Congratulations to the Inaugural Class of Disruptors!



The Haywood Burns Institute is excited to announce the James Bell Racial Justice & Structural Well-Being Certificate Training Series™. This 8-month virtual certificate training course provides an opportunity for racial and social justice advocates across nonprofit, government, and philanthropic sectors to enhance the adaptive leadership and facilitation skills required to advance racial justice in their work and community.

This course is based on BI’s Structural Well-Being framework that has led to groundbreaking solutions and collaboration in Toledo, Ohio and Ramsey County, Minn.

Participants will leave this training series armed with tools, resources, skills and techniques that will help them to:

  • Analyze and re-engineer mental models, moving away from harmful ideations into values driven approaches to achieve transformative change.
  • Facilitate alignment and consensus across diverse perspectives while building trust and co-creating supportive environments of belonging.
  • Establish new norms such as power sharing and transparency to maximize partnerships and increase commitment to stated goals.
  • Establish redefined and multidimensional successes.
  • Design spaces for creativity, collaboration and operationalization to advance racial justice and achieve well-being.

Participants who complete the training series will receive a certificate to be an official James Bell Racial Justice & Structural Well-Being ambassador.



This training consists of eight modules designed to create a space for racial justice advocates and leaders to come together to learn, share, and fellowship together while exploring and establishing paths forward to operationalize transformative change. The modules include:

Introduction to Structural Well-Being 


Participants will be introduced to the components of BI’s Structural Well-Being Framework. The Framework reflects BI’s shift from traditional reform to engaging strategies designed to disrupt and dismantle structural racism while building community-centered structural well-being to ensure our children, families and communities have what they need to thrive.

Anchoring the Work (Values-Driven Trust Building)

Participants will explore the importance of establishing trust and shared values among any group working on racial justice and the consequences of failing to do so. Participants will also receive facilitation and practice tips to help them normalize and navigate the “challenging” and “awkward” conversations that are commonplace in racial justice work.

Historical Competence


Participants will walk through this nation’s history with an emphasis on highlighting prominent schools of thought, perspectives and key historical moments that have significantly impacted the development of human services work. Participants will explore the common themes that connect the nation’s history of structural racism to contemporary policies and practices.

Awareness of Structural Racism – Visual Journey


Participants will explore the pervasiveness of white supremacy culture in our personal and work lives. Participants will also delve into understanding the value, power and strategic opportunities that can arise when acknowledging and engaging people with different perspectives in the work.


Navigating Political Climate


Participants will explore strategies to overcome today’s increasingly toxic social and political environment. Participants will also learn strategies and tactics to nurture strategic collaborative opportunities with unlikely partners. This will include normalizing “hard” conversations and better understanding our roles and limitations in the work to allow us to break down unnecessary barriers.


Data — Decision Point Analysis / System Mapping


Participants will learn how to incorporate data related activities such as decision-point analysis and system mapping into their work to drive a racial justice agenda and achieve Structural Well-Being. Participants will also learn how to identify the “right” data and the most effective ways to present data to diverse audiences.


Centering Community


Participants will learn the importance of centering community in racial justice work and strategies to authentically achieve Structural Well-Being without perpetuating the historic harms that too many community partners have experienced when engaging in traditional racial justice work.


Seeds of Transformation – Radical Re-Imagination

Participants will have the opportunity to reimagine more modern systems and institutions and be exposed to real examples of transformation across different sectors. Participants will also learn about the conditions and strategies that are necessary to make radical imagination and transformation a reality.


The training series will officially begin on March 28, 2024 and resume the last Thursday of each month (11am-1pm / 2pm-4pm ET) as follows:
  • March 28
  • April 25​
  • May 30
  • June 27
  • July 25
  • Aug 29 (Recess for Vacations)​
  • Sept 26​
  • Oct 31​



  • $3000/ per person nonprofit
  • $3500/ per person government
  • $4500/ per person philanthropic organization
  • $5500/ per person for-profit/social venture
Tuition Scholarships will be granted to a select number of applicants upon funding availability and a critical needs assessment. Eligible candidates must be applying to the program as an Independent Professional or Grassroots/Community-Based Advocate to be considered.



  • Individuals who are committed to racial justice and ensuring a future in which the well-being of all people is actualized.
  • Individuals who are committed to advancing change through their role within the nonprofit, government, philanthropic and for-profit sectors.
  • Individuals who are willing to step into their informal and formal leadership to forge pathways forward to create equitable opportunities.
  • Individuals looking for collective spaces for thought partnership, fellowship, and support in the work to dismantle structural racism.

The application for the next cohort will open in January 2024.  

Watch below to hear reflections from the Inaugural Cohort about the transformative 8-month journey!

Interested in applying? Join our mailing list to receive timely
updates about the program.