RACE Institute

Applications for the 2018 program are now closed.

Addressing racial equity in schools remains urgent. The Science House Professional Development Group invites MN school-based teams to experience the RACE Institute in the summer of 2018.

STEM Equity

"I have a much greater understanding of RACE. I have way more tools in my tool belt to help my students and colleagues on our journey. The connections in my brain are being rerouted. I have never taken a class that has been so powerful." 


"It seems like a lot of us, myself included, felt like we were in a good place, in regards to race, prior to this institute. Nothing could be further from the truth… Wow! We really need to embrace the fact that we must be lifelong learners."

Effecting Change

"Two days in and my mind is spinning with ideas, emotions, and possible solutions. Thank you so much for really opening all of our minds and giving us tools to be agents of change!"

Science House Professional Development

The highly regarded RACE Institute is designed for school-based teams of educators who are committed to making their schools and classrooms more just and equitable places to learn at high levels. Using the RACE: Are We So Different? exhibit as a starting place, the RACE Institute will explore the complexities of race within school communities through immersive, powerful, multi-sensory experiences. This is a challenging institute and will call on you to examine your own biases, reflect on your teaching practices, and make connections between these biases, practices, and school policies. Exercises, readings, and discussions are carefully designed to engage you and your colleagues in trust-building and civil discourse.

During this institute, we will focus content on the ways in which race and other aspects of identity are created, reinforced, and employed to perpetuate inequality. You will consider the social construction of identity and systems of oppression, examine the way implicit bias informs behavior, investigate the relationships between race, gender, class, and status, and explore the unique role of schools in maintaining racial hierarchies and contributing to racial disparities. In the process, you will develop skills around seeing multiple perspectives, developing and maintaining norms, and fostering productive group behaviors.


Teams must be from a school in Minnesota and consist of 2-4 education professionals with a passion for addressing racial disparities within their school. At least one person should be in a formal leadership position in your school; all team members should be prepared to be informal leaders in driving racial equity at their school. Inter-disciplinary teams are strongly encouraged.

The institute is capped at 24 participants in order to build community, deepen trust, and explore challenging issues.

If you would like professional development for a group larger than 4, contact us at profdev@smm.org to learn more about a customized workshop or institute.

Program Structure

We will provide 30 hours of professional development designed specifically for school-based teams. This meets the requirements for Minnesota professional development clock hours and Minnesota Board of School Administrators clock hours.

The 5-day Institute runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday - Friday, June 25-29, 2018 at the Science Museum of Minnesota in Saint Paul.

Attending all 5 days is essential.


The RACE Institute is made possible with funds provided by Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment, which will cover labor, parking, breakfast and lunch, consumable materials, textbooks, and journals. For teams traveling from outside the Metro Area, mileage, evening meals, and hotel will also be provided. To ensure school commitment, teams accepted into the RACE Institute will be invoiced $100 per person.

Application Deadline

Applications for the 2018 program are now closed.

Next Steps
  • Recruit your team of 2-4 individuals and confirm their ability to participate in the Institute.

  • Make sure everyone on your team can fully commit to attending each day of the institute, Monday through Friday, June 25-29, 2018.

  • Collectively compose and submit a thorough Team Narrative (suggested 500-word minimum) to the following prompts:

    Identify and describe current equity challenges in your school and communities you serve.

    Describe a vision of how participation in the RACE Institute might inform work on the challenges identified.

    Include a description of the expectations of each team member to contribute to racial equity efforts in your school. 

  • Each team member will also need to compose and submit a thorough Individual Narrative (suggested 250-word minimum) to the following prompts:

    Describe your role as a racial equity leader in your school.
    (This may include your job responsibilities, a description of the teachers and educators with whom you work, structures in place for professional development in your setting, etc. Please also consider including personal and professional experiences, areas of expertise, and/or particular perspectives you bring to the RACE Institute.) 

    Describe racial education equity issues you hope to learn about and work on in the RACE Institute.

    Describe the kinds of opportunities you currently have, or hope to have in the future, in which you can apply what you learn in the RACE Institute. 

  • One application should be submitted for your entire team. 

  • Submit your final application online by April 27, 2018.
Contact us

Questions about Professional Development? Contact us at profdev@smm.org or (651) 221-4563.

Our Team
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