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An ally can be defined as, “someone who supports and stands up for the rights and dignity of individuals and identity groups other than their own.” But how can white people be effective, active allies to people of color? Confronting one’s own white privilege and practicing white allyship is an ongoing, lifelong process, and everyone has more to learn. In this session, you’ll learn how to confront racism as it comes up daily, with strategies for processing white privilege, challenging explicit and implicit bias, navigating intersectionality across identities, identifying and stopping microaggressions, influencing others and continuing your own allyship journey.

About the Speakers:

Kirsten Helgeson
Founder + CEO
Just a Girl

Kirsten is a social change visionary and advocate, using technology to drive mental health and women’s empowerment efforts globally. She’s embraced being the mouthy but kind voice of reason in most situations and actively advocates for people at varying points on the privilege spectrum. She loves nerdy dance parties, international travel and coffee.

Kirsten believes in active compassion, creativity and connection. That if we want to make the world a better place, we have to start by building authentic, honest relationships. Through Just A Girl, she is building a global sisterhood of support and solutions capable of helping all 4+ billion women on the planet thrive.

Rebecca Stoner
Director of Development Operations
Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee

Rebecca Stoner is a fundraising and communications professional passionate about community development and the City of Milwaukee. Living on Milwaukee’s North Side, she spends her free time doing improv comedy and frolicking with her 4 month old daughter, husband and dog. Working in fundraising in Milwaukee, Rebecca understands the need to confront and dismantle her own white privilege and fragility through the lens of anti-racism.


Ginny Finn
President & CEO
YWCA Southeast Wisconsin

A Milwaukee “local” from the Washington Park neighborhood, Ginny works with the Board of Directors and a seasoned executive team to lead YWCA Southeast Wisconsin’s efforts to build a more just and inclusive region accessible to all. In addition, she oversees communications and fund development strategies to secure the resources essential to YWCA SEW’s mission.

An attorney with 25+ years of experience in the arts, education and social services, following legal practice, Ginny served as executive director of ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis for nearly a decade, and has led fund development efforts in Connecticut, New York City and metro-Milwaukee. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the National Breast Cancer Coalition and the IBC Network Foundation, as well as serves as co-chair of the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center Advisory Board. An alumna and past Board member of both Future Milwaukee and Milwaukee Forum, she was a first-year participant in the Milwaukee Mosaic program, as well as a coach for the program thereafter. Past community service includes the Boards of Directors of the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin, the Fair Wisconsin Education Fund, the African American Children’s Theatre and Fondy Food Center.

Ginny earned a BA from Coe College, a MA from Purdue University and a JD from the University of Wisconsin Law School. She is also a graduate of Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program. She is an avid scuba diver and with her husband, a “recovering” home renovator.

Kiel Thedford
Environmental Design Manager

Kiel is a self-proclaimed retail geek, passionate about building experiences that connect consumers to global and national brands. He, his partner, and their rescue pup reside in the village of Elm Grove, where they enjoy home improvement and connecting with and grounding in nature, as they together photograph and write about their DIY endeavors and spiritual journeys on social media.

Motivated by his upbringing in rural Oklahoma, Kiel practices and advocates for the powers of vulnerability in growth from adversity and trauma; destigmatizing mental health issues; giving voices to women, children, and the economically disadvantaged; and casting light on generational and patriarchal privilege structures to benefit families, communities, and workplaces.