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How to Have Difficult Conversations About Race

Edmonton Shift Lab

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 at 7:00 PM (MDT)

How to Have Difficult Conversations About Race

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Shift Lab Speaker Series #2 Oct. 17 Daryl Davis Ticket 1d 10m $10.00 $1.62
Shift Lab Speaker Series #3 Nov. 29 Trevor Phillips Ticket 29 Nov 2018 $10.00 $1.62
Oct. 17 Daryl Davis Accessibility Ticket Ended Free $0.00

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Event Details

Race and racism can be a difficult topic to talk about for many. The Edmonton Shift Lab has been exploring various dialogues and perspectives about race, so we invite you to join us for some conversations about race from three notable speakers this fall.  We are not trying to provide the "right" answers about race, but instead, help ask better questions.

To better understand this topic, we have invited three international thought-provoking speakers who each, in their own way, have confronted the issue of racism:

Shelly Tochluk

Shelly Tochluck        Thursday, September 27 2018

"Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It."

An educator, with a background in psychology, Shelly Tochluk spent ten years as a researcher, counselor, and teacher in California’s public schools. She now trains teachers to work with Los Angeles’ diverse school population as a professor in the Education Department at Mount Saint Mary’s University–Los Angeles. She is the author of Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It and Living in the Tension: The Quest for a Spiritualized Racial Justice. Free, downloadable workshop agendas and handouts aligned with each book are available at

Shelly also works with AWARE-LA (Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere-Los Angeles). With this group, she co-produces a 4-day summer institute titled, Unmasking Whiteness, that leads white people into a deeper understanding of their personal relationship to race, white privilege, and systemic racism.

Daryl Davis

Daryl Davis                Wednesday, October 17 2018

"Klan We Talk?"

Klan-Destine Relationships author Daryl Davis has come in closer contact with members of the Ku Klux Klan than most— short of being on the wrong end of a rope. What’s more, he continues to do so, making him one of the most unique race relations experts and activists today.

Daryl is an accomplished Blues, Rock & Roll, Country, and Jazz musician, who has worked extensively with The Legendary Blues Band and Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley’s Jordanaires, Percy Sledge, Sam Moore and others. After a performance in a Country music bar, a man told Daryl he’d never seen a Black man play piano like Jerry Lee Lewis. Daryl explained, both he and Lewis learned from Black Blues and Boogie Woogie pianists. The man didn’t believe in the Black origin of the music but became a regular fan of Daryl’s. Turns out, he was a member of the Ku Klux Klan. This experience led to Daryl becoming the first Black author to travel the country interviewing KKK leaders and members as detailed in Klan-Destine Relationships.

He eventually became the recipient of robes and hoods from Klan members who came to rescind their beliefs after coming to know him. Davis had inadvertently stumbled upon a successful method of forming friendships between sworn enemies. However, his methods have also made him the center of controversy for both whites and blacks, and he has been called everything from politically incorrect to an “Uncle Tom.”

 Daryl has received acclaim for Klan-Destine Relationships and he has appeared on CNN, CNBC, Good Morning America, The Learning Channel, National Public Radio, The Washington Post, The Washington Times and The Baltimore Sun. He is the recipient of the The American Ethical Union’s Elliott-Black Award, The Washington Ethical Society’s Bridge Builder, and a 2014 recipient of the Search for Common Ground Award among others. As an actor, Daryl has appeared in the critically acclaimed television show The Wire and a number of stage plays and movie roles. He is also the subject of the documentary Accidental Courtesy.

Trevor Phillips

Trevor Phillips          Thursday, November 29 2018

"Equality and Integration: Why We Can't Afford to Fail"

Trevor Phillips is a writer and television producer. He is co-founder of Webber Phillips Ltd, a data analytics provider and consultancy. He divides his working life between the US and the UK, serving as the Chairman of the New York- based business leaders’ think-tank, the Center for Talent Innovation; and as President of the Council of the John Lewis Partnership, the UK’s largest private company. He is a senior board adviser to the leading executive recruitment company Green Park.

He is the founding chair of the UK’s Equality and Human Rights Commission and the author of "Windrush: The Irresistible Rise of Multi-Racial Britain." He had previously been the Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality and the elected Chair of the Greater London Authority.  

Born in London in 1953, Trevor Phillips was educated in London and in Georgetown, Guyana, and studied chemistry at Imperial College London. Between 1978 and 1980, he was president of The National Union of Students. He joined London Weekend Television as a researcher, rising to become Head of Current Affairs, before leaving to found Pepper Productions. Trevor won two Royal Television Society journalism awards (for The London Programme) in 1988 and 1993. Pepper took the RTS Documentary Series of the Year Award (for Windrush) in 1998. He has been a Vice-President of the Royal Television Society since 2000. His most recent films include Things We Won’t Say About Race That Are True and Has Political Correctness Gone Mad?

Trevor is a Fellow of the Migration Policy Institute (Washington DC); and a Governor of the Ditchley Foundation. He is the recipient of several honorary doctorates; and was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1998, and the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur by the French Government in 2007.

Please note: to ensure accessibility, we have set aside a small number of free tickets for each speaker. We ask that these be used by those who can not otherwise afford to attend. 

The Edmonton Shift Lab is social innovation lab looking at the intersection of racism and poverty in our city. While we are not the experts, we work with community to find solutions to these seemingly intractable issues with the generous support of the Edmonton Community Foundation. The Shift Lab is located on Treaty 6 territory, the traditional gathering place for the Cree, Blackfoot, Metis, Nakota Sioux, Saulteaux, Dene and other Indigenous peoples whose histories, languages, and cultures we acknowledge.

To learn more or join our mailing list, visit :

You can also find us on twitter, or instagram

If you have any questions, we can be reached at 

Have questions about How to Have Difficult Conversations About Race? Contact Edmonton Shift Lab

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When & Where

Quarter Note Hotel (formerly Hyatt)
9576 Jasper Ave NW
Edmonton, Alberta

Wednesday, 17 October 2018 at 7:00 PM (MDT)

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