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Decoding Data and Language

Advancing racial equity and systemic solutions.

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Learn How Data and Language Can Illuminate Systemic Change

Erikson has created a dynamic interactive two-part workshop series that explains how deficit language is dehumanizing and deflects from the structural racism and flaws impacting Indigenous people, native communities, and other groups impacted by colonialism and racism in systems.

In Decoding Data and Language Part 1: Advance Racial Equity & Systemic Solutions, you will develop a deeper understanding of the dangers of labels and “othering” and explore ways to effectively use structural data over individual data to illuminate systemic barriers and reveal root causes.

In Decoding Data and Language Part 2: Aligning Intentions with Impact, you can build on your knowledge from Part 1 and learn how to apply it directly to your work, incorporate it into your regular practice, and share it with your organization.

Connect with us for future workshops or private training for your organization

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Gain Insights to Impact Your Grantmaking, Funding and Policy Work

“ Very thought-provoking. It made me re-think my writing. ”
“ Timely, insightful. Something I have been wrestling with for years. This is a topic grantmakers, other funders, and policy folks need to wake up to. ”
“ I appreciated not only understanding the why and the negative implications, but also being given strategies to use moving forward. ”

decoding language learning

Re-examine Your Messaging

Learn to Assess Your Work to Advance Racial Equity


Explore the dangers of labels and “othering”


Identify deficit language terms


Apply structural analysis to identify root causes that can contribute to systemic solutions


Identify how language learning can refocus attention on the gaps and shortfalls in our systems contributing to inequity

Labeling Deflects from Systemic Issues

Using labels, deficit language and problematic data infographics when advocating for children and families can have unintended consequences that dehumanize indigenous communities and other marginalized people. This common practice places the onus of systemic problems on those individuals experiencing the negative consequences of structural racism.


Help Build Systemic Change in Your Organization 

This session is designed for professionals who want to be or are engaged in creating systemic change and helps to: 


the process of blaming communities for systemic failures  


for changes to policies, systems, and funding at the local, county, and state levels.


gaps and barriers in services, processes, and language teaching

Growing graph chart icon.


align resources and tailor supports to address root causes.

Decoding Data and Language Workshop

Let’s Build Better Language

Atena Danner

Atena Danner

Associate Director, Learning and Facilitation

Penny Smith

Penny Smith, CPTD

Director, Learning and Impact