Loading Events

< All Events

  • This event has passed.

Register now for the GARE Pre-Con at 2018 Facing Race!

November 8, 2018



 The GARE Pre-Conference Agenda is now available!

We’re excited to announce that GARE Pre-Conference registration is now open for the 2018 Facing Race Conference in Detroit, Michigan! The GARE Pre-Conference will take place on Thursday, November 8th from 8:30am to 5:00pm.

The goals of the GARE Pre-Conference are to:

  • Increase understanding of and commitment to racial equity and the role that government can play in advancing equity.
  • Share local and national racial equity effective practices.
  • Demonstrate the critical role that arts and culture plays in advancing racial equity outcomes in institutional practice and local communities.
  • Further cross-jurisdictional, cross-community, and cross-sector strategies for racial equity with partners in housing, employment, education, transportation, public health, immigrant groups, and environmental justice.
  • Foster post-convening collaboration with community organizations and local jurisdictions, organized regionally and spanning nationally.


Sessions at a Glance:

  • The morning session will delve into the forces that perpetuate racial inequities in neighborhoods and communities, and highlight strategies working to address these forces in regions throughout the nation, drawing from a network of committed governments soon to exceed 100 jurisdictions.
  • Following the morning activities, a lunchtime panel of local and national leaders will share their experiences in building a systemic response that can shift outcomes for populations of color facing deep barriers to social and economic opportunity.
  • In the afternoon, GARE’s subject area working group on Arts and Culture will lead an energizing conversation that will examine the different ways that governments are using arts and culture to build racial equity through creative practices that shift policy, systems and narratives in our communities and institutions.
  • Mother, social justice organizer, youth advocate, poet and author Tawana Petty will kick off the afternoon with a performance that points toward the possibilities for transformation that arts and culture offer government work.
  • The afternoon will also examine government work within the arts and cultural sector (e.g. with individual artists, organizations and funding); within other sectors (e.g. with public school students or court-involved adults); within government processes (e.g., artist-led community engagement or policy development and arts- and culture-based workforce equity training).


Featured Artist:


Founder and director of Petty Propolis, Tawana Petty

Tawana “Honeycomb” Petty is a mother, social justice organizer, youth advocate, poet and author. She is the founder and director of Petty Propolis, where she gets to grow through organizing transformative art and education initiatives. Honeycomb is a four-time author and founding member of Riverwise Magazine, a Data Justice Coordinator for the Detroit Community Technology Project, a member of the Detroit Digital Justice Coalition, a Detroit Equity Action Lab fellow and a board member of the James and Grace Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership.  

Honeycomb has been widely recognized for her social justice contributions. She is a past recipient of the Spirit of Detroit Award, the Woman of Substance Award, the Women Creating Caring Communities Award, the Detroit Awesome Award, the University of Michigan Black Law Student Association’s Justice Honoree Award, was recognized as one of Who’s Who in Black Detroit in 2013 and 2015, and was awarded the Wayne State Center for Peace and Conflict Studies Peacemaker Award in 2018.



The GARE pre-convening will feature a panel of local and national leaders that will share their experiences in building a systemic response that can shift outcomes for populations of color facing deep barriers to social and economic opportunity. This panel will be moderated by Julie Nelson, Senior Vice-President of Race Forward and Co-Director of GARE We are excited to announce our featured panel speakers below!


Michigan State Representative, Rashida Tlaib 


Rashida Tlaib is the mother of two boys and the oldest of 14 children, born and raised in Detroit. She is a proud graduate of Detroit Public Schools and the daughter of Palestinian immigrant parents. Rashida made history in 2008 by winning her race for State Representative and becoming the first Muslim woman to ever serve in the Michigan Legislature.

Rashida works tirelessly to knock down barriers for real change. Whether by policy or by action, she has an unparalleled record fighting for her constituents and her values, taking on billionaires and multinational corporations, and winning. Rashida took on the Koch brothers and forced them to remove pollutants from Detroit’s riverfront and  led the “We Have the Right to Breathe” campaign that led to a comprehensive cancer study in the shadow of Marathon Oil’s refinery expansion.

To read Rashida’s full bio, click here. 


President and CEO of Living Cities, Ben Hecht 


Ben Hecht is the President and CEO of Living Cities, a collaborative of 18 of the world’s leading foundations and financial institutions who work together to boldly fight poverty in America’s cities. Under Ben’s leadership, Living Cities has established a new data driven, model of social change that brings together local business, government, philanthropic and community leaders to disrupt long-obsolete systems and focus on achieving needle-moving results.

Additionally, Ben has written three books, ManagingNonprofits.org (2001) with Rey Ramsey, Developing Affordable Housing: A Practical Guide for Nonprofit Organizations (3rd Edition, 2006) and Managing Affordable Housing: A Practical Guide for Building Stable Communities (1996) with James Stockard, all published by John Wiley & Sons.

To read Ben’s full bio, click here.


ICMA Executive Director, Marc Ott 


Marc A. Ott is executive director of ICMA, the International City/County Management Association.

ICMA is the authority on leadership and management for appointed professional managers and administrators serving U.S. and international local governments. The organization provides member support, publications, data and information, peer and results-oriented assistance, and training and professional development to roughly 11,000 appointed city, town, and county leaders and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.

Prior to joining ICMA, from January 2008 to October 2016, Ott served as city manager of Austin, Texas. During his nearly nine years as chief executive and chief administrative officer, Ott championed employee empowerment, civic dialogue, innovation, and fiscal sustainability with the goal of having Austin recognized as the “Best Managed City in America.”

To read Marc’s full bio, click here. 

Pennsylvania State Representative, Chris Rabb 


State Representative Chris Rabb is a father, educator, author, and social justice activist.

He is currently a board member of Friends of the Wissahickon and Race Forward and has been on the faculty of the Institute for Strategic Leadership at Drexel University’s Bennett S. LeBow College of Business.

He has been a fellow at Demos, the Poynter Institute and the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Rep. Rabb previously served on the boards of the Bread and Roses Community Fund, Mt. Auburn Cemetery, and The Baltimore Afro-American newspaper, which was founded by his great-great grandfather in 1892.

A former U.S. Senate legislative aide and writer, researcher and trainer at the White House Conference on Small Business in the Clinton administration, Rep. Rabb is a thought leader at the intersection of politics, media entrepreneurship and social identity.

To read Chris’ full bio, click here. 


Interested in group discounts?

We have a select number of discounts available to groups of five or more. For details, email facingrace@raceforward.org.
To learn more about sponsorships, tabling opportunities, or how you can be a part of the conference, click here. 




Click here to register for the FR18 GARE Pre-Con! 

To make hotel accommodations for the GARE-Precon and the 2018 Facing Race conference, click here.



Cobo Center
4420, 1 Washington Blvd
Detroit, MI 48226 United States
+ Google Map
(313) 877-8777