Racial Equity Institute Training

The GroundWater and Phase I workshops are presented by the Racial Equity Institute (REI). Both these workshops are an intensive introduction to historical, institutional and systemic racism; challenge deeply-held assumptions; and reveal with sobering clarity the devastating impacts of persistent racial inequity on our nation’s most marginalized populations. Currently, all of our board and staff members have participated in REI training.  

In 2018, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture announced that it would cover the cost of half-day GroundWater presentations by the Racial Equity Institute, in partnership with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. Offering these trainings – and ensuring that all our board and staff participate – is an important action that affirms and begins to demonstrate our organizational commitment to equity. To date, 185 people representing 68 grantee organizations have participated in or registered for this learning opportunity.  

In 2019, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture continued to offer free admission to CAC-funded organizations to participate in trainings by the Racial Equity Institute, in partnership with Cleveland Neighborhood Progress and ThirdSpace Action Lab. All CAC-funded organizations were invited to send up to five staff, board members, or volunteers to one of the Groundwater workshops in 2019.  Organizations who have attended REI in the past could opt to send two staff, board members, or volunteers to one of the Phase I workshops.

UPDATE: As of June 2019, we have reached our capacity in providing this opportunity to CAC-funded organizations. If you are registered for a future session, your reservation is secured. If you aren’t able to attend please contact your program manager right away. If you are interested in attending and would like to join the wait list, please complete this form. You will be contacted by CAC staff if a spot becomes available. Please note that organizations are still able to register on their own; however, CAC will not cover the cost of the training. 

 Cultural partners that have participated in REI training through our offer include:  

Thank you to all of our cultural partners who have participated in REI training. Together, we will move one step closer to creating a more equitable arts & cultural community and society.

Learn More about REI Training


What Our Partners Are Saying


“Our training session occurred in the last 30 days, and while we have not yet implemented concrete changes, we are actively discussing new ways of thinking about how we approach inclusion, equity and diversity. The training offered evidence and data that was new to us, and forces us to examine our own assumptions and view our programming plans through a different lens.”

– Contemporary Youth Orchestra


“As historic preservationists, it is our responsibility to tell the full story about place. While we were consciously doing this, the training expanded the story we tell to go beyond the individuals to the systems that are in place when we discuss racial inequity. It also reinforced our commitment to bringing stories to light that may have otherwise been overlooked”.

– Cleveland Restoration Society 


“Making a more racial equitable arts community is something I think a lot about and something I don’t have a lot of answers for. Racial inequity permeates all levels of our society and many of the solutions people have tried to implement in the past, haven't changed things. Many social programs address an immediate need but also seem to perpetuate a status quo, while what we really need is for people-of-color to have "a piece of the pie." I appreciated the presenters at REI ended the morning by saying they didn't have the answers, either”.

– Waterloo Arts


“Increasing audience diversity and welcoming those audiences into the theatre has become a national topic. And although Dobama strives to be a place where everyone is welcome, there are many facets to this: what are the demographics of our community? How does that manifest on our stages or in staff positions? Are patrons treated differently due to unexamined biases? We are reminded, through groups like REI, that examining our own "house" is as important as looking outwards for social justice”.

– Dobama Theater