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Free, thought-provoking discussions on important issues facing our communities produced in partnership with Arizona Humanities and the Arizona State Library, Archives & Public Records.

SCHEDULING NOW – Virtual FRANK Talks Programs

Given the current global pandemic, FRANK Talks are now being offered virtually. Please note there will be no live FRANK Talks offered until further notice in the interest of public safety.

Our virtual FRANK Talks are hosted by FRANK Talk Speakers and local libraries and span a total of 60-90 minutes. The purpose of Virtual FRANK Talks is to encourage participants to weigh facts, provide the opportunity to put them in context, and consider different points of view. Virtual FRANK Talks inspire people to practice the skills of citizenship—to listen respectfully and engage thoughtfully on issues that affect our communities. Topics can include education, immigration, religion, civil rights, and more. Attend a Virtual FRANK Talk and join the conversation today.

(August 3-until further notice)

Current topics may be scheduled into 2021 until further notice.  We will be updating our FRANK Talks topics periodically depending on demand and resources. Please note that your program must be approved before you begin marketing and promotion. This will help us avoid scheduling the same programs too close together.

Please refer to these directions.

  • Go to www.azhumanities.org and use the online dashboard. As always, you must be registered with an account. Please note that the Application Requirements, Presentation Information, and Payment Procedures forms have all been updated.

  • Call the speaker and select the date and time for your program.

  • Complete and submit the online application form. AH staff will schedule the program with our ZOOM account and send you a link to both the meeting and the program recording.

Once the program has been approved, you will receive a link to the meeting. This is new and important. You will use the link when you market and promote the program. The link will allow participants to register for the program in advance. It will require them to enter their name and email address. Following registration, participants will receive an electronic confirmation. They will use this information to participate in the program. This process allows AH to protect the security of the program and reduce hacking, ZOOM bombing, or other program disruptions. You may not use your own ZOOM account or other virtual platform to register participants. This is strictly prohibited.

The virtual FRANK Talks available are listed below. Topics previously offered are no longer available. You will need to cancel any old programs and reschedule new topics only. Please note that the introductions to each of these programs are now pre-recorded. The brief recorded intro is followed by a live interactive program with the Speaker. The same FRANK Talks rules and code of conduct apply. FRANK Talks are a safe space to explore difficult social issues. All opinions are welcome, but participants must model respectful behavior, or they may be removed from the meeting.

VIRTUAL Nice is not Enough: Understanding Systemic Oppression

Rory Gilbert, Rory Gilbert LLC roryaz@gmail.com, 602-538-1154

Current events across the nation are challenging us to take a hard look at how some groups of people are being treated differently from others on a daily basis. Why does this happen? What systems intentionally or implicitly benefit some people at the expense of others? How does systemic oppression impact certain groups at work, at school, and in the community? As the beneficiaries of these systemic decisions, policies or laws, we are often not even aware of the impact on us, or the harm to others. This program provides an opportunity to explore how systems impact people differently, and the steps we can take personally to eliminate unfair treatment and harm to others.

VIRTUAL Do You See What I See? - Implicit Bias For Better or Worse

Rory Gilbert, Rory Gilbert LLC roryaz@gmail.com, 602-538-1154

We come from different places and backgrounds. Our life experiences and backgrounds can affect the way we see the world and each other, for better or worse. What is implicit bias, and how does it shape our attitudes and actions towards others? How do stereotypes affect our understanding, actions, and decisions? “Implicit bias” can cause us to have feelings and attitudes about other people based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, age, ability, and appearance. How can we learn to navigate the world as seen through the eyes of people different from us? How can we share what we have learned with people at home, at work, and in the communities we live in?

VIRTUAL White Allies: Be The Change

Rory Gilbert, Rory Gilbert LLC roryaz@gmail.com, 602-538-1154

What is an ally? What is white privilege? As a White person, do you struggle with how to respond to racism at work, at home or in your community? If so, you are not alone. Many allies seek effective tools to engage in honest and productive conversations about race. How do you talk to White co-workers, friends, relatives and neighbors about race? Is the conversation different when you talk to co-workers, friends, relatives and neighbors of color? How do you address conflicting opinions about current events, politics or cultural differences? What are “gaps” that can affect your ability to be an ally? How can you fill in the blanks? This program focuses on developing specific skills to engage productively with people who are skeptical that racism exists, and to learn how to take specific actions to foster racial equity.

