Tod, Phyllis, and Gene have been working together since 2010. We first connected when we recognized the similarities between our two recently published books, Seeing Heaven in the Face of Black Men and Longing: Stories of Racial Healing. After doing several joint presentations, we decided to work as a team, addressing the issue of racial healing from our combined perspectives. In February 2012 we came together for a week-long visioning retreat and developed the idea for the Race Story ReWrite Project. Our nonprofit corporation, Race Story ReWrite Facilitators, Inc. was formed two years later.
In 2018 we brought on two new team members and began developing our current project, a long-term pilot program designed to collect and document learning about integrating the elimination of racial prejudice with grass-roots community development work.
The principles and the skills that inform our learning model have come from two primary places. They have grown out of our personal experiences with interactions between Black and White (the current racial make up of our team) and the collaborative work we’ve done together. We use our own relationship as an example, demonstrating how people from groups that have historically viewed each other with deep mistrust can work effectively as a team. Our story is a case study of building a relationship that became a friendship that became a collaboration. We offer ourselves as a model of an authentic struggle to build genuine relations between Blacks and Whites.
Secondly our principles and skills are the result of learning together over time how to address racial unity and racial justice issues in ways that are sustainable and systematic. We have over 50 years of combined experience in building the capacities that led to the ReWrite process.