While growing up near Philadelphia, Ginnie Vogts said her father and brothers frequently told racist jokes or made racist comments.

While growing up near Philadelphia, Ginnie Vogts said her father and brothers frequently told racist jokes or made racist comments.

She didn't laugh at the jokes and eventually found the courage to tell them she didn't approve of the comments. So they stopped making them -- at least when she was around.

"It changed the dynamic in my family," Vogts, now a resident of Clintonville, said last week.

The Unitarian Universalist Church Justice Ohio and Showing Up for Racial Justice Columbus will sponsor a workshop from 9 a.m. to noon April 23 to help others do what a young Ginnie Vogts did: gently confront family members and co-workers regarding racism.

"Race and Justice: An Honest Conversation" will take place at First Unitarian Universalist Church, 93 W. Weisheimer Road.

Vogts, a member of the church, plans to attend.

"I'm hoping to have open conversations that we haven't been able to have before," she said.

"This is mostly white folks talking to white folks, in the sense of white folks trying to take responsibility for the community at large to develop tools to improve how our perception of race moves along," said Molly Shack, civic engagement director for the Ohio Organizing Collaborate who will lead the workshop.

The deadline for online registration for the workshop is Monday, April 18. To register, visit tinyurl.com/uuracism

"This event is going to combine some everyday skill-building kinds of things dealing with racism in our workplace, in our home life ... and sort of provide tools to help people deal with racism," said the Rev. Lane Campbell, minister of education at First Unitarian Universalist. "I would mention that this is happening in a predominantly white faith community. We have a particular role to play where racism is concerned."

"Right now there's a lot of fear in America," Shack said.

"The national dialogue around race is growing and I think exposing some of the uglier sides that people always knew were there. Especially people of faith need to lead in a place of hope and aspiration, not fear and fear-mongering."

A further goal of the workshop is to go beyond the personal to the wider world, Campbell said.

"It's one thing for us to interrupt racist comments that we hear in the workshop and within our families," she said. "It's another thing to move in on to the next level and kick it up a notch to bring about systemic change.

"What we want to do is help folks reframe and recognize why we talk about racism is we love our family members and we love humanity. The reason we confront racism is not out of hatred but out of love."

"I think that's a nice way of putting it," Vogts said.

"We're not going to be able to change everybody's minds, but if we could keep our focus on people being denigrated, the people who have no power, we should be able to at least interrupt the conversation and not participate in it, and say that's not OK."