ROOTS is proud to be able to regularly offer to following trainings to our volunteers and other interested parties. Dates for these trainings may be found on our Calendar.


The Ropes: Understanding and Engaging Youth Homelessness

This training was created by the University District Service Providers Association specifically to help volunteers in this community learn about the causes and characteristics of youth homelessness, the nature of street life and culture, and tools for engaging these youth and young adults. Check out the official website of this training. RSVP by emailing


Conflict De-escalation

In this training, you will learn to recognize the common physiological symptoms of conflict, the stages of crisis and how to be more comfortable navigating them, and concrete tools (what to say, where to stand, etc) to resolve conflict safely. Includes role playing where participant get hands on time to de-escalate conflicts. Required for all staff and volunteers before your second overnight shift or within the first month of volunteering with ROOTS.  RSVP by emailing


ROOTS Volunteer Orientation

This training is required for all ROOTS volunteers and gives a run down of the structure of our shelter program and the layout of the building. RSVP by emailing


“Race: The Power of an Illusion” University District Service Providers Alliance Community Training

This training is the basic social justice training for all ROOTS volunteers. This training is required for all ROOTS volunteers within their first 6 months of volunteering. The training uses the three-part Public Broadcasting System video series that examines race, power and privilege through the history of the United States and up to present-day causes of racial disparities. The curriculum guides the participants through the series with small and large group discussions throughout the day that facilitate the learning objectives.

The training is scheduled as two dates (Part 1 – 2 hours/Part 2 – 2 hours). Part 1 and Part 2 trainings will be scheduled and updated on the training calendar on the ROOTS home page. Yearly there are 4 opportunities to take Part 1 of the training and 4 opportunities to take Part 2 of the training.   Participants are asked to watch the RPOI video on their own before Part 2 of the training. At the Part 1 meeting participants will receive information on how to access the video for free.

Course Learning Objectives:

  • Increase awareness of ROOTS Change Team and ROOTS commitment as an Anti-Racist organization
  • Examine beliefs about race, advantage & justice, and how these issues impact organizations/institutions.
  • Promote an understanding of the term “institutional racism” and how it differs from individual racism
  • Gain awareness of historical cases of institutional racism
  • Begin recognizing examples of institutional racism within the Seattle area and begin to explore solutions together


“Race: the Power of an Illusion” Video:

Episode One – “The Difference Between Us” examines how recent scientific discoveries have toppled the concept of biological race and dismantles our most basic myths about race groups.

Episode Two – “The Story We Tell” uncovers the roots of how and why the race concept created early in the formation of this country became “the stories” that rationalized contradictory public policy and became the foundation for beliefs that still have impact.

Episode Three – “The House We Live In” focuses not on individual behaviors and attitudes, but on how our institutions shape and create race, giving different groups vastly unequal life chances. Who defines race? How in the early 20th century, the courts were called upon to determine who was white and they employed contradictory logic to maintain the color line. This episode reveals some of the ordinary social institutions that quietly channel wealth and opportunity, so that white people benefit from institutionalized racism without being racist.

Please refer to our calendar on this website to see the upcoming dates for this training. Please email to RSVP for this training.