Race and Identity Workshop

Breaking through barriers

This workshop breaks through the race-based barriers between people and groups by helping us to connect to our own stories of race.

Over a three-day process, participants explore their racial identity and experience of race within the historical and cultural context in which they live and work.

Cultivating Race Quotient (RQ)

The capacity to engage effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and experience. While RQ is an intelligence that appears to be particular to some individuals, like EQ, it can be developed.

A person with RQ has:

  • An awareness of the impact their own race has on their experiences, identity, conscious and unconscious behaviour.
  • A familiarity with the language and concepts needed to talk about race.
  • Communication skills for sensitively navigating a diverse interpersonal landscape.
  • An appreciation that difference and “the other” brings a richness to community.

Have you or your team ever experienced tension or discomfort caused by racial disparities?

These tensions impact productivity, relationships and each individual’s capacity to work, learn or lead.

This workshop serves to allow teams and individuals to explore their own story of race and identity in a safe and warmly held environment and together, look for ways forward.

A long-standing, deep impact

"Takes you deep into your own race story"

“I have been a facilitator and I have been facilitated by others but NEVER have I ever had an experience like this in the world! Alkimia’s Race & Identity workshop takes you deep into your own race story quickly, activities are seamless and they are very practical”

– Thandiwe

"A laboratory to gain insights into our complex heritage"

Alkimia’s workshop creates a space that has exciting potential to ensure good working relationships, enhanced productivity and creativity. This well-held laboratory allows people to gain insights into their complex heritage while empowering them to work in their spheres of influence. I am inspired to listen to young people and support them to take roles of constructive leadership as they thoughtfully challenge the status quo.

– Simanga Sithebe

"I want to be a part of the change in our country"

We explored the context behind our country’s history in a way I have never thought of before. Everything became clearer – especially concepts around race. My awareness has been heightened and I will never look at this in the same way. I feel deeply compelled to build awareness and to start conversations in my community about race and identity.

– Yolande

"Full of surprises!"

“A brilliant, cleverly designed process that was full of surprises! I am going to find myself a class to learn IsiZulu”

– Warren

"Fully engaging for all three days."

 There was no graveyard shift! 

– Andile

Transformative workshops


1. Staff members
2. A mixed group of staff and management
3. All managers should have an experience of this workshop as Race Intelligence (RQ) should be a high priority awareness and skill for anyone leading or managing others.

Universities and Schools

1. Students
2. Students and staff
3. Staff and management

Large Organisations

For institutions of 200 members or more, we introduce a system of workshops, training and support, to give your members the skills to roll out the workshop broadly at a lower cost.

Our consultants will assist in connecting to other initiatives to ensure that a variety of transformation approaches are cohesive and impactful.

A fresh look at race in South Africa

Experiencing Alkimia’s workshop 

Alkimia Consulting’s new workshop, Race & Identity, does something very difficult, with apparent ease. It enables people to find a fresh, personal, and systemic take on race – a subject that has become so encrusted in meaning, troubling intersections, and destructive strategies that it’s difficult to approach with anything other than foreboding.

And yet, this workshop is moving, funny and engaging. Walking through the process felt like waking up to new possibilities for South Africa, and our experiences and performances of race. Of course, it’s not without difficult moments and tensions – how could it be? – but ultimately, Patsy Church and Tulimelila Shityuwete (Alkimia) created a kind, open and supportive space to work with challenging issues, and connect with each other in a unique and highly productive way.

Race and Identity offers participants an opportunity to witness and begin to reframe their own stories of race, and to get in touch with other people’s divergent (or convergent) personal histories. This process of re-storying is essential, and Alkimia’s process provides a way of approaching it that also affirms everyone’s basic humanity and right-to-be.

On a corporate/organisational note: the workshop has amazing potential as a real team building process – with an emphasis on the ‘real’.

The process involves: 

• connecting with each other
• getting in touch with our personal stories of race
• connecting to the larger history of South Africa, from pre-colonial times to the present
• working with feelings, perceptions and beliefs about self and other, learning to talk through race to create possibilities instead of closing doors.

For me, this experience reignited my belief that is it possible to find each other as human beings – without pretending that the past didn’t happen, or that the present isn’t real. I left the process feeling connected to other South Africans of different races in a new way, with some new language, and a fresh perspective. Perhaps even a white, middle-aged, South African man can contribute to the telling of a new story and the birth of a better narrative; one that doesn’t keep us all stuck, disconnected, and living in the toxic ‘problem of race’.


Warren Banks, Durban
Facilitator, OD consultant and writer

Hosted by Alkimia and Footsteps (13-15 January 2020)