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Hardwired for Fear and Connection: The Intersection of Brain Science and Equity

March 19 @ 1:00 pm 4:00 pm EDT

Three-part virtual learning opportunity: March 19, April 16, and May 7 from 1-4 p.m. ET.


  • Impact Partners (Formerly Engagement Packages) and/or Organizations that Have Achieved COA Accreditation: $600
  • Other Organizations: $700

Our brains are designed to keep us safe, constantly monitoring our surroundings and putting up “fight or flight” barriers when we experience things that are new or different. Yet, we are also social beings, craving connection and belonging. What happens in our brains and in our bodies when we experience diversity, bias, and racism? And how do we apply brain-based strategies to ensure we don’t let fear and discomfort hinder our ability to build relationships?

This learning series will explore these key concepts, which are often overlooked in our efforts to advance equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI). It will focus on the intersection of brain science and EDI and how we can apply this knowledge to our daily work to foster stronger connections, increased healing, and greater impact.

We’ll begin with foundational brain science and EDI concepts, including the history of racial trauma in the U.S. Building on this knowledge, we’ll explore how brain functions, many of which are outside our consciousness, interrupt our efforts to overcome bias. By understanding the neurobiology, as well as how our white, dominant culture is rooted in centuries of racial trauma, we can begin to heal individually and collectively.

Participants will also begin to translate knowledge into action. We’ll discuss how to truly integrate EDI and trauma-informed efforts, as well as how to build workplaces where everyone feels well and a sense of belonging. This learning series will offer concrete strategies for:

  • Understanding the impact of racial trauma
  • Increasing self-awareness
  • Quieting our lower brains
  • Having difficult conversations
  • Understanding power differentials
  • Increasing felt safety in work settings

Understanding the relationship between brain science and EDI will help all participants advance their personal equity journeys and build stronger, more impactful organizations.

Instruction Methods

Participants will learn through short lectures, thought-provoking discussions, and small group work.


  • Foundational concepts of EDI and brain science
  • About the neurobiological activity when experiencing or perpetrating bias and racism
  • How to apply concepts to improve daily interactions, difficult conversations, and power dynamics
  • How to integrate EDI and trauma-informed efforts
  • How to apply concepts to the workplace to increase felt safety and staff wellness and belonging

Who Should Participate

  • Executives
  • Managers and directors
  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion staff
  • Human resources staff


Undraye Howard

Undraye Howard

Vice President of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement
Social Current

Romero Davis

Romero Davis

Senior Program Manager
Social Current

Karen Johnson

Karen Johnson

Senior Director, Change in Mind Institute
Social Current

Kelly Martin

Director, Practice Excellence
Social Current