What is “a good death”? How have you shown up to support others during the end of their lives?

During this self-study course we will explore these questions and more through the lens of privilege, identity, and bias.

Our hope is through this course you will gain a better understanding of some of the challenges that BIPOC face at the end of life, and in the current and historic context of systemic racism that pervades all of our institutions. We invite you to join us with curiosity and humility — no matter who you are, what your background is, or your experiences up until this moment in life — as we grow our tools to create a new paradigm for deathwork.

Is this course for you?

Shifting Deathcare: Tools for a New Paradigm was created by five Black Women, for anyone showing up in the practice of deathcare in their wholeness to support others in theirs.

  • Grow Personally and Professionally

    Evaluate your own belief systems and structures as someone who will one day die and may support BIPOC and others at the end of their lives.

  • Confront Your Own Privilege and Bias

    Learn how to move forward, integrate new information and shift your conception of deathcare into a paradigm which supports all, not just those who are recognized by dominant culture.

  • Receive Continuing Education Credit

    Shifting Deathcare: Tools for a New Paradigm, is an APFSP accredited course that can be used for .5 credits in many states. Please reference the FAQ section below to see if you qualify.

* A slight convenience fee will be added to monthly payment plans.

Course curriculum

    1. Getting Started!

    2. Meet Your Instructor Alua Arthur

    3. Welcome Video

    4. Welcome Video (ASL)

    5. Mental Health Resources

    1. Meet your Instructor Oceana Sawyer

    2. Module 1 Video

    3. Module 1 Video (ASL)

    4. Module 1 Quiz : What is a Good Death for People on the Margins

    1. Meet Your Instructor Lashanna Williams

    2. Module 2 Video

    3. Module 2 Video (ASL)

    4. Module 2 Quiz : Words. Language. Impact.

    1. Meet Your Instructor Joél Simone Anthony

    2. Module 3 Video

    3. Module 3 Video pt 1 (ASL)

    4. Module 3 Video pt 2 (ASL)

    5. Module 3 Quiz : Approaching BIPOC Death and Grief as a Guest

    1. Meet Your Instructor Alica Forneret

    2. Worksheet #1 : What have you learned about your own grief?

    3. Worksheet #2: Mapping your ecosystem

    4. Worksheet #3: What kind of support system can you be?

    5. Module 4 Video

    6. Module 4 Video (ASL)

    7. Module 4 Quiz: Understanding the Complexities of Grief

    1. Conclusion Video

    2. Conclusion Video (ASL)

    3. Instructor Information

    4. Resource List

    5. Continuing Education Credit Contact Form

    6. Final Thoughts

About this course

  • $375.00
  • 31 lessons
  • 6 hours of video content


Hear what Shifting Deathcare students are saying about the course.

  • Absolutely every death care worker should take this course. As death care workers, we claim to strive to ensure a good death for every client and their families. But are we? In a world where white supremacy rules every aspect of our lives it only makes sense that it would also rule every aspect of our death. This course helps with reflection and tools to start the fight against the biases that have been ingrained in us since birth and the systems that keep them in place in order to ensure that a good death is something that is attainable for all.

  • These five wisdom keepers (Alua Arthur, Oceana Sawyer, Lashanna Williams, Joe'l Simone Anthony, Alica Forneret) came together in our time of collective need and brought forth an outpouring of knowledge and wisdom forged in the fires of their personal experience. I feel so honored to be a recipient of the love and respect with which they shared these teachings. I gained important tools of self-reflection and new perspectives that I will take with me into the birthing of my own service, as a guest, to the dying, the dead, and those in grief. Thank you Thank you Beautiful Women!

  • I had the privilege and pleasure of learning from Alua Arthur, Oceana Sawyer, Lashanna Willians, Joel Simone Anthony, and Alicia Forneret in this course. I learned so much about implicit bias across all aspects of death care and learned how to identify the way by own privilege has impacted the care I provide. This course is a well-crafted starting point for me to continue doing the work of decolonizing how I approach how I speak and how I listen in my work and at home.

  • I work in at a Hospice and this information was great to hear from five woman of color. This course should be taken by all Hospice workers. Thanks you so much.

  • I trained as a death doula several years ago, and found a lack of conversation about structural racism in end of life care, and in deaths themselves, in death care spaces particularly unnerving. I was so excited to see that Going with Grace was offering "Shifting Deathcare: Tools for a New Paradigm," because I recognize how pervasive anti-blackness is in impacting how black Americans die and the kind of care they experience and feel they can advocate for while dying. I loved learning about the radicalization of a "good death" (i.e. its continued inaccessibility to many), the importance of language for nonjudgmental support, disenfranchised grief, and histories/practices of homegoing rituals in black communities, and how to provide informed and prepared grief support.

