Session 3: Power and Privilege:
Addressing Loss, Striving for Equity
May 9, 2018

So often in the conversations of power and privilege, those with power (especially white men) are demonized and those without power are painted as helpless. The questions appear to be “Why won’t you give up power?” and “How can we breakdown privilege?” These questions can stall progress as they set up an either/or dynamic – EITHER the privileged group keeps power OR the minority group takes power.


Reframing this dialogue into one of polarities and integrating BOTH/AND thinking increases the ability to be an inclusion provocateur. Questions become:

• How can we both hold power to benefit our community?

• How can we both share power to benefit our community?

• How will we flag that one group is clutching their power and not sharing?

• How will we flag that we are over-sharing power in a way that is not helpful to the community?


These questions reframe the systemic dynamic and break down the individual barriers to discussing power and privilege while also shifting the systems in which power and privilege create disparity.


In this interactive session, participants will explore their own relationship to power, different approaches to talking about power and privilege, and practice using Polarity Thinking to support the goal of being an inclusion provocateur.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Refresh their understanding of the basics of Polarity Theory (or Polarity Thinking

  • Distinguish personal power and positional power

  • See ways to claim part of their personal privilege that derives from dimensions of their identity (race, religion, gender, class, sexual orientation, gender identity)

  • Recognize the impact of one’s personal privilege on self and others

  • Identify potential ways to use privilege honorably 



Cherie Buckner-Webb, Senior Consultant with the Yarbrough Group is an acknowledged leader with extensive business background including positions in organizational development, operations, human resources, diversity, program management, sales, marketing, business development and e-commerce. Her expertise includes cross cultural collaboration, leadership development, facilitation, consultation and coaching for individuals, teams and organizations. She has utilized her broad consultative skills both as an internal and external provider in the corporate environment internationally, in work with institutions of higher learning, federal, state and city government and with a wide range of non-profit organizations.  She has a proven track record in working with a broad client population, including those located in Latin America, Europe, Africa, Canada and the U.S.


Cherie, a certified professional coach holds a B.S. degree in Management and Organizational Leadership from George Fox University, a Masters of Social Work from Northwest Nazarene University and a wealth of additional training and certifications in specific disciplines that support her work.  She brings 30+ years of experience in management positions with Fortune 500 companies to her coaching/consulting practice.

She has served in the Idaho Legislature since 2010.  Elected to the Idaho House of Representatives in 2010, and to the Idaho Senate in 2012, 2014 and 2016 by a wide margin, Cherie currently serves as Assistant Minority Leader in the Idaho State Senate.  Additionally, she is a respected speaker who is in high demand for her presentations addressing a wide range of topics relevant to public, private, academic and government sectors.

Lindsay Burr, Partner with The Yarbrough Group, focuses on developing the next generation of leadership, bringing in the perspective of women and the experience of generations X and Y.  She leads training in interpersonal, group, and organizational conflict resolution techniques; facilitates team development, and strategic planning; and coaches individuals so they can reach their full potential.


Lindsay graduated from Wellesley College with a degree in Political Science and has her Masters from George Mason University School for Conflict Analysis and Resolution (S-CAR). Her studies have focused on engaging women in peace building processes in post-conflict context. She is a graduate of the Mastery level class of Polarity Thinking. 


The majority of her work has been articulating the underlying motivation for peoples’ political involvement.  Previously, she worked as the Senior Program Assistant for Governance at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) based in Washington, DC.  Lindsay also served as the Development Director for the Center for the Study of Gender and Conflict at George Mason University and a Researcher for the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars Global Women’s Leadership Initiative (GWLI). Her background is in political campaigns and the impacts of policy. Currently she is consulting with the Women’s Forum (United Nations) on how to rejuvenate women’s leadership in western Europe.


Lindsay lives in Washington DC with her dog Sterling.