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Rhetoric of Hate: White Violence & White Silence

Join us back in person!

Our goal is to break through the barriers that perpetuate racism. It’s Time to Act!TM is a forum series that engages participants in deeper learning and action planning around issues of race, equity, identity and social justice.

Have you ever seen an image of the pyramid of white supremacy? The top of the pyramid shows examples of racialized hate and violence that we might typically associate with white supremacy — slurs, hate crimes, the KKK. But what’s underneath those things on the pyramid are all of the parts of white supremacy culture that persevere more innocuously. Having a base of white silence paves the way for white violence.

In this It’s Time to Act! forum in the Rhetoric of Hate Series, we will explore the impacts of white silence and violence through the arc of life and generations. We will engage with histories of whiteness, the harmful impacts on communities of color and youth of all backgrounds, and how we hold notions of race and racism in our bodies — along with leveraging art and activism into the conversation. This event will feature Susan Raffo of Healing Histories Project and David Boehnke, community activist, and will be moderated by Kelley Winchester Nelson, YWCA Minneapolis Racial Justice & Public Policy team.

Event Details

Date: Tuesday, March 14
Time: 3:00 – 4:30 pm CT
Location: Westminster Presbyterian Church — Miesel Room, 1200 S Marquette Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55403
Cost: $25 (Parking is included in ticket price)

Registration is now closed. Thank you!


Susan Raffo

Susan Raffo (she/her) is a writer, cultural worker and bodyworker who does much of her work through the Healing Histories Project, a national project focused on transforming the medical industrial complex, as well as locally as a core group member of REP, a Black-led network showing up to support others in moments of crisis or urgency, with care and respect for the full dignity and autonomy of those in crisis. Raffo is the author of “Queerly Classed” (1997), “Restricted Access” (1999) and “Liberated to the Bone”(AK Press: 2022). You can find her writings and other work at

David Boehnke

David Boehnke is a community organizer, educator and visionary. He was politicized by being bullied in middle school and activated by liberal hypocrisy around racism and the school to prison pipeline at the end of high school. Now in his second decade of social change work, he is a half-time alternative high social studies school teacher in North Minneapolis. For the last eight years he has volunteered with incarcerated people to shrink the prison system, which has resulted in a 10% reduction in Minnesota’s prison population since 2018, as part of the Twin Cities Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee. Recently, he’s been dreaming of climate families, a communalized public sector as a climate lifeboat and how liberation can come out of the coming changes and catastrophes. He welcomes conversation at

Moderator: Kelley Winchester Nelson

Kelley Winchester Nelson is a YWCA Minneapolis race equity consulting manager who has spent her career advocating for educational equity and developing cultural competency in a myriad of settings and diverse circumstances. Upon graduating Cum Laude from Colby College with a B.A. in sociology and a minor in women’s studies, Kelley spent seven years with The Steppingstone Foundation in Boston recruiting, preparing and supporting youth from communities impacted by racism as they applied to and matriculated from top independent schools in the area.

When her family relocated to the Twin Cities, Kelley joined The Blake School’s lead administrative team as the co-director of the Center for Diversity creating change from within at a prestigious independent school. In 2006, Kelley became a qualified Intercultural Development Inventory administrator. Kelley has since applied her knowledge and expertise in the development of cultural competency coupled with a deep understanding of white privilege, power and oppression.

Scholarships Available

Full and partial scholarships are available for this event. Submissions are reviewed on a rolling basis for a limited number of scholarships. Please direct any questions to

Event Details

Accessibility Note: ASL-English interpretation will be provided. Please email for additional information or access requests.