Who We Are

Isoke Femi (People of Color Group) and Barbara Lin (Chinese Group)


Photo of RobertRobert Horton is co-founder and co-director of the UNtraining. He is a white man with a passionate interest in undoing racism and a belief that this process begins with oneself. Robert has been working with Rita Shimmin since 1994, studying her approach to multi-dimensionality which she calls Racism, Diversity and Risk of the Self. The UNtraining is based on their work together. Robert studied Process Work with Arnold Mindell and has practiced Tibetan Buddhism for more than 30 years.

Robert has led on-going private UNtraining groups since 1995. He trains and mentors UNtraining teachers, and continues to develop the curriculum. Robert has made presentations and led workshops at numerous schools and organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area, including JFK University, Institute for Transpersonal Psychology, San Joaquin Delta College, Berkeley Psychotherapy Institute and Spirit Rock Meditation Center. He also works with individual clients around racism and social issues. More about Robert and How The UNtraining got started.



Photo of RitaRita Shimmin is co-founder of the UNtraining and a teacher of multi-dimensional consciousness. Her work, called Racism, Diversity and Risk of the Self, is the source and inspiration for the UNtraining. She continues to support the process of its development and acts as on-going mentor to leaders in the UNtraining. Rita leads the People of Color group.

Rita has been a teacher, trainer and coach for more than 35 years. She has worked within educational institutions, at all levels—with kindergarteners and university management teams—and with business entities, including community-based non-profits and national investment firms. In recent years, she has co-directed the Bay Area Black Women's Health Project and served as Interim Executive Director for Lyon-Martin Women's Health Services in San Francisco.

Rita is currently co-executive director for a large faith-based social services agency in San Francisco. She is also an organizational consultant, teaching the development of multi-dimensional consciousness through group programs and individual coaching. She is available through referral only. More about Rita



janetJanet Carter has been a participant in the UNtraining since it began. As co-director with Robert, her focus is outreach and communications. Janet is a writer, editor. historical researcher and educator. She is currently writing a book called Good Little White Girl, investigating her personal, family and cultural heritage as an exploration of how the "white training" is handed down. She is a Phase 1 teacher and facilitates Phase 3 of UNtraining White Liberal Racism. Janet also leads writing workshops to explore whiteness. Check out her blog Good Little White Girl.


Current Teaching Staff



rae photoRae Mary worked in the field of affordable housing for many years, including a stint as the Director of the Housing Department of the City of Dallas, Texas, and retired from the City of Oakland, California, where she oversaw the programs for hunger and homelessness. She is a long time housing advocate, and civil rights and feminist activist. Her participation in the UNtraining since 1997 arose from her increasing awareness of her own unconsciousness about her white racist training and the adverse impact it had on others. She works in many areas toward a world where we honor the needs of everyone as well as the resources of our planet.

Rae was a teaching assistant from 2000 through 2005 and has been a teacher since then. In 2005 she moved to the Midwest where she grew up, and as a Senior Teacher is bringing the UNtraining for white folks to the area where she lives—Rock Island, Illinois, one of the Quad Cities, which also include Davenport, Iowa; Bettendorf, Iowa; and Moline, Illinois.

Email Rae at midwest@untraining.org if you'd like to know more.


charlene Charlene Leung practices traditional Chinese medicine and teaches qi gong and meditation. She is the chairperson of the Diversity Working Group for a predominantly white spiritual organization. She has two adult bi-racial sons. Her mother immigrated from China as a 17-year-old to attend college in the U.S.  While Charlene was growing up, both her parents owned small businesses in San Francisco. The UNtraining helps Charlene "to come out and be more fully who I am as Chinese American woman, having grown up in predominantly white neighborhoods in the 60's and 70's."  She has been involved in the UNtraining since the pilot group in 2009 and is a facilitator for the 2014 Chinese Phase 1 group.


lillianLillian Mark is the daughter of Chinese immigrants and a Bay Area native. She holds a B.A. in Social Welfare and Psychology from UC, Berkeley. During the week, she serves as operations manager of social services at a multi-service nonprofit organization in San Francisco. On the weekend, she likes to cook, bake, watch TV, and worship with her spiritual community. Lillian has been involved in the UNtraining since 2009 as a member the pilot group for Chinese-identified persons. She is inspired by the UNtraining work because she wants to be more, and that path to freedom is one that goes deep within. “I am not interested in justifying any particular truths about the world, I just want to know the truth about me.”  Her work in the UNtraining is also motivated by her desire to become a more conscious, compassionate, and resourced person in the face of difference and 'isms within herself and in the world. She is a facilitator for the January 2014 Chinese Phase 1 group.


deborahDeborah Marks is a bodyworker and teacher of Eutony and Rosen Movement work. She has also been trained in Somatic Experiencing for working with trauma and PTSD. She attends Quaker Meeting, and has lived in a collective household for 23 years. White, owning-class, female and Jewish, Deborah has been learning about privilege and oppression from many directions. She is joyously committed to allyship with other white people in unlearning our white training. She is a Phase 1 teacher and a co-facilitator for Phase 3 of UNtraining White Liberal Racism.


