 1997 and was trained as a facilitator.  During the past 11 years, over 100 attorneys and staff members have attended an Institute.  The most recent to attend were Jim Rabaut and Alison Waske.     

As part of its Business Plan, Warner continues to emphasize the importance of participating in an Institute.  For several years now, Audrey Pimpleton has assisted people in arranging to attend an Institute. She would pleased to make the arrangements for you to participate in an upcoming Institute.  There are several Institute’s planned to take place in Grand Rapids in the coming months, including on the following dates: 

  • September 25-26, 2008
  • October 20-21, 2008 
  • October 30-31, 2008
  • November 6-7, 2008
  • November 20-21, 2008
  • January 15-16, 2009
  • March 19-20, 2009
  • May 14-15, 2009

Institutes are also offered in Holland and Muskegon.