Race, Racism and Tikkun Olam

November 18-20
North Carolina


Race, racism, and white supremacy are systems of oppression that have shaped American history as well as Jewish identity. To effectively deconstruct race and understand how racism thrives in the individual and institutions, it is incumbent upon us to recognize intersecting systems of oppression that impact our daily lives. This catalyst will provide participants with the language, confidence, community, and tools to begin dismantling and disrupting systems of oppression that have impacted the people and communities that we care about.

This is a community that continually embraces social justice while working on a path to produce social change. We believe that as a community we must embrace our responsibility to communities we have served in the past and/or continue to serve in our work. While doing so is often an uncomfortable and painful process, we believe that when fostered productively, conversations and learning opportunities such as this can set us on the path to liberation. Together, Courtney and Dena have a combined 15 years of community organizing experience around race and equity. We invite members of the Revolve community, regardless of your entrypoint to this work, to lean into discomfort and progress with us.



This Catalyst is available to any alumni of any REALITY trip.

Ideal candidates are those who are interested in one or more of the following: (1) deepening one’s knowledge, skill set, and resources in advancing conversations pertaining to race, racism, and intersecting oppressions; (2) those working in institutions or organizations that work primarily with low-income and/or predominantly black and brown people; (3) those interested in local community organizing around social justice issues/are currently studying or working in a field directly or indirectly related to social justice advocacy.


  • August 21: Applications due
  • September 5: Applicants notified of their status
  • September 18: Registration due


  • Gathering Begins: Friday, November 18, 3:00pm Eastern
  • Gathering Concludes: Sunday, November 20, 2:00pm

Applications for Catalyst: Race, Racism and Tikkun Olam are now closed.


Dena Robinson is a 2012 Baltimore TFA corps member and a 2013 REALITY Israel participant. She taught English through the 2014 TALMA summer program, and wrote curriculum for the 2015 TALMA year. She is currently a current 3L at the University of Maryland School of Law. Prior to entering law school, Dena worked as a community organizer and ESOL Educator in Baltimore, MD. Dena is passionate about racial justice, reproductive justice, public health, and sexual violence prevention. Out of school, Dena continues to work in community organizing. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors for Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) and enjoys traveling, running, and exploring new parts of Baltimore.

Courtney Parker West is a 2008 ENC TFA corps member, a 2010 REALITY Leadership participant, and a REALITY Check fellow. She continues to support corps members in the role of Manager, Teacher Leadership Development in the community in which she worked for 5 years. Courtney sits on the board of The Collective, an alumni of color organization for TFA; is a community organizer and activist with ROAR (Raleigh Organizing Against Racism); is one of the co-facilitators for TFA’s national Jewish Resource Group; and this year in addition to her coaching responsibilities, Courtney has an externship in which she designs and executes on racial identity and values-based leadership development for corps members and staff in Eastern NC. She and her husband Michael, a Reality Pro ’13 alum and public school educator, live, laugh, and love in Raleigh, NC. They enjoy traveling, facilitating a community-based anti-racist book club, and hosting Shabbat dinners and wine tastings with friends and other educators.


Location & Accommodations

Catalyst: Race, Racism & Tikkun Olam is pleased to be hosting our gathering at the Franklinton Center at Bricks, a former slave plantation that was transformed into one of the first accredited schools for Black people in the South. Catalyst attendees will stay in hotel-style rooms equipped with modern accommodations like WiFi, toiletries, TVs and desks. The November weather will be crisp, but will provide us for plenty of opportunities to experience the walking and hiking paths around the Center.


All participants must arrive at Raleigh-Durham International Airport no later than 5pm on November 18, 2016 and depart no earlier than 6pm on Sunday, November 20. Transportation to and from the gathering will be included in the Catalyst. Detailed travel arrangements will be communicated to all accepted participants. All participants are expected to be present for the duration of the entire gathering.

We are working on need-based subsidies for air travel. We will update you when more information is available.


We will accommodate all dietary restrictions, including for you gluten-free ballers out there. Franklinton provides meals using locally-grown fresh vegetables and fruits.

Participation Fee

More information coming soon!

Packing List

More information coming soon!


Catalyst: Race, Racism and Tikkun Olam begins on Friday, November 18, 3:00pm Eastern, and concludes Sunday, November 20, at 2:00pm. Participants should not book departure flights prior to 5:30pm on the 20th.

Catalyst Community

Photo Gallery