Caren Ohlson has been involved with the UNtraining since 2000. She currently supports the organization as an administrator, a teaching assistant for Phase 2, and a co-facilitator for Phase 3.  Caren has worked as a counselor with youth, families and adults for the last 10 years, and has participated in the Generative Somatics training with Staci Haines.  Her main interest is creating a safe space for people to experience all the parts of themselves, and to enjoy the painful process of looking at white conditioning.  When she’s not working, Caren can be found singing, dancing, making collages, meditating, petting cats at the local Animal Shelter, or cooking a great meal.


LindaGLinda Gardner has worked in the fields of affordable housing, community development, and ending homelessness for over 25 years. She currently serves as Housing and Community Development Director for Alameda County. She approaches her work through collaboration, community consensus building and a deep commitment to ending poverty, oppression and racism. Linda also brings an awareness of discrimination against people with disabilities and a commitment to inclusion and elimination of barriers, developed primarily through raising her (now adult) daughter who has a significant physical disability. Linda is a Phase 1 teaching assistant for white groups.


gregoryGregory Mengel is a cisgender gay man of European descent. He has been involved with the UNtraining since 2010. Gregory is an activist, teacher, and writer exploring the intersections of social justice, ecological sustainability, and human fulfillment. His research in philosophy, European intellectual history, cognitive science, epistemology, and critical race theory is focused on unpacking the stories and beliefs that give meaning to our social realities, and using those insights in the service of a more just and vibrant world. Gregory holds an MA in Philosophy and Religionand a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness from the California Institute of Integral Studies. He has been a facilitator and leadership trainer with the Pachamama Alliance, taught writing at San Quentin State Prison, and led a number classes and workshops on white privilege and racial justice. Gregory blogs at http://cosmologyofwhiteness.blogspot.com/


michelleMichelle Montagno is a psychologist in San Francisco. She plays a central role in developing clinical training opportunities for a social justice-focused PsyD program. She is also active in teaching students about white racial identity development and advocates strongly for diversity in higher education and clinical training. A long-time social justice advocate, Michelle has worked in the nonprofit and government sectors to advocate for women’s health care and reproductive rights, prior to pursuing a career in clinical psychology. Michelle has been involved in the Untraining since 2009 and is now a Phase I teaching assistant for white groups.


rachel shawRachel Shaw has been actively participating in the UNtraining since she began Phase 1 in 2009, a transformative and eye-opening experience. In her work as a high school librarian and teacher, she looks for opportunities to talk with students about racial identity and privilege. Her experience as the mother of two white boys has also helped her see first-hand how early white conditioning begins. She enjoys connecting with other white people about whiteness and racism while also bringing a sense of humor to the process of white identity development. She is currently a teaching assistant in Phase 1.


Staff on Leave or Retired


kathleen photoKathleen Rice has been involved with the UNtraining since 2000 as one way to learn how to relate to the multiple forms of unearned privilege she receives. Her motivation is to live more equitably in the world, build trust in authentic relationships across differences, and be her full self. The UNtraining has had a profound effect on reducing her feelings of self-righteousness, guilt and shame in her anti-oppression work, and on increasing the joy, playfulness and love she brings and receives in doing this work.

In her work-for-pay, Kathleen serves as an independent consultant, facilitator and trainer on issues of diversity, leadership, community service learning, and community and organizational change in higher education, government and non-profit settings. Kathleen has pursued formal educational opportunities by earning degrees in elementary education, higher education, and college student development. She is also a certified facilitator in the Technology of Participation from the Institute of Cultural Affairs. She has worked in several universities and for the Corporation for National and Community Service. Kathleen is certified to lead Phase 1 of the UNtraining. Check out KL Rice Consulting



swan photoSwan Keyes is a psychotherapist, consultant, and anti-oppression educator. A woman of Caucasian Jewish descent with an MA in psychology and extensive training in drama therapy, Theatre of the Oppressed, and over 15 years of Vipassana meditation practice, Swan integrates expressive arts with other forms of experiential study to create dynamic learning environments for people of all ages to challenge racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and other forms of oppression. She specializes in working with youth and offers workshops and lectures for colleges and social justice-oriented organizations in the US and abroad. Swan currently lives in New England. Swan's website



Dr. Nancy Arvold is a retired senior teacher with the UNtraining. She is one of the founders and co-facilitators of East Bay Saturday Dialogues. Nancy offers presentations and trainings in the field of white studies and anti-racism, and teaches cross-cultural counseling. She is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice, specializing in LGBT, couples, addiction, and family of origin issues. Nancy has been active in addressing treatment disparities and cultural competence in the field of social work for more than 12 years. She completed her Ph.D. in transpersonal psychology at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA. Her dissertation, entitled "Doing Our Own Work, A Journey into Whiteness: White Women’s Struggles to Become Authentic Racial Justice Allies," is based on experiences of participants from the UNtraining. It can be accessed through Proquest or by emailing Nancy directly. She is developing a workshop based on this study.

Nancy came to the UNtraining in 1997 through a growing awareness of the complicity of white people in maintaining white supremacy. She believes that racism is the mortar that holds the bricks of oppression together, and that unconscious white privilege keeps this system of inequity going. Her current focus is prison justice, in particular the issue of abolishing solitary confinement. Contact Nancy: narvold@sunset.net

Read Nancy's DiversityWorld article - "Disability: The 'Achilles Heel' of Diversity Professionals"


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