Race-based Caucusing in the Workplace

A four-session course about the Why & the How

Tim Cynova
3 min readOct 20, 2021

It was five years ago, in my work as Chief Operating Officer and then co-CEO of Fractured Atlas, that I was first introduced to race-based caucusing as part of our anti-racism, anti-oppression work. As a white man in leadership roles, I personally found participating in our monthly white caucus/affinity group to be an incredibly meaningful and life-changing experience. The learning and growth spurred on by that space profoundly influenced how I view and approach my work and life.

That’s why I’m so excited to be collaborating with Courtney Harge and Nicola Carpenter — two people who were instrumental in designing this work and helping guide Fractured Atlas’s anti-racism and anti-oppression journey since 2013 — in offering a course that assists other organizations with this crucial component of “The Work.

Pro Tip: Jump to specific questions in the hyperlinked video description on YouTube.

As part of the course, Courtney and Nicola sat down to record the video above to answer thirty of the most frequently asked questions they’ve received about caucusing over the years. Everything from “What do companies need to do before they introduce race-based caucusing in the workplace?” to “Won’t caucusing lead to further division or segregation?” “What does it mean to have these conversations in the workplace?” to “What are common reasons people of color may be reluctant to join affinity spaces?”

During the course, we’ll cover the foundation and fundamentals necessary to support the work of race-based caucusing. We’ll dive into the structure, similarities, and differences between the People of Color caucus and White caucus. We’ll discuss what to do when it starts to feel like things are going sideways and how to expect the unexpected. And then we’ll close by putting it all together, including discussing important pieces like how HR intersects with this framework.

We have some spots left, but registration closes at 11:59PM ET on Friday, October 22. Join the course!

Other Resources

If you can’t join us for the course, but are still interested in learning more about race-based caucusing and affinity groups, might I suggest these resources. Of particular interest, “Working Apart So We Can Work Together” by Courtney Harge and Tiffany Wilhelm, and the most-read piece on the Fractured Atlas blog by about 100,000, “Resources for White People to Learn and Talk About Race and Racism” by Nicola Carpenter and updated recently by Nina Berman.

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Tim Cynova is a leader, consultant, and educator dedicated to creating anti-racist workplaces by using people-centric organizational design. He is a certified Senior Professional in HR, trained mediator, principal at Work. Shouldn’t. Suck., and teaches on faculty at New York’s The New School and Canada’s Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.