I have been co-facilitating workshops, providing coaching and mediation, and educating through an anti-oppression lens for over 20 years. While I have experience leading this work on a range of oppressions, my passion and commitment is to center race, specifically looking at how whiteness upholds and perpetuates racial inequality. I most often work in collaboration with people of color to co-facilitate dialogues and trainings on racism. These conversations are critical, yet many of us who are white do not know how to engage with them in constructive ways.
My goal is to bring people together and provide a common language and analysis for seeing and ultimately interrupting relations of unequal racial power. While I follow the principle that as a white person racial justice is on-going, lifelong work and thus my learning is not finished, I have over 25 years of analysis and practice to draw from. I hold a MFA and am trained in interactive pedagogy. In addition to providing training on bias and systems of inequity, I also offer training on team building, leadership, and creative collaboration.
Executive Director, ACLU - WA
At the ACLU-WA office we decided to embark on a very intentional journey to center race equity in our work, looking internally and externally. After interviewing several consultants, we settled on Michelle Johnson and Amy Burtaine and we are so glad we did. We had an amazing partnership with Johnson and Burtaine. They worked with us to develop an assessment tool to help us evaluate where we stood as an office and we then worked with them to develop a series of retreats for our office. They brought incredible expertise as well as deep humility into their work with us. At our retreats they walked us through exercises that not only helped us to turn the mirror inward onto ourselves but also allowed us to become closer to each other as individuals working together in the cause for justice. We continued to contract with them after the retreat to help us develop materials for our office to help us continue on our path toward racial equity. I cannot recommend them enough. Somehow they are both fierce and gentle and because of our work with them we are transforming our thinking, our operations and I am sure we are a better organization because of our work with them.
PhD. Author of White Fragility
Amy Burtaine is one of the strongest white educators I have ever co-facilitated with. She demonstrates an exceptional combination of deep respect for the specific histories, struggles, and strengths of marginalized groups; clear theoretical understanding of the nature of power, privilege, and oppression on the individual, institutional, and societal levels; extraordinarily sensitive group work in both mono-racial and multi-racial contexts;years of self-reflective personal exploration of the meanings and implications of her own social identities and; considerable experience teaching and consulting on these challenging issues with a wide range of organizations. Amy Burtaine is the rare leader who models how to align values with practice.