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Decolonizing 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 baked in our systems. In Decolonizing Data and Language Part 1: Advance Racial Equity & Systemic Solutions, you will get an introduction into 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 Decolonizing Data and Language Part 2: Aligning Intentions with Impact, you can build on the learnings from Part 1 over two days 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

Read More about Decolonizing Language

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. ”

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 lead to systemic solutions


Identify how language changes 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 people and populations. 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 and processes.

Growing graph chart icon.


align resources and tailor supports to address root causes.

Decolonizing Data and Language Workshop Presenters

Let’s Build Better Language  


Atena Danner

Atena Danner

Associate Director, Learning and Facilitation

Penny Smith

Penny Smith, CPTD

Director, Learning and Impact