Join Us For The 2019 NW Diversity Learning Series 21st Year!

When Systems Collide --
Be a Pillar for Inclusion and Care
ISDI Presents the 2019 Series Topics!

Communicating in Polarizing Times: Words Matter!

Presenters: Fleur Larsen and Andrea Paull

Communication matters! The words you choose matter if you truly want to create an inclusive environment.  At the heart of this choice is emotional intelligence: “Emotional intelligence skills are leadership skills are equity skills,” says Fleur Larsen, presenter of this session.  This experiential session emphasizes communication in the form of Equity Leadership Skills, necessary skills for building equity, which is the context for how power and privilege play out. The spoken and unspoken cultural norms of communication are key pieces to advancing racial equity in yourself, and in your workplace. Words may convey respect and dignity, or shame and distrust. Words set the tone in the culture of an organization. Participants at this session will come away with greater knowledge and skills for communicating in ways that foster inclusion and equity. 

Striving to Achieve Equity in Organizations: The Next Level of Change

Presenters: Kristina Katayama and Nikum Pon Ph.D.

Equity is a term being added to Diversity and Inclusion. Why is that? Why is it relevant for organizations, for individuals? This session will take on the meaning of Equity—its myths—what it is, what it isn’t. In the process, we’ll peer through several lenses to understand the dynamics: the Neuroscience of the human mind, social conditioning that shapes how we think and behave, unlearning misconceptions, and making room for new ones. We will consider how to infuse empathy and awareness into our systems, knowing more about the emotional impacts of inequity. We will engage in experiential learning that you can replicate back on the job to engage your colleagues in the work of equity.

“Creating Equity requires developing conscious power.” —Kristina Katayama

Leading with Equity: Rooting Out Bias Deep and Wide

Presenter: Kristina Katayama and Nikum Pon, Ph.D.

We aren’t stuck in a system—we ARE the system. Yikes—we are the ones who preserve the bias in our systems! In this session, we’re going to "Get REAL": Racial Equity Adaptive Leadership! Learning the elements of this profound leadership model is how every person in an organization takes responsibility, rooting out the inequities of racism—the biases deep and wide in our systems. Once learned, this model can be used for challenging inequities that span any intersectionality, such as race, gender, and socio-economic class.  Finally, we’ll learn the principles of System Thinking through a Racial Equity lens. Our goal is to open up a whole new range of possibilities leading through empathy and care! 

Mending the Broken Trust Between Black Women and White Women

Presenters: Joy Wiggens, PhD. and Kami Anderson, PhD.

So much “stuff “ exists in the relationship space between Black women and White women. And we don’t talk about it much—at least not in the relationship space. Broken trust, historical roles, impact of privilege and oppression, disparate access to opportunity, perceived competence, status and real power—this is some of the “stuff” in the relationship space. In this session, our goal is to open up dialogue, in alliance with other participants, so that more trusting relationships might emerge, ones in which the parties understand how to demonstrate mutual care and respect.

Reconciliation: Building Allyship Between Black Men and White Men

Presenters: Joel Brown, J.D., Ed.D. and Nick Van Santen, M.Div., Ed.D.

The relationship space between Black men and White men is charged with apprehension, fear, and racism, sustained by a long, historical, deep emotional divide in American history. Currently, we can point to examples where black male leaders are maligned and disparaged simply trying to fulfill their roles as advocates in government, business and sports. In this session, we intend to foster opportunities for Black men and White men, in alliance with other participants, to explore the elements of allyship.

Grappling with Cultural Humility for the Intersectional Person with Invisible Disabilities

Presenter: ChrisTiana ObeySumner

“Invisible Disabilities is only one thread in the tapestry of the holistic lived experience of the intersectional person,” says ChrisTiana Obeysumner, presenter of this session. 


The “intersectional person” refers to how all of the threads of our tapestry—or the many overlapping identities we each have—come together in the design of our holistic being in the world. However, our society has a tendency to focus on one identity at a time, not how each of our identities are interwoven.  With invisible disabilities, or any identity that is not lived “out loud,” losing sight of this extremely important thread and identity is more common that it should ever be. This session will include opportunities to hear from others who share these lived experiences, as well as cultural humility exercises to learn how you can sustain the tapestry of people with invisible and intersectional disabilities, not snare or snag through inequity.

Please reload