VISIONS Spring 2023 Summit

Taking Shame out of the Equation: Building successful relationships through authentic connection

May 11 and 12, 2023 | Virtual
9:30am-3:00pm PT | 12:30pm -6:00pm ET

VISIONS is pleased to announce its 2023 Spring Summit, Taking Shame Out of the Equation: Building successful relationships through authentic connection, on May 11 and 12, 2023 from 12:30pm ET to 6pm ET.

Shame-based forms of discourse including antagonistic confrontation, call-out culture, and “finding the fatal flaw” have had an increasingly divisive effect on communities, organizations, and social movements. VISIONS is convening this summit to discuss the impact of shame-based norms of discourse in these domains and offer alternatives that support movement-building, community cohesion, and efforts at collaboration.

This year’s keynote event will be a fireside chat between activist, public intellectual, and 2022 MacArthur Fellow Professor Loretta Ross and feminist activist, writer, and VISIONS advisory board member Gloria Steinem on May 12, 2023 at 1pm ET.

In addition to exploratory sessions that examine these questions in different contexts, participants will have the opportunity to learn skills for alternative ways of relating across difference, including building capacity for working through conflict, management of the self, and giving and receiving feedback.

This conference will offer three tracks:

- Organizational spaces: for those interested in how to build authentic relationships with colleagues
- Movement/political spaces: for community organizers, activists, and those interested in coalition-building
- Individual/Interpersonal: for those interested in building and applying these skills at the interpersonal level

Participants will learn alternatives to shame-based calling out, as well as robust tools for calling in, developing and deepening connection, and moving through conflict.


A limited number of low-cost scholarship tickets are available for this event. Please email if you would like to be considered for one of the places.


Consider becoming a 2023 Summit Sponsor.


May 11, 2023

  • 12:30p- 1:00p EST
    • Welcome and opening
  • 1:00p- 2:15p EST
    • Plenary Session
  • 2:30p - 3:45p EST
    • Track-Specific Panels
      • (Organizations, Political Organizing/Movement,  Individual/Interpersonal)
  • 4:00p - 6:00p EST
    • Day 1 Workshop
      Capacity-building skills for effective communication across difference and basics of emotional literacy

May 12, 2023

  • 12:30p - 1:00p EST
    • Welcome and Opening
  • 1:00p- 2:15p EST
    • Keynote Event: Fireside chat with Loretta Ross hosted by Gloria Steinem
  • 2:30p - 4:30p EST
    • Day 2 Workshop
      Giving and receiving feedback non-defensively
  • 4:45p - 6:00p EST
    • Presentation of Jo Lewis Award and closing

Register Today!

Once registered for the event, be on the lookout for a series of emails that will include more information as we move closer to the event date. Please email us with any questions.
Consider becoming a 2023 Summit Sponsor!
A limited number of low-cost scholarships are available for this event. Please email to indicate your interest in a scholarship.

Keynote Speakers

Ross Photo

Loretta Ross

Loretta Ross is an award-winning, nationally-recognized expert on racism and racial justice, women's rights, and human rights. Her work emphasizes the intersectionality of social justice issues and how intersectionality can fuel transformation.

Ross is a 2022 MacArthur Fellow and associate professor at Smith College (Northampton, MA) in the Program for the Study of Women and Gender, teaching courses on white supremacy, race and culture in America, human rights, and calling in the calling out culture.

She was a co-founder and the National Coordinator, from 2005 to 2012, of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective, a network of women of color and allied organizations that organize women of color in the reproductive justice movement. Loretta has also co-written three books on reproductive justice.

Ross appears regularly in major media outlets about the issues of our day. She was recently featured in a New York Times piece, "What if Instead of Calling People Out, We Called Them In?"

Ross is a rape survivor, was forced to raise a child born of incest, and is a survivor of sterilization abuse. She is a model of how to survive and thrive despite the traumas that disproportionately affect low-income women of color. She is a nationally-recognized trainer on using the transformative power of Reproductive Justice to build a Human Rights movement that includes everyone.

Ross serves as a consultant for Smith College, collecting oral histories of feminists of color for the Sophia Smith Collection which also contains her personal archives.

Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem is a writer, lecturer, political activist, and feminist organizer. She has spent decades traveling in this and other countries as an organizer and lecturer and is a frequent media spokeswoman on issues of equality. She is particularly interested in the shared origins of sex and race caste systems, gender roles and child abuse as roots of violence, non-violent conflict resolution, the cultures of indigenous peoples, and organizing across boundaries for peace and justice. She lives in New York City. Gloria Steinem is currently on VISIONS’ Advisory Board.