Session 4: A World Beyond Now: Eliminating the Impact of White Supremacy in Our Systems
August 12, 2020

One’s interpretation of the phrase “White Supremacy” depends largely on one’s understanding of systematic inequality.  When you understand systematic inequality, you understand how “white supremacy” impacts outcomes.


For some, “white supremacy” speaks to extreme but largely unsophisticated violent behavior that targets racial minorities.  Yet for others, white supremacy is a global phenomenon that has created and reinforced social inequity.  In any case, all parties would agree that white supremacy is dangerous, problematic, and distasteful.  However, if our collective understanding of the impact of white supremacy only focuses on individual behavior and does not consider the impact of institutional policies, systems and practices, we will not be successful in eliminating its impact. If our collective understanding of white supremacy is shared, nuanced, and systemic, than the remedy for eradicating white supremacy will be effective.


In this workshop, we help future-oriented leaders and influencers define, illuminate, and examine the notion of white supremacy at a deep level in order to generate strategies—personal, organizational, and global—that will fully uproot white supremacy from our social and workplace environment (including organizational practices and systems), and build norms that are aimed at uplifting and liberating all people. 


This workshop is designed to begin the tender but very necessary journey of healing our workplaces from the harm that has been inflicted by the systematic impact of white supremacy.  As facilitators and consultants, Joel and Nick treat this topic with great care and our participants with great compassion.  We believe in crucial dialogue and courageous truth-telling.  We invite participants with a range of knowledge of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging to attend this session and approach this experience with curiosity, openness, and resilience.


Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this session, participants will:


  • Gain a clear understanding of what white supremacy is and how it impacts the lived experiences of people in the workplace.

  •  Evaluate how white supremacy manifests itself at a systemic and interpersonal level, particularly in organizations.  (Participants will become familiar with a tool for assessing how white supremacy manifests itself within organizations.)

  • Learn the guidelines for facilitating conversations about white supremacy in the workplace.



Dr. Joel A. Brown, Esq., Ed.D., CLC. is the Chief Visionary Officer of Pneumos, a management consulting company based in San Francisco, USA, specializing in cultural intelligence, leadership development, and organizational strategy. As a change agent, Joel works strategically with organizational leaders and professionals to cultivate innovative, creative, and adaptive environments where the cultural genius of everyone can be harnessed and leveraged successfully.

Best known for his critical analysis,
creativity, humor, and his ability to build
consensus, Joel has partnered with Fortune 500 Companies, non-profit organizations, and government agencies to help them achieve sustained growth and organizational breakthroughs. He has worked with the City and County of San Francisco, Apple, Workday, UserTesting, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Charles Schwab, Inc., LinkedIn, the San Francisco Bar Association, Johnson & Johnson, Kansas City Power & Light, the Bar Association of San Francisco, the Human Rights Campaign Fund, Groundspark, the University of South Florida, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and many other Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, and institutions of learning.

Joel is also an Executive Coach who works with C-level executives, emerging leaders, visionaries, and “cultural creatives.” Certified by the Coach for Life teaching institution in Orlando, Florida, Joel employs a holistic approach, focusing on the employee as both an indispensable part of the organization, and as an individual seeking greater self-realization. In 2018, Joel co-created a program entitled Magic Machismo, which is dedicated to nurturing healthy male leadership in a multicultural world. Magic Machismo seeks to neutralize the white supremacist, patriarchal, classist, and heteronormative aspects of masculinity, and build new norms around male leadership that focus on empathy, compassion, growth, honor, and allyship.

Joel is a member of several international think tanks, including D2K, the Diversity Collegium, SIETAR, SIETAR Europa, Young SIETAR, and the Global Community Dialogue. He is also an Expert Panelist with the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks, and a certified facilitator with the Cultural Detective suite of intercultural tools. Joel is a visiting professor at the IESEG school in France, and is a nationally recognized spoken word artist in the United States. As of May 2018, Joel completed his doctorate in educational leadership from Saint Mary’s College of California, with included domestic and international coursework in design thinking, global citizenship, innovation, and peace education.

Nick van Santen is the co-founder of Magic Machismo, a consulting practice that seeks to neutralize the white supremacist, patriarchal, classist, and heteronormative aspects of masculinity, and build new norms around male leadership that focus on empathy, compassion, growth, honor, and allyship. Nick specializes in creating transformative learning experiences, offering a holistic approach to human development, and relationship building.


Nick is formerly the Assistant Director of Student Formation and Immersions at Saint Mary’s College of California outside Oakland, USA. As an educator, Nick works strategically with community partners to accelerate participants’ learning and development by integrating social justice theory with reflective practices so that leaders can personally grow in ways that promote the common good. 


Best known for his innovative programs, community engagement, warmth, and his ability to cultivate diverse and authentic teams, Nick has partnered with non-profit organizations to maximize resources and impact through innovative instruction and community engagement opportunities ranging from food justice in Salinas, CA to gentrification in West Oakland to youth and homelessness in Los Angeles to immigration along the US/Mexico Border. Nick’s “sweet spots” include men’s mentorship, leadership development, and social-emotional support.  


Nick is a member of the National Steering Committee for Fair Trade Colleges and Universities and participant of the Interfaith Leadership Institute. He is also an Adjunct Faculty member with the Kalmanovitz School of Education at Saint Mary’s College. Nick is a SafeZone facilitator, instructor of a campus-wide introductory leadership course, and Title IX officer. Nick is a graduate of the College of Idaho and Princeton Theological Seminary, and received his doctorate in Educational Leadership from Saint Mary’s College of California in 2018.




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:


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

Session 6:  How Algorithms ARE Affecting You: Decoding the Bias Within, December 2