EmbRace Seminars LLC was founded in early 2021 by its co-owners and co-facilitators, Lawrence Parham and Marguerite Wilson. Our work together began in 2014 when we collaborated on a community-based parent engagement program in the City of Binghamton that eventually became CARES Advocates for Families, Inc. Lawrence is the CEO of CARES and Marguerite is a board member, and we continue to work alongside families of color as they work through our program to advocate on behalf of their children and all disenfranchised children in the school system.
Our current work together as anti-racism facilitators was a natural outgrowth of our work with CARES. In 2016, Citizen Action of New York-Southern Tier invited us to develop an in-depth anti-racism workshop series focused on understanding and dismantling whiteness. Our combined decades of experience—with Lawrence’s background in cultural competency workshops and trainings, and Marguerite’s teaching of whiteness studies to undergraduate students at Binghamton University, as well as our diverging life experiences as a queer White woman and a straight Black man from different generations and geographic origins—made us excellent candidates for this work.
Since the initial workshop in 2016, which was based on Shelly Tochluk’s book and associated curriculum, Witnessing Whiteness, we have continued to offer this workshop to the community of Binghamton and, more recently, to a wider geographic area via videoconferencing. We have also been fortunate to be able to expand our services, providing tailored consulting and workshops to multiple organizations in the local area, and most recently, developing a Train-the-Trainer Program to expand our facilitator base and our reach beyond the local community.
Co-Owner and Facilitator
Marguerite Wilson, Ph.D. (she/her/hers), is a scholar-activist with an academic background in anthropology, education, and human development. She is an Associate Professor of Human Development at Binghamton University and has worked alongside community partners in Binghamton to initiate and lead a range of community-based research and service projects, including the CARES Parent Mentor Program and Embrace Seminars anti-racism workshops and trainings. Her collaborative work with Embrace Seminars co-founder and co-facilitator, Lawrence Parham, converges around the dismantling of oppressive systems, from fostering individual understanding, self-reflection, and healing from white supremacy to guiding organizations in developing anti-racist policies and practices.
Co-Owner and Facilitator
Lawrence Parham (he/him/his) is the Mission Impact Director of the YWCA Binghamton/Broome County. His primary role is to serve as the YWCA’s key resource for ensuring that the goal to eliminate racism and empower women is highly evident in all YWCA programs and community relations. With over 20 + years of work experience in the fields of diversity, equity and inclusion, spanning the public, private and nonprofit sectors, Lawrence is involved in co-creating new and innovative local programs and projects that promote and elevate social and political involvement. He is the cofounder and CEO of CARES Advocates for Families Inc., a grassroots organization created to address disproportionality and disparities in public education, partnering primarily with families who are low-income, of color and who have children with disabilities. Lawrence is the co-founder and co-facilitator of the Binghamton Witnessing Whiteness Community/EmbRace Seminars LLC. All of Lawrence’s work utilizes a model of community and family engagement that informs, educates and empowers community members, families, students and activists.