Social Justice Retreats at OSU | January 11th-13th and January 25th-27th

Leadership Academy Pillar: INCLUSIVE


These four weekend long retreats promoted campus dialogues about race and racism. Each of the retreats engaged in the active exploration of the concept of race and how race influences our lived experiences and interactions.

Multiracial Aikido Retreat: 01/11/19 - 01/13/19

Multiracial Aikido (MRA) was founded on the principles and history of the Racial Aikido retreat.  MRA explored systems of racial oppression and centers experiences of multiracial, multiethnic, transracial, and mixed heritage individuals.  

We offered a supportive learning environment for participants to unpack racial and ethnic identity through storytelling and to build a community of peers and mentors who support their growth. 


Examining White Identity in a Multicultural World Retreat: 01/11/19 - 01/13/19

The Examining White Identity (EWI) retreat focused on White identity development in both personal and institutional contexts, while introducing strategies to help students understand their relationships to others, and provided students the skills to help build community among diverse communities. This retreat helped students understand how notions of  race and difference  have been constructed historically, how they affect us today, and how best to interrupt discriminatory behaviors and to  develop a global mindset that is rooted in social responsibility for our shared community.


International Student Social Justice Retreat: 01/11/19 - 01/13/19

The International Student Social Justice Retreat was launched at OSU in February 2016 in the spirit of initiating dialogue on issues of diversity, ethnicity, race, and nationality in the U.S. This retreat helped participants understand the socio-historical American narrative on race and ethnicity, and provided participants with skills to manage and disrupt discrimination based on their perceived identities.

Racial Aikido Retreat: 01/25/19 - 01/27/19

Racial Aikido seeks to empower students using the principles of aikido to recognizerespond, and replenish. Originally created at the University of Vermont, Racial Aikido acknowledges that certain communities-particularly communities that have experienced historical trauma due to racism may be ill prepared to deal with issues of race and racism as it affects them personally. Racial Aikido promotes tools to maintain a positive self-image and be able to respond to overt and covert racism.

By the conclusion of the retreat, participants had a better understanding of privilege, power and positionality, in-group and internalized oppression, identity development models, and be more self-aware of your multiple identities. Participants learned by active participation how to recognize racism, respond to racism in a self-affirming and positive manner that is appropriate for the situation, and replenish by taking care of your needs in order to maintain a healthy physical, emotional, and spiritual self.