The Shape of Trust


The Shape of Trust Video Facilitation Guide

Activity Spotlights

These activities are only intended to be used by experienced racial equity, social justice, and anti-racism facilitators who have read the Shape of Trust Video Facilitation Guide. Before using any of these activities, please read the Guide, paying close attention to the sections "Using this Guide", "Creating and Holding a Caring Container", and "Frameworks & Tools".

  1. Principles to Cultivate a Community of Practice
  2. Grounding through a Living Systems Meditation
  3. Why Why Why Why Why
  4. Pause / Breathe / Reflect
  5. The Two Webs
  6. The Human Machine, The Living System, and Building a Relational Culture
  7. 2 Minute Story
  8. Tableaus of Truth
  9. Rewriting the Scene
  10. A Healing Invitation for BIPOC


The Shape of Trust provides tools to help racial justice organizers create transformational anti-racist change. Arts, culture, mindfulness, and embodiment are used as vehicles for interrupting racism and other forms of oppression in the workplace.

The heart of the project is a filmed performance titled The Shape of Trust that captures the authentic experiences of a group of City of Seattle employees, most of whom are BIPOC women. Their stories reveal patterns of struggle, resilience, collaboration, leadership, and change.

The performance is paired with The Shape of Trust Video Facilitation Guide, an in-depth guidebook to help racial equity facilitators lead discussions centered around the stories. The facilitation guide is supplemented with 10 detailed Activity Spotlights that can be adapted for small or large groups, both in-person and virtual.

While The Shape of Trust has grown out of experiences within government, its resources are designed to be used by organizations and groups of all kinds. It calls for workplace cultures that are rooted in health, wellbeing, belonging, and coliberation.

Through a partnership with Our Bodhi Project and their Embodying Belonging and Coliberation Frame, The Shape of Trust centers community-based, Earth-centric ways of being and knowing that are not always included in traditional social justice work. Project contributors, designers, and facilitators include artists, cultural organizers, and healers who work in a variety of settings, from government to grassroots community. Works from the City of Seattle Civic Art Collection are used to illustrate concepts and paired with activities that support racial equity.

The work of racial equity and social justice is relational. The health and economic impacts of white supremacy have been amplified by the COVID-19 crisis and ongoing state violence against Black and brown bodies. This reality carries into the workplace where BIPOC experience inequities and other forms of harm at the interpersonal and institutional levels. The Shape of Trust offers frameworks and practices that help us meet this moment together. It invites us to tend to the contours of our authenticity, the rhythms of our resilience, and the constellation of connections between people, teams, organizations, systems, and communities.

Shape of Trust