VIRTUAL Re-Thinking Masculinity

Rowdy Duncan, Phoenix College rowdyduncan@cox.net, 602-697-9274

Masculinity is generally defined as “the qualities — habits and traits that society considers to be appropriate for a man.” So then what’s the buzz about “toxic” masculinity? Are all parts of masculinity bad? Are there good parts of masculinity? What are some notions of masculinity that have changed in the past – how did they change – why did they change? Big boys don’t cry. Real men don’t eat quiche. Boys will be boys. Don’t be a sissy. Man-up. How might we rethink the role of masculinity in a changing world? Participants will explore these questions in a unique, interactive program that will improve their communication skills, facilitate learning, and help them navigate gender differences at work and at home.

VIRTUAL Not Racist or Anti-Racist? Talking About Race in America

Rowdy Duncan, Phoenix College rowdyduncan@cox.net, 602-697-9274

What is the difference between race and ethnicity? What does it mean to be anti-racist versus not racist? Understanding the history of race in America, and its impact on all of us is important. Race is not just a complex subject of study, but a lived experience that is unique to everyone. This means you can’t just read and learn about it from textbooks; you must talk to, and listen to others. It is more important now than ever to be culturally competent. Is it possible to be “not-racist” in our society? What does it mean to be anti-racist? How can we be proactive in our anti-racist efforts? Participants will explore these questions in a unique, interactive program that will improve their communication skills, facilitate learning, and help them navigate cultural differences at work and at home.

VIRTUAL All My Relations: Indigenous thinking in Seven Generations

Rowdy Duncan, Phoenix College rowdyduncan@cox.net, 602-697-9274

Who do you consider to be people that you are related to? Who is and is not part of your community? Is there a way to widen our perspective of who is part of our community and invested in our success. This workshop will introduce the idea of thinking in seven generations and examine the concept used in indigenous circles “All my relations”. What if we could learn to see in a more timeless frame? How we view the world, and the contributions of others, can be shaped by who we are “connected” to, and who we are “disconnected” from. The choices we make about how we choose to live, and what matters to us, have much to do with the world we live in, and the people who surround us, at home, at work, and at play. Who is your “tribe?” Can you trace your family roots back to the beginning? Do we have any obligation to those who came before us, or who come after us? What is our responsibility for making a better world? Participants will explore these questions in a unique, interactive program that will improve their communication skills, facilitate learning, and help them navigate cultural differences at work and at home.

VIRTUAL The History of Police and Policing in the U.S.

Matthew Whitaker, Diamond Strategies LLC mw@dstrategiesllc.com, 480-366-5980

What is the history of policing in the U.S.? Where did police come from, and what was their role? How did police interact with communities in the past? How do police interact with communities now? Recent clashes between the police and the public have thrust the nation into a period of social unrest and violence not seen since the 1960s. The public has called for immediate and dramatic change. Do we still need the police? How do communities ensure public safety in the future for everyone? Participants will explore these questions in a safe, interactive discussion, that will help them understand and improve the relationship between the police and community.

VIRTUAL Gender, Race, Class and Election 2020

Matthew Whitaker, Diamond Strategies LLC mw@dstrategiesllc.com, 480-366-5980

It has been said that the 2020 Presidential election is a “battle for the soul” of a divided America–a quaking nation whose fault lines include race, class, gender, urban, rural, north, mid-west, south, rich, poor, middle class, young, middle-aged, and senior. How have these divisions influenced recent elections? Does the forthcoming election promise to conform to, or deviate from, these divisions? Participants will explore these questions in a safe, interactive discussion, that will help them navigate election 2020 as informed and perspicacious voters.

VIRTUAL Our Right To Assemble: The History of Protest and Civil Disobedience in the U.S.

