Our Team & Story


The Conversation Workshops team is a diverse group of women, originating from different parts of the country. Together they have created an anti-racist curriculum out of love for their community | www.conversationworkshopsok.com Photos by Monica Burgess | http://www.monicaburgess.com.

How did you come to be?

The unrestful Summer of 2016 proved to be a life-changing one for communities across the U.S. During only a handful of months, several unarmed men and women of the African American community were killed by law enforcement.

After engaging social media where their friends were expressing sadness and grief, sisters, Leah and Lauren Palmer acted quickly on their notion to provide a space for friends and family to grieve, ask questions, and love their neighbors. After announcing an impromptu gathering to be held at their parents’ Oklahoma City home, dozens of people showed up; hours of healthy conversation stirred; and new sparks of activism were born. This was just the beginning.

Subsequent gatherings were held, but the sisters knew that there was a need for more structure, handles for attendees, and education. As Leah and Lauren were incubating ideas to grow their initiative, Kate Strum and Hillary Coenen generously extended a hand to the sisters. After a few meetings between the four, a workshop concept was born and cultivated.

The team facilitated a pilot series hosted by the Oklahoma State University Writing Center, where research provided valuable input from faculty, staff, and students toward the development of the curriculum.  

In April of 2018, the workshops were officially introduced in Oklahoma and began engaging communities.

Experience an anti-racism workshop for those seeking to change their community from the grassroots level up. | www.conversationworkshopsok.com Photography by Monica Burgess | www.monicaburgess.com