AREA has a partnership with the Racial Equity Institute, where we invite them to host workshops proving a racial analyis of the United States to work towards the same understanding on how racism impacts everyone.


Moving the focus from individual bigotry and bias, the REI Phase I workshop presents a historical, cultural, structural and institutional analysis over 2 days. REI believes that organizations often work for equity with multiple understandings of racism that rely more on personal feelings and popular opinion. The lack of a common analysis creates complications to the goal of eliminating racial and ethnic disparities and producing equitable outcomes. With a clear understanding of how institutions and systems are producing unjust and inequitable outcomes, participants in Phase I are able to begin a journey to work towards social transformation and racial justice


In this lively and participatory 3-hour introduction to Racial Equity, REI organizers use stories and data to present a perspective that racism is fundamentally structural in nature. By examining characteristics of modern-day racial inequity, the presentation introduces participants to an analysis that most find immediately helpful and relevant.

The Groundwater Presentation dovetails with REI’s Phase I workshop, is recommended as an introduction or followup to a full two-day workshop, and may be tailored to focus on a particular content area as needed for a particular audience.

“It was one of the best expenditures of my time in a very long while.  It was certainly transformational for me and bordered on life-changing.  My perspectives on race will never return to where I was a week or so ago.  Thank you so much for the role UW plays in the delivery of these sessions.  I have already broached attendance with others in my organization and others in the community.  You will find me a staunch advocate in the future.  If you see an avenue for me to assist the effort and I am not taking advantage of that, please do not hesitate to let me know!”

— Jeffrey Smythe, Former Chief of Police City of Burlington

Born in 1953, a black female, raised in Alamance County I have lived through the ills and corruption of racism that have evolved, perpetuated, changed faces and transcended to generation to generation. Racism is most likely the most atrocious aspect of the United States of America. Attending “Ground Water” and the “REI Phase I” trainings have helped me better understand the origin, causes and effects of systemic racism. The knowledge and information provided has helped me place in perspective how racism has and will continue to destroy the very fabric of this society if we don’t become passionately active in eradicating the problem! There’s an old saying I grew up hearing, “When you know better you should do better!” Attending “REI” trainings has helped to revive my commitment to action. Everyone should join in the effort and “Persons of Color” more especially!” 

— Sandra Gant-Satterfield, MS, MSW