The Inclusion Journey

This series is being offered both in-person at The Star of the North Retreat Centre or online via Zoom.

Embark on a transformative odyssey with "The Inclusion Journey Workshop Series: From Antiracism Awareness to Empowered Action." This series is a dedicated exploration of pivotal topics—unmasking bias, navigating intent vs. impact (microaggression), and embracing cultural competence, designed to unravel the intricacies of contemporary racism.

In a world yearning for change, these workshops provide a safe and enlightening space to confront systemic bias, challenge misconceptions, and pave the way for tangible transformation.

This series is for individuals and leaders who want to effect change in society. By delving into the depths of cultural understanding, power dynamics, and microaggressions, guided by biblical stories and insights, you will arm yourself with the knowledge and tools needed to actively contribute to the dismantling of racism.

While each workshop offers a standalone experience, the series provides a comprehensive understanding and a toolkit that equips you to catalyze meaningful change.

Through dynamic sessions, you’ll:

  • Unmask Bias: Elevate your awareness by unveiling unconscious bias, the first step towards challenging and dismantling its impact.
  • Navigate Intent vs. Impact: Examine microaggressions, exploring how intentions and impact can diverge and learning to foster understanding and empathy.
  • Embrace Cultural Competence: Equip yourself with the skills to communicate across cultures, bridging divides and nurturing an inclusive environment.

"The Inclusion Journey™" is more than a workshop series; it’s a collective commitment to dismantling racism and fostering unity. It’s an opportunity to be part of a transformative movement that redefines our society’s narrative, guided by both biblical teachings and contemporary insights.

Join us as we take a stand, break down barriers, and build bridges that lead to a future rooted in justice, respect, and the eradication of racism. Together, we journey toward a world where every voice is heard, every identity is valued, and every person contributes to a brighter, antiracist journey from awareness to empowered action.

View Fee Schedule

Early Registration (by Feb. 15)


Workshop Series

Event Details

March 6 Unmasking Bias: A Journey Towards An Inclusive and Just Society

When we allow demeaning comments, stereotypes, or biases to go unchallenged, we effectively endorse them. Silence in the face of bigotry only serves to perpetuate it. We must speak up and stand up for what is right if we want to see a change in the way people think and behave. This hampers our ability to foster an inclusive society where everyone is welcomed, respected, and valued for their uniqueness. However, many of us who want to speak up need to learn how. So we stay silent.

In this session, participants will:

  • Explore the profound impact of seemingly casual stereotypes and biased statements, unraveling how they perpetuate inequality and division even when left unchallenged.
  • Identify the most common reasons people sit silently in the face of bias, stigma, and stereotypes.
  • Develop practical strategies for speaking up against bias, stigma, and stereotypes without blame or guilt using Biblical insights. 

This session is a combination of self-reflection and engaging group discussion. Join us as we bridge the gap between self-awareness and social change. It will start a transformative journey where we pave the way for a society where individuals’ uniqueness is celebrated and respected.

 March 13 Impact Vs. Intent: Understanding and Dealing with Microaggressions

“You speak good English!”

“I love your people!”

“It was just a joke!”

Conversations about culture and race always put someone at risk of saying something that might offend or upset them. Frequently the intention is good, so we don’t know why the person got offended by what we said. Are they just being oversensitive? Or maybe not…

Microaggressions are verbal, behavioral, and environmental indignities that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults to the target person or group.

For people who identify themselves as belonging to the BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and LGBTQ2+ group, microaggression is an almost everyday occurrence in their lives.

Though a comment may seem “harmless, " statements in the context of race and stereotypes are offensive and demeaning. The impact on the health of those on the receiving end of microaggressions is seen as similar to those receiving overt discriminatory behaviors.

In this interactive workshop, participants will:

  • Increase their knowledge of microaggressions or what racism is in the 21st century.
  • Identify common triggers that make people feel offended.
  • Recognize racial microaggressions in everyday life.
  • Apply strategies and tools to effectively communicate across cultures and avoid racial conflict.

Don’t miss this opportunity to foster change and create a more inclusive world. Let’s work together to eliminate unintentional hurtful behavior and replace it with respect, empathy, and unity. Join us and be part of the solution.

March 20 Embracing Diversity: Cultivating Cultural Competence for Stronger Multicultural Relations

In our ever-connected world, cultivating cultural competence is not just beneficial—it’s essential for fostering inclusive and harmonious relationships. However, the path to understanding and embracing diverse identities is nuanced, especially when we consider the intersections of cultural backgrounds, power dynamics, and social identities. Without conscious effort, our limited perspectives can inadvertently lead to misunderstandings, strained relations, and perpetuation of biases.

This workshop invites you to embark on a transformative journey towards building bridges of understanding and unity. In this dynamic session, we delve into the heart of cultural competence, power dynamics, and intersectionality, equipping you with practical tools and invaluable insights that extend far beyond surface-level interactions.

In this session, participants will:

  • Address the challenges stemming from cultural differences and intersectionality, recognizing them as opportunities for growth rather than barriers to communication. Understand the layered dynamics that influence our interactions and perceptions.
  • Discover how biblical narratives provide insights into the complexities of human experiences and the intersections of identities. Draw from stories of individuals who navigated diverse cultural contexts, learning lessons that resonate with contemporary challenges.
  • Explore how cultivating empathy fosters genuine connections, allowing you to see the world through different lenses.
  • Learn how enhancing your ability to navigate diverse cultural contexts while acknowledging intersecting identities enriches your personal and professional interactions.
  • Understand how power imbalances can shape perceptions and interactions, and gain insights into fostering equitable dialogues.
  • Develop a common framework for effective cross-cultural and intersectional communication. Learn how to decode cultural and intersectional cues, navigate nuances, and engage in respectful dialogue that transcends differences.
  • Apply newfound insights and strategies to navigate challenging conversations, considering both cultural and intersectional perspectives.

By the end of this transformative workshop, you’ll emerge equipped with a holistic understanding of intercultural competence, power dynamics, and intersectionality. Embrace the power of conscious awareness, empathy, and active engagement as you navigate the intricate terrain of multicultural relations. Join us in shaping a world where diversity is celebrated, understanding is cultivated, and connections are forged across the beautifully complex tapestry of humanity.


Maria Drueco is a highly skilled Talent Management Consultant, Equity, Inclusion, and Diversity Strategist, Anti-Racism Educator, Intercultural Facilitator, Speaker, and Author of UnHide Yourself with over a decade of experience in HR. She harmonizes Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) principles into talent management strategies, embracing antiracism and intercultural training for comprehensive organizational growth. Her personal experiences as an immigrant and member of an underrepresented group give her a profound understanding of workplace challenges.

Maria’s commitment to advancing inclusion, equity, and anti-racism is evident in her workshops, training, and keynote speeches. Passionate about empowering individuals from marginalized groups, she helps leaders cultivate diverse workforces and foster equitable, inclusive, and resilient cultures.

As an engaging presenter, Maria captivates audiences globally. Beyond her professional pursuits, she runs a travel business, promoting faith and intercultural understanding. She actively supports non-profits and mentored new immigrants through the Edmonton Region Immigrant Employment Council.

REGISTRATION (includes all three workshops; offered in-person or online)

Early Registration (by February 15): $90
After February 15: $120




Wednesday March 06, 20247:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Wednesday March 13, 20247:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Wednesday March 20, 20247:00 pm - 8:30 pm

Early Registration (by Feb. 15)




View Map