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R.A.C.E.S. - Race A Concept Explored in Story Circle

Struggling to Heal Your Story Around Race?

Pioneer racial understanding with your organization's R.A.C.E.S. Circle

Power of the Story Circle

As a professional oral storyteller, I've seen storytelling's magic open closed hearts and empower the shy to speak. Telling your story, in a safe, non-judgemental space, can create deep lasting change and understanding.

I live in Homer, Alaska, a small 99% white village. My husband pointed out local questioning and confused social media posts, at the beginning of this summer's protests, I reflected on how I could serve the effort for racial justice, again. R.A.C.E.S. was built on my lifetime of involvement with racial and social justice, storytelling experience, knowledge of Black history and racism, and my understanding of narrative coaching.

The participants in my first two R.A.C.E.S. Circles in Homer received a greater insight into their own racial perceptions, heard a variety of racial experiences,  and found storytelling an effective way to communicate difficult feelings and experiences. You, and your organization, can experience the healing power of the story circle while contributing to the creation of a racist-free USA.

Skywalker Payne, Founder of Vibrant Velvet Voice Productions, LLC. 

Photo of Skywalker Payne


R.A.C.E.S. Circle

After your organization has filled out a contact form. You'll receive an invitation to schedule a chat to discuss your organization's needs and goals. R.A.C.E.S. Circle can be a one time event, if you have a small staff/organization, or a series of Circles with other options listed below.

The basic R.A.C.E.S. Circle is a two hour live Zoom event with no more than ten participants, from the same organization. All participants must fill out a pre-Circle questionnaire in odreder to determine the best focus for your Circle. Participants will


Who Is R.A.C.E.S. For?

The R.A.C.E.S. Circle will be of assistance to any organization or business that interacts with Black and other people of color, as clients or staff. The Circle will also benefit educational institutions, non-profits, social and service clubs/organizations.

To facilitate racial understanding and social transformation, Vibrant Velvet Voice Productions launched this healing circle in June 2020. Here you will have the opportunity to address racial issues and questions among people your know with a knowledgeable and compassionate storytelling facilitator.

Beyond the Circle

R.A.C.E.S. Interactive is an infinite online space committed to healing the wounds of racial stories. Through storytelling, interviews, art, and multimedia presentations we reveal racist ideas, racist practices, the systems they maintain, and offer alternatives.

We also share anti-racist ideas, anti-racist practices, and how to create anti-racist systems. And explore the connections with other types of bias and prejudice by whatever name.

R.A.C.E.S. Interactive launches October 12, 2020, From Colonialism to the Vote. 


We can create a series of story circles, workshops, or classes to focus on a specific aspect of racial understanding or dismantling racism. For example, a company wants to not only examine why it has no people of color in management, but also wants to create a company climate that feels welcoming and cordial for people of color. Through story circles and understanding history, a company or community's real racial understanding and change can be seeded. Also, courses around specific books, such as Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi will be available beginning January 2021. 


Maybe your organization is too large for small story circles or you've been working on creating a more diverse workforce for years and you need the objective eye of a Black woman whose experienced working in corporate America, medical institutions, and nonprofits. For program development, curated resources, and actionable, transformational strategies, a few meetings and planning sessions may be the simple guidance your organization needs to establish a solid practice of diversity and inclusion in your staffing as well as in your customer outreach and service. 




"Listening to people open up and share their stories felt like productive and healing work. Only 2 people in our group had ever had a Black friend and that made me deeply sad. It made me look hard at myself, my surroundings, and my friends. Skywalker, you have a true gift and opened up a space for us to share stories. I think this is very important and relevant work.”    

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Brianna Lee, Gallery Assistant Bunnell  Street Art Center

"The most transformative part of the circle was how you set the space and created an atmosphere of openness, trust, safety, and respect. I was anxious prior to the meeting and felt lighter and lit up after. I deeply appreciated the nuance of your experience. I was so  impressed by how you created the space, I felt clearly that we were all engaging with you as a master, that this is your art."

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Carla Klinker Cope, artist & mother

Meet Skywalker Payne, Your Story Healing Facilitator

Skywalker Payne, storytelling energy healer, is the founder of Vibrant Velvet Voice Productions. With a degree in storytelling, ten years of work as a registered nurse, Reiki Master certification, and a lifetime of spiritual practice, Skywalker’s insights are based on experience, empathy, and education.

Black publications featured her writings in her young adult years. Encore Magazine and the Congress of Racial Equality Magazine published her feature articles. She was the editor of the weekly Black newspaper in Greenville, South Carolina also.

The non-profits she worked for tackled the problems of affordable housing, peace, justice and women's rights, indigenous rights, and civil liberties. 

Her original storytelling and performances have been seen by audiences in cities and towns throughout the USA, including New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles, California Denver, Colorado, Des Moines, Iowa, and Homer, Alaska. 

In addition, she's participated in many diverse conferences, such as the Conference on the Disappeared in El Salvador.  And as a nurse she worked in the Navajo and Hopi nations and with Alaska natives.



Don't let understanding racial experiences, embracing diversity, and recognizing racism become a passing fad. Expand your historical knowledge, be aware of enlightening events, meet new people. Subscribe to R.A.C.E.S. Interactive - a creative, entertaining, and inspiring approach to ending racist ideas and stopping racist practices.



" I did get a general sense of purpose from the experience that helped me understand my own perspective as it relates to those of others. This was a wonderful experience and I admire how focused it was on keeping an emphasis on real experience as opposed to using the language of ‘things happening out there.’ A very positive and constructive method to approach the issues of racism."     

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Argent Kvasnikoff, Artist, Cultural Ambassador, Ninilchik

  "It was great to share a story. This was a deeply meaningful experience. You are doing something very special, very needed in this moment. Thank you for opening a space to share, and for trusting us with your first Circle. Truly a wonderful thing you are creating. "   

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Adele Person, Executive Director, Bunnell Street Art Center

You are in this time and this place for a reason. Your life and your world are not the way you thought they'd be or planned. This is a time of change and challenges. In such times you can reach new heights or succumb to despair.  R.A.C.E.S. Circle empowers you to courageously explore  deep and painful stories in order to recognize our common humanity.

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