Session 1: Intersectionality: Confronting the Tensions of Our Overlapping Identities
January 29, 2020

“Intersectionality is a lens through which you can see where power comes and collides, where it interlocks and intersects. It’s not simply that there’s a race problem here, a gender problem here, and a class or LBGTQ problem there. Many times that framework erases what happens to people who are subject to all of these things.”  —Kimberle Williams Crenshaw

 

2020 promises to be a challenging year for identity dialogues of all kinds, both within and outside of the workplace. To aid participants in effectively engaging in these dialogues, our first session centers upon the concept of Intersectionality, and how to effectively apply it in the workplace. 

 

Legal scholar Kimberle Crenshaw coined the term, intersectionality, in the 1980s as a metaphor to understand our multiple social identities in relation to power, privilege, and oppression. In the past 10 years, however, intersectionality has emerged into mainstream conversations without being fully understood.  

 

Together, through thoughtfully designed experiential learning activities, we will clear up common misconceptions, explore how this concept applies to ourselves and how we can use it as an analytical tool to understand and improve workplace dynamics and relationships.

 

Join us as we engage this foundational topic for the 2020 Series—setting the tone and providing a springboard for each of the following five sessions.

 

Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this session, you will have practiced the following capabilities:

 

  • Effectively analyze the complexity of your own dominant and marginalized identities

  • Assist and support someone in identifying which of their identities maintain power, privilege, marginalization, or oppression in the workplace

  • Apply a systems lens to your organization’s culture to uncover how some identity groups may be privileged while others are marginalized

  • Draw from the experience of the web of intersectionality to build more trusting relationships—a process for change across levels of authority

 

Workshop Tools:

  • D & I Professional Awareness Scale - Pre & Post Test

  • Matrix Worksheets for Self Identity & Organizational Identity

  • Power & Oppression Wheels for Self and Organization

  • Reflection Questions Worksheet for Self & Organization

Presenter and Facilitators:

Michelle Rivera-Clonch, PhD, comes to the NWDLS with two decades of experience in higher education and community organizations. Early in her career she served as the Assistant Director of Counseling and Psychological Services at Rollins College, and as Director of the Women’s Center and Women’s Programs at Western Carolina University. After earning her PhD, she became an Assistant Professor of Psychology at historic Antioch College where she developed curricula emphasizing experiential education. Alongside her private practice - Peace Within: Counseling for Women - she currently teaches courses in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Critical Media and Cultural Studies at Rollins College.

 

In 2018, Michelle was the Subject Matter Expert for the Central Florida Diversity Learning Series session on Intersectionality where members included Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Darden Restaurants, and Florida Hospital.

Working in South and Southeast Asia since 2002, organizations such as the Human Rights Commission of Thailand, Men-Tsee-Khang: The Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute of H.H. the Dalai Lama, and the International Women’s Partnership for Peace and Justice, Michelle underwrote trainings where she collaboratively facilitated a range of topics such as gender justice, conflict and root cause analysis, mindfulness in activism, capacity building, mental health, and empowerment skills for allies for social change. In 2015, Michelle was selected for a Rotary Peace Fellowship in Bangkok, Thailand, where she earned a professional development certificate in Peace and Conflict Resolution Studies at Chulalongkorn University.

Michelle Ilugbusi graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Rollins College. Michelle’s hope is that her education and personal experiences can be used not just to help counsel people, but to aid others in their own work with diversity and inclusion populations. In 2018, Michelle helped facilitate the session on Intersectionality for the Central Florida Diversity Learning Series in Orlando, Florida, where participants attended from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Darden Restaurants, and Florida Hospital.

 

Barb Dos Santos received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Central Florida and is currently seeking a Master of Arts degree in Mental Health Counseling from Rollins College. Barb’s life goal is to open a holistic wellness clinic to provide accessible services to diverse populations. In 2018, Barb helped facilitate the session on Intersectionality for the Central Florida Diversity Learning Series in Orlando, Florida, where participants attended from Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), University of Central Florida College of Medicine, Darden Restaurants, and Florida Hospital.

 

 

 

NWDLS is Managed by:  The Institute for Sustainable Diversity and Inclusion (ISDI)

 

ISDI is a non-profit organization established for the purpose of educating, supporting and collaborating with key stakeholders on ways to leverage differences and practice inclusion to enhance individual and organizational success.  

 

ISDI was founded in 2015 and assumed the management of the Northwest Diversity Learning Series in 2016, formerly managed by Archbright. Barbara Deane, the original NW Series co-founder, and Effenus Henderson, retired Chief Diversity Officer, Weyerhaeuser are the co-founders and directors of the Institute.  This is the 21st year of the NWDLS!

 

JOIN US in 2020 for the NW Diversity Learning Series:

 

(Please note: the order of topics and titles may shift slightly as we work with presenters.)

 

Session 2:  Marginalizing Immigrants is an Old Story: it's Time to Write a New Chapter, May 13

Session 3:  Moving Beyond the Trauma: Innovative Response to the Differential Impacts of COVID-19, June 24

Session 4:  Call It What It Is: Eliminating the Impact of White Supremacy in Our Systems, August 12

Session 5:  Latin Rising: Delivering on the Promise, September 23

Session 6:  Algorithms and You: Decoding the Bias Within, November 18