  • Learning about the importance of funeralization and how (as a funeral professional myself) to approach BIPOC grief and funeral arrangements as a guest is a highly valuable lesson. I was grateful for the history of homegoings, how that history connects to modern tradition, and the insight that current events affect how BIPOC experience not just life but death/loss, too, and that it can inform perception and feeling even if the family you're working with didn't necessarily experience a traumatic/violent death. I also appreciated looking at embalming/restorative art with the removal of a privileged view. It was a nice reminder that these things can be powerful and healing tools. Thank you Joél!

  • This is a really wonderful course that's addressing so much essential work that needs to be done in death care and end-of-life care. I am so glad I was able to take this course and I will continue to refer back to it often to make sure that I am making a welcoming and open space for all that I encounter in my work as a funeral director. I will also be revisiting the notes from this work to remember to look for and acknowledge my own biases and how those affect the people that I serve. er

  • Every module brought new insight and gave pause for reflection - what has drawn me to this space, what am I capable of giving back to it, and where do I stumble over the privilege I neglect to notice? A debt of thanks to each instructor for sharing their guidance and insight, and experience.ser


Alua Arthur

Founder, Going with Grace

Alua Arthur is a death doula, recovering attorney, and the founder of Going with Grace, a death doula training and end of life planning organization that exists to support people as they answer the question, “What must I do to be at peace with myself so that I may live presently and die gracefully?” Going with Grace works to improve and redefine the end-of-life experience for people rooted in every community using the individual lived experience as the foundation. Alua was a keynote speaker at EndWell 2019, and has been featured in the LA Times, Vogue, Refinery29, The Doctors, and InStyle. She is inspired by the gift of LIFE itself and is always on the quest for the best donuts and fried plantains!

Alica Forneret

Alica Forneret is a facilitator, writer, and Grief Guide who creates safe spaces for people to explore loss. She is fiercely committed to making sure that we have more conversations about grief, death, and dying - whether that’s at home, at work, or with strangers on the bus. Alica's work about how grief shows up in professional environments has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, and Psychology Today. When she's not writing or developing customized grief resource plans for BIPOC, she volunteers her time as an Associate Board Member of Our House Grief Center and facilitates end-of-life events across The United States and Canada.

Oceana Sawyer

Oceana Sawyer is an End of Life Doula with certifications from the University of Vermont and the Conscious Dying Institute. She is also a qualified facilitator of Living Funeral Ceremonies and member of the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA).

Lashanna Williams

Lashanna (she/her) is, at her core, a helper; a doula, massage therapist and educator who merges formal education, ancestral knowledge, life experience, and all 6 senses to guide her care. With over 20 years of community care work Lashanna has roots deep in community education and activism. She is a member of the National End of Life Doula Association, African-American Health Council, National Black Doulas, American Massage Therapist Association, Coalition to Transform Advanced Care, Washington End of Life Coalition steering committee, and National Home Funeral Alliance Access & Equity Committee. She also is Director of the Board for A Sacred passing and a board member of the National Home Funeral Alliance. Lashanna is also a Washington State Health Advocate and End of Life Washington Client Advisor.

Joél Simone Anthony

My name is Joél Simone Anthony. I am a licensed funeral director and sacred grief practitioner in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally from Beaufort, South Carolina, I was raised in the heart of Gullah and Geechee culture. Spirituality has always been a huge part of my life and professional approach which is deeply rooted in ancient wisdom passed down from community elders, generation to generation. During my decade of service in the funeral service industry, I fashioned my unique background and professional experiences into a caliber and style of care and comfort that guides countless families toward healing through the exploration of alternative practices designed to help you navigate and heal through your journey with grief.​ It is my life's work to educate everyone –regardless of faith, race, age, or status – that death, dying and grief are sacred and transformative to our journeys as human beings.

This course is NOT ‘Black Deathcare 101’.

  • It IS an opportunity for all people to gain a better understanding of some of the challenges that people face at the end of life who are marginalized in the current and historic context of systemic racism that pervades all of our institutions.


  • Who can receive Continuing Education credit?

    This course is a APFSP accredited course for .5 credits (5hours of credit). The credit is only for Licensed Funeral Directors and Embalmers in the states that accept APFSP certified courses. (Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington D.C., Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wisconsin)

  • Can I take this course if I am not interested in continuing education?

    Yes, this course is for anyone in the death and dying community.

  • What content will I receive in this course?

    Shifting Deathcare: Tools for a New Paradigm is a 6- module course, including teaching videos (30-60 minutes each), and end module quizzes. Additional resources, worksheets, and self-reflections are also included.

  • Is this course accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing?

    Yes, the course videos are offered with closed captioning and ASL translations.

  • How long will I have access to the course?

    You will have access to the course content for 6 months after your enrollment date. If you need more time to complete the course, we are happy to give an extension on a case by case basis.

  • Have a question that wasn't answered?

    Email [email protected] and we will be happy to assist you.