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Decolonizing Data and Language Workshop Series

Traditional approaches to using data and language can cause unintended harm to the communities with labels that can alienate groups of people into divisive and often dehumanizing categories.

The Challenge

Using data in a one-dimensional way can contribute to negative narratives that blame communities for social issues while overlooking systemic flaws that shape and limit people’s options and decisions. Without a nuanced understanding of how language and data shapes perceptions and perpetuates inequities, efforts for long-term, systemic change may fall short.

The Solution

The Decolonizing Data & Language two-part workshop series provides a meticulously-designed platform for deep engagement and actionable learning. Through candid discussions, fresh perspectives, and practical insights, participants are empowered to challenge norms, humanize interactions, and drive positive change. By embracing diversity and fostering inclusive practices, we cultivate a community committed to advancing anti-racism without diluting the message.

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Check the Numbers

Enhance your anti-racism practices. Learn how to identify root causes of inequities and create lasting systemic change.

Train with us

participants from 2022-2023
94 %
of Part 1 participants surveyed walked away gaining concepts.
97 %
of Part 2 participants surveyed felt concepts were well-supported with compelling evidence.

Customization Options

Boost Your Organization's Racial Equity Work and Advocacy

Erikson offers private workshops for you and your colleagues to advance anti-racism practice within the context of your equity work.

Option 1

Decolonizing Data & Language
Part One

This workshop explores the roles of data and language in identifying the biases and limitations of each. Shift the focus from individual data to structural data to uncover systemic barriers and identify root causes of inequities.


Virtual (2 hours)


Pricing depends on the number of participants.

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Option 2

Decolonizing Data & Language
Part One and Two

In this bundle, experience the foundational insights of Part One and in Part Two, expect to deepen your understanding and toolkit for effecting change: Participants will engage in more advanced exercises designed to refine their ability to critically analyze and utilize data and language in a more thoughtful and reflective manner. Walk away with strategies that not only inspire but are also actionable and impactful.


Virtual. (6 hours over 2 days)


Pricing depends on the number of participants.

Contact Our Team


Hear from satisfied clients who have benefitted from our workshops.

Traci Clements
Traci Clements
Developmental/Infant Mental Health Specialist, DCFS Early Childhood Project
“ I always appreciate and learn the most when my own automatic thought patterns and biases are challenged, and the Decolonizing Data and Language workshop series highlighted some of the ways in which I have been programmed to think and use language as a social worker. The workshop also drove home the importance of understanding context and structural level data in a way that resonated deeply. I feel inspired and challenged to grow and push myself to uphold and apply some of what I’ve learned in the workshop. ”
Maggie Koller
Maggie Koller
Communications Manager, Birth to Five
“ We are an organization that employs people across the state and equity looks different for each community. [The workshop] prompted us to discuss how we think about that in our overarching approach to family engagement and in the words we write, in the words we speak and how we talk with and about people in the community reports we produce. ”

Organizations We’ve Worked With

Birth to Five Illinois logo

Birth to Five Illinois

Cook County Government logo

Cook County Government

Raising Illinois logo

Raising Illinois

Governor's Office of Early Childhood logo

Governor’s Office of Early Childhood Development

Our Approach

Dive into an engaging, outcome-oriented experience that goes far beyond the conventional webinar. Our workshops are meticulously designed based on adult learning principles to foster practical, actionable insights that prompt immediate application. Engage in candid discussions that demystify race, challenge accepted norms, and humanize every interaction.

Whether you’re a seasoned professional or new to the conversation, our workshops offer a safe, inclusive space to grow, learn, and contribute to a more equitable world.

Case Study

Success Stories

Birth to Five Illinois, established in 2022, is a statewide initiative dedicated to amplifying community voices across Illinois to inform early childhood policies and funding priorities at the local, regional, and state level. To achieve this, Birth to Five Illinois created Action Councils and Family Councils in each of Illinois’ 39 regions, which is managed by a staff of 128.


The Challenge

As an organization where equity is key to their goals, ensuring that language and data utilized was humanizing and not harmful was critical to their efforts. It was essential that all forms of Birth to Five Illinois’ communications fostered trust, relationship building, and collaboration.


The Solution

Birth to Five Illinois implemented the learnings from Erikson’s DDL workshop series organization wide:

  • Revised communication materials to emphasize equity and cultural responsiveness.
  • Updated their style guide, adding protocols on equitable language practices.


The Results

  • Integrated learnings into staff orientations.
  • Review communications regularly to ensure message consistency.
  • Enhanced accessibility by translating materials into Spanish.
  • Equitable language practices were included in needs assessment reports for each of the state’s 39 regions.
  • Staff appreciated the organization’s commitment to equity and ongoing professional development.

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Additional Resources

Explore the dangers of labels and data infographic messaging.