Educator, Filmmaker, Speaker, Social Justice Activist, Healer
Dr. Shakti Butler is a multiracial African-American woman (African, Arawak Indian, and Russian-Jewish) whose work as a creative and visionary bridge builder has challenged and inspired learning for over two decades.
Butler is the producer and director of the groundbreaking documentaries, “The Way Home,” “Light in the Shadows,”and “Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible,” Her newest film, “Cracking the Codes: The System of Racial Inequity” examines the causes and consequences of systemic inequity in the United States and features some two dozen racial justice leaders from across the country.
In 1994, as Executive Director of World Trust Educational Services, Dr. Butler designed and launched HEART-TO-HEART CONVERSATIONS, a national program of public dialogue designed to help people to learn together and share deep feelings about race and culture. This program has gained recognition and been reviewed on both local and national television.
Butler is an inspirational educator, filmmaker, speaker, social justice activist and healer. Her work emerges from years of self-exploration, commitment to social justice and experience as a learner, lecturer and public speaker. Dr. Butler’s services are sought after by colleges, universities, public and private organizations, religious and spiritual institutions and corporations.
A warm and compassionate person, Butler uses her ability to listen deeply while asking critical questions that support self-directed learning in others. Her speaking and teaching styles enrich people’s abilities to move toward expanded capacities for building community. Group dialogue, self-inquiry, reflection and whole body learning by participants are some of the strategies she employs. In addition, her videos and conversation programs stimulate the kind of new questions, which enhance any efforts towards deep learning and change.
Dr. Butler received her doctorate from the California Institute of Integral Studies in the School of Transformative Learning and Change. She holds an MA in Guidance and Counseling from Bank Street College of New York and graduated Magna Cum Laude from City College of New York. She is also a contributing author to The New Entrepreneurs, an anthology on new paradigm business practices and learning.
"I was impressed with Dr. Butler's ability and willingness to integrate an appeal to the spirit with an explanation of systemic oppression, to consider the whole person and to address issues from that perspective. The clips from Cracking the Codes were able to bring people into a situation very effectively, to inspire empathy and break down the distance between audience and subject in a way that bridges intellect and heart." — Janice R. Welsch, Professor Emerita and Co-Director, Expanding Cultural Diversity Project, Western Illinois University
"Dr. Butler’s leadership in conceptualizing the issues of racism at the institutional and individual level is revealed not only in her films, but also in her personal work as a well-recognized and well-respected facilitator and public speaker on these topics. The audience participants raved about both the content and the conditions that Ms. Butler created for the exploration and analysis of these often-taboo topics." — Dr. Melanie Tervalon, Consultant,
Children's Hospital, Oakland; University of California, Berkeley
"Thank you once again for the outstanding presentation and workshop... As one student stated, 'What a fabulous, emotional day! Thank you.' For a second straight year, your presentation and workshop evaluations are excellent!" — Isa D. Williams, Ph.D.,Program Director, The Atlanta Semester, Agnes Scott College
"She is a master of helping people look/listen deeply into themselves to reflect and excavate what we'd rather not see. She brings such compassion and humility to her work." —Marcia Rayene, Workshop Participant