Planting, Growing, and Cultivating the Seeds for Racial Justice

This three-part series is an organizational, professional development model that will address diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives that shape policy and practice. This work will help build, sustain, and transform an organizational culture that puts action to racial equity goals and statements. Participants will leave equipped to use the action research framework, which includes skills to identify, discuss, and address organizational problems of practice.

This series is meant for cohorts of employees from organizations.

Register here

Upcoming Training

Getting the Language Right

Words matter- this training will focus on equity-related language, concepts, framing, and preparation for building a diversity, equity, and inclusion landscape.


  • Participants will identify, define/name, and use equity-minded language
  • Participants will implement language that will deepen their ability to engage in conversations to support their DEI initiatives
  • Identification and decoding of colonizing language that has historically guided organizational culture and practices.

February 9, 2023, 10 am -12 pm


This session will take place in-person (Abdo, 100 Warren St, #600, Mankato) and virtually.

Growing Beyond Performative Inclusivity

Performative work are those acts that acknowledge harm without action, reaffirm what is untrue without change. In this session, we will uproot pejorative processes that are being incorrectly used as inclusive practices.


  • Explore policies and practices around diversity statements.
  • Analyze the impact of diversity statements on hiring practices.
  • Analyze racial justice language and practices that impact your work among internal and external stakeholders.

February 16, 2023, 10 am - 12 pm


This session will take place virtually.

Cultivating Racial Justice

Racial Equity Advocates Design with a problem of practices- advocacy is the content. This part of this series will cover how advocacy works and describe how we have used advocacy within our own work at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Participants will also discuss how to build community amid multiple pandemics. This session will also explore implicit association and use it as a grounding and outcome by defining and breaking down the term community. Lastly, participants will be introduced to Participatory Action Research and how it works within the context of racial advocacy.


  • Uproot implicit association within diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Identify a problem of practice related to diversity, equity, and inclusion and establish action steps  to address the problem
  • Begin to build a Participatory  Action Research Community



February 23, 2023, 10 am - 12 pm


This session will take place in-person (Abdo, 100 Warren St, #600, Mankato) and virtually.

Cost: $250 per person or $1000 per team/group of 5.

Register Here


Dr. Timothy Berry 

Educator, Composer, and Performing Artist

Dr. Timothy Berry is Interim Associate Vice President for Faculty Affairs and Equity Initiatives at Minnesota State University Mankato. Prior to his current role, he served as dean for the School of Urban Education at Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, MN. In addition to his Doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, he holds a Master of Music Education degree with an emphasis in multicultural music from The University of Minnesota. His publications and creative research accomplishments include interdisciplinary K-12 curriculum; an original theatrical production on race trauma, Black males, and healing which has played to regional and national audiences; an article in the International Journal, Teacher Education; and,  a book chapter on using critical race theory to undergird the preparation of new teachers. Frequently, he is invited to speak in schools, universities, conferences, businesses, and churches to share his insights and research surrounding race literacy, organizational transformation, and antiracism. Dr. Berry received several awards as a composer including: Live Music for Dance award from the American Composer’s Forum and the Cultural Community Partnership Grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board. He was also one of the winners in the Essentially Choral Competition for emerging American composers sponsored by VocalEssence and the American Composers Forum. Dr. Berry has performed nationally as a singer, actor, and percussionist; including August Wilson's Fences, and Black Nativity with Penumbra Theater, and La Boheme with the Minnesota Opera.  He has also performed with Grammy Award winner, Larnelle Harris. He performs and records a variety of music genres (R&B, Gospel, Roots Rock) including his Soul Drums series, which stems from West African, Afro-Cuban, and African American music traditions.

Dr. Beth Beschorner

Associate Director for Equity Initiatives, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

Dr. Beth Beschorner is a Professor and Department Chair in Elementary Education who works with teacher educators and teacher candidates to develop the next generation of educators by providing an exceptional teacher preparation program and conducting research that advances equity and innovation in education. Dr. Beschorner also serves as the Associate Director for Equity Initiatives for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning where she supports faculty members' personal growth in ways that advance social justice and racial equity. Dr. Beschorner believes that all people deserve an exemplary, just education system with teachers and professors that honor their unique cultural, racial, and linguistic identities. Dr. Beschorner has published approximately 20 peer-reviewed articles, several book chapters, and conducted more than 30 national presentations. She has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in online and face-to-face environments in a variety of content areas (e.g. elementary literacy methods, scholarly writing, Critical Race Theory in education, etc). She is the Past Chair of the Technology as an Agent for Change in Teaching and Learning Special Interest Group of the American Educational Research Association and an Area Chair for the Literacy Research Association. Dr. Beschorner holds a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Iowa State University.

Dr. Brooke Burk

Director for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

In addition to her role as the director for the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), Burk is a professor in the Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services Department at Minnesota State University, Mankato. In her role in CETL, Brooke supports professional development in teaching and learning activities for nearly 700 faculty and staff across the University. As a professor, she teaches undergraduate courses in program development, implementation, and evaluation; research and evaluation; human resource management; interprofessional education; and commercial recreation and tourism. Her research is focused on the reciprocal relationships between access to recreation and health and wellbeing. Particularly, she is interested in how disparities in access to places and programs for recreation are connected to health inequities among Black and Brown youth. She has published over 25 research articles and book chapters. She teaches primarily undergraduate courses in face-to-face and online settings. She has held various leadership positions within the National Recreation and Park Association; The Academy of Leisure Sciences; and other University committees. Dr. Burk holds a PhD from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in Recreation, Sport, and Tourism.