Witnessing Whiteness

Witnessing Whiteness

The need for Witnessing Whiteness groups remains as strong as ever. Our capacity to respond to that need is guided by a schedule and deadlines that we share below along with basic information about how YWCA Witnessing Whiteness groups operate.

In March of 2020, we converted all groups to meeting online and we hope to meet return in-person meetings in 2024.

When someone comes to WW on their own (as an individual) they must email witnessingwhiteness@ywcastlmo.org. That initiates the process to enroll and they are given options for the days and times we have facilitators ready to lead groups we refer to as “open” or “community” groups. People also come to us through a sponsoring organization, such as a workplace, neighborhood group, school or faith-based group. In these groups someone internal to the organization recruits participants.

Thank you for your continuing interest and support of this program!

Here is a sample schedule:


Meet January – May

October 1 
Planning and organizing begins

Individuals are notified of available open groups

Organized groups must meet recruitment targets

Groups begin meeting

Groups conclude


Meet August-December

May 1
Planning and organizing begins

Individuals are notified of available open groups

Organized groups must meet recruitment targets

Groups begin meeting

Groups conclude

  • 14 sessions
  • Each session is two hours
  • Groups meet approximately once a week with two scheduled breaks
  • Groups may meet day or evening hours, week days or weekends

Group size – 15 to 18 for online groups


  • Participants come from all across the St. Louis metro region
  • Groups may be organized by schools, faith organizations, workplaces, community centers and others
  • Unaffiliated individuals may also join a group that meets their schedule when the group has fewer than 18 participants


  • Teams of three volunteer facilitators guide each group
  • All facilitators have gone through the Witnessing Whiteness program, facilitator orientation, and receive continuing professional development

Using the book, Witnessing Whiteness: The Journey into Racial Awareness and Antiracist Action (3rd Edition), by Shelly Tochluk, group members explore:

  • History and construction of white racial identity
  • Community building within white spaces
  • White culture and values and how US national culture reflects and largely rests on white culture, practices and values
  • Manifestations of white supremacy and privilege
  • Cross-racial communication, conflict, and relationship building
  • Activation of white solidarity, accountability, and the movement toward antiracist action
Book cover – Witnessing Whiteness by Shelly Tochluk

Individuals are responsible for purchasing a copy of the book – eReader, audiobook, and print versions are available. We encourage you to obtain a print version from a local bookseller; we provide recommendations and discount codes once you are registered.

Local bookseller, Left Bank Books, offers a 20% discount on the book. The link is hard-coded to take the 20% discount at checkout. You can go in to pick up your copy after an online purchase, or it can be shipped to you using their currently available options.

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