Session Two:  Multiple, yet unclear identities: Who am I? Who are you?

How do we work together, and why?


Isn’t the goal at work to include and leverage multiple identities and perspectives

so that we achieve higher levels of engagement, productivity and organizational outcomes? 


Global diversity is transforming individual identity. Younger generations claim identities differently than past generations. These identity shifts involve gender, mixed race, invisible dimensions, national origin, and religious and cultural expressions. How do we figure out who we are among these multiple identities? Is it necessary to categorize? How do we avoid making incorrect assumptions about each other? How can we relate to each other respectfully and inclusively, as we want to be identified? Isn’t the goal at work to include and leverage multiple identities and perspectives so that we achieve higher levels of engagement, productivity and organizational outcomes? 


Learning Objectives:

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:


  • Understand why and how human beings categorize

  • Map out how that categorization leads to unconscious bias

  • Identify strategies for reducing bias in the workplace

  • Recognize how new demographic changes are impacting categorization in the United States

  • Identify tools and strategies for having conversations about changing identities and creating inclusive workplaces. 



Date: Thursday, March 10, 2016


Time:  8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (continental breakfast served at 7:45 am)


Location:  Nordstrom Flagship Store, Seattle

                  1617 6th Avenue

                  5th Floor, J.W. Nordstrom Meeting Room














Presenter:   Michael Baran is a cultural anthropologist who draws on insights from a wide range of social sciences to explain a whole set of concepts that many acknowledge as important but few truly understand – terms such as implicit bias, structural inequalities, microaggressions, social construction and others. He uses an engaging digital module – (Don’t) Guess My Race – that employees can play as part of a blended approach to diversity and inclusion training. Michael has his MA and PhD from the University of Michigan.


He has researched race and diversity issues from a cultural and cognitive perspective for the past twenty years in various countries. He has taught courses on race at the University of Michigan and Harvard University and has consulted on diversity-related issues for schools, businesses and non-profits. In addition to his work as President of Interactive Diversity Solutions, he works as an Associate Director of Projects at the FrameWorks Institute, a social-science based communications think tank.


In that role, he conducts and leads teams of researchers investigating a wide range of social issues, including race-related issues such as disparities in education, criminal justice reform, immigration, early childhood development, violence and housing disparities.



Presented 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 has taken over the management of the Northwest Diversity Learning Series for 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.


ISDI will concentrate its initial efforts on ensuring the continued success of the NW Diversity Learning Series in 2016 as well as the development of a multi-year framework for educating, convening and supporting diversity and inclusion initiatives in the Pacific Northwest.   


Upcoming Sessions in 2016:


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


Session 3:  Cultural Differences as a Disruptive Change: Navigating Intercultural Conflict. Tuesday, May 24


Session 4:  Institutional Racism: Disrupting Silence & Collusion. Monday, June 27 


Session 5:  The demographic explosion:  Building relationships amidst shifting power and preferences. Tuesday, September 20


Session 6:  Shakeup of traditional networks:  Realizing the innovative power of employee groups, business groups and councils.  Thursday, November 3