Matthew Whitaker, Diamond Strategies LLC mw@dstrategiesllc.com, 480-366-5980

The First Amendment prohibits the government from abridging “the right of the people peaceably to assemble.” This basic freedom ensures the right of people to come together and collectively express, promote, pursue, and defend their collective or shared ideas. When and how have people engaged in protest? Who has engaged in protest? What is civil disobedience? Does everyone have the same right to assemble? In recent days the brutal murders of African Americans by the police has sparked widespread protest across the U.S. and even abroad. How do we balance public safety and human rights? How do race, power and class impact access to free speech and the right to assemble? Participants will explore these questions in a safe, interactive discussion.

Facilitator Information

Rory Gilbert, M.Ed., SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Rory specializes in supporting organizations committed to enhancing diversity, and creating more inclusive cultures. She is a certified professional coach and mediator trained in interest-based problem resolution. Rory’s consulting work specializes in supporting organizations committed to enhancing diversity, and creating more inclusive cultures. Rory worked with the Maricopa Community Colleges (MCCCD) for a decade providing strategic direction to MCCCD’s diversity, inclusiveness and engagement plan. She developed the MOSAIC curriculum for MCCCD’s Talent Management initiative as lead curriculum designer, and provided facilitation, mediation and coaching for the Leadership Advancement Program, and for faculty, administrators and employees. Rory collaborates with social justice advocates in Arizona to address racism, hate crimes, white supremacy and health care disparities through public speaking, community dialogues, training, and media communications. Rory is co-founder of the Healing Racism Public Dialogue Series, winner of the 2008 National League of Cities Promoting Inclusive Award.

Rory Gilbert



Rowdy Duncan, Phoenix College

Rowdy has worked in the field of diversity and inclusion for over a decade. Currently he is full time faculty in the field of Communication with an emphasis in Interpersonal Communication, Public Speaking, and Intercultural Communication. He has lead peer Mentoring groups that educate youth about drug prevention, educational success, and college and career readiness.  Rowdy completed director training from the Anytown/Ourtown programs and teaches young people and their leaders about power, privilege, equity, and inclusion. He also sits on the curriculum board for Anytown AZ. An engaging and passionate presenter and facilitator, Rowdy is also the director of Phoenix College’s Diversity Incorporated., a program that teaches students how to present the MOSAIC inclusiveness program, and he is an active member of the Healing Racism Public Dialogue Series, winner of the 2008 National League of Cities Promoting Inclusive Award.  He also produces and delivers his Inclusive Activism Podcast bi-weekly to his thousands of listeners about how the intersections of Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity work are a form of Personal Leadership. 




Matthew C. Whitaker, Ph.D., Diamond Strategies LLC

Matthew Whitaker is a decorated educator, historian, author, social justice advocate, motivational speaker, and founder of the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, where he taught for 16 years. Whitaker’s expertise lies in U.S. history, African American history, race relations, social movements, cultural competency, equity and inclusion, teaching excellence, and community partnerships.  Whitaker has received numerous awards including the 2016 DLA Diversity and Inclusion Award, ASU’s 2015 Pioneer Award for work on African American life and culture, and 2014 DLA Inclusive Workplace Award. Whitaker has spoken throughout the U.S. and abroad, and has been featured on CNN, NPR, PBS, WVON, and KEMET. His books include Hurricane Katrina: America’s Unnatural Disaster, Race Work: The Rise of Civil Rights in the Urban West, and his forthcoming memoir, The Undisputed Truth: A Revolutionary Journey to Black Manhood. 




Manage your FRANK Talks program

For scheduling support, contact:
Missy Shackelford at mshackelford@azhumanities.org

For dashboard support, contact:
Samantha Anderson at sanderson@azhumanities.org

Why the name FRANK Talks?

Lorraine Frank 400x265FRANK Talks is named in part to honor Lorraine W. Frank, the founding Executive Director of Arizona Humanities. During her tenure from 1973 to 1989, she elevated public discourse and understood that engaging communities in dialogue was critical to the life of our state. Lorraine W. Frank passed away in 2005, and in 2015 she was inducted into the Arizona Women’s Hall of Fame.