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Examining internalized racism and white dominance in working relationships

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Examining internalized racism and white dominance in working relationships
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Nguyen, Christine
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University of Colorado Denver
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Auraria Library
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Christine Nguyen April 10, 2015 University of Colorado DenverExamining Internalized Racism and White Dominance In Working Relationships

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WHO AM I? WHY THIS PRESENTATION?Christine Nguyen International Services Specialist University of Colorado Denver

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Original session presenters: (L to R) Christine Nguyen, Dawn Snyder, TeresitaAlvarez-Cortez, Christopher Hughbanks

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Session Goals•Unpack what internalized racism (IR) and internalized white dominance (IWD) mean •Explore ways we may internalize racism and white dominance in our lives and at work •Discuss ways IR and IWD influence workplace relationships and coalition building among people of color, white allies, and cross cultural initiatives. •Brainstorm ways of developing cross-cultural initiatives geared towards eliminating racism in our workplace

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Agenda for Today•Framing the Conversation and Guidelines for Dialogue •Defining Internalized Racism and Internalized White Dominance •IR and IWD at Work / Coalition Building at Work •Questions

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FRAMING THE CONVERSATION“It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.” AudreLorde

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•Racism exists, is pervasive, separates us, and negatively impacts our working relationships and work environment. •Living in a society with racism is dehumanizing to all people: agents of racism, people targeted by racism, and people who may hold both of these roles. Premises for this Conversation…

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•None of us would willingly accept or tolerate racism; the ways we have internalized racism and white dominance allow us to continually perpetuate racism at work, and accept and tolerate racism as inevitable. •Those of us targeted by racism have power to transform and change racist systems. We have a role in our own liberation. We can create coalitions that combat racism and value our collective humanity.Premises, continued…

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•Any meaningful and effective solution to ending racism will never involve the oppressed taking on the role of oppressor. •Our lived experiences are valid and are sources of knowledge in helping us understand how we have internalized racism and white dominance. Premises, even more…

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•Neutrality does not exist; we are all a product of a system of racism. In the workplace, our actions will either participate in a system of racism or work to dismantle racism.Premises, the last one…

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Guidelines for Our Conversation•Confidentiality •Speak from personal experience

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PAIR SHAREWhich premise stands out to you? Why?

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Defining Internalized Racism•Any type of conscious or unconscious belief, thought, action, or behavior by people of color, that reinforces racism and suggests inferiority and subordination to White people and Whiteness •This impacts people of color’s perceptions of themselves, others who share similar racial/ethnic identities and others with different racial/ethnic identities.

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Manifestations of Internalized Racism•Accepting the standards of Whiteness as truth, reality, and the norm that people of color should live up to •Accepting limits, boundaries, stereotypes and expectations placed on people of color by societies permeated with racism •Denial that racism is an issue prevalent in our communities, working environments, media, and other institutions.

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Defining Internalized White Dominance •Any type of conscious and unconscious belief, thought, action, or behavior of White people that suggests their superiority to people of color. •This impacts White people’s perceptions of themselves and other White people.

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Manifestations of Internalized White Dominance•Accepting the standards of Whiteness as truth, reality, and the norm that people of color should live up to and learn to be more like White people to “be more normal” •Interacting with people of color based on stereotypes

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Manifestations of Internalized White Dominance, continued•Believing and acting on the assumption that the decisions, ways of thinking, and working styles of white people are better than or preferred over people of color •Only seeing situations as individual instances (not recognizing trends or patterns)

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INTERNALIZED RACISM AND WHITE DOMINANCE AT WORK “you cannot change any society unless you take responsibility for it, unless you see yourself as belonging to it and responsible for changing it.” Grace Lee Boggs

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•Supervision •Committee and Group-based Work •Hiring and Recruiting Practices How do IR and IWD manifest at work?

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Building Coalitions at Work•How can you build coalitions at work to eliminate racism? •What can you do to create cross cultural initiatives that work to eliminate racism in the workplace?

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CREATING CHANGE ON CAMPUS“Change is one thing. Acceptance is another.” ArundhatiRoy

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Structural Initiatives (Examples from Oregon State)•Racial Aikido, caucus based weekend retreats for students of color •Exploring White Identity, caucus based retreats for white students and students with light skin privilege. •Intergroup Dialogue for Professional Staff

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Structural Initiatives, continued (Examples from Oregon State)•Departmental Workgroup for Hiring and Retaining Underrepresented Professionals •Search Advocate Training •Multicultural Resource Guide

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Personal Practices•Conversations with colleagues about hurtful experiences; repairing relationships that were harmed by racism •Opportunities for staff and students to share personal experiences and tell how they have been impacted by racism •Making a conscious effort to increase connection and engagement with a colleague who challenges you

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CREATING CHANGEWhat are examples of Structural Initiatives or Personal Practices on AurariaCampus? In the community?

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ReferencesDelgado, R., & Stefancic, J. (2001). Critical race theory: An introduction. New York: New York University Press. Freire, P. (1986). Pedagogy of the oppressed New York: Continuum. Hardiman, R., & Jackson, B. W. (1997). Conceptual foundations for social justice courses. In M. Adams, L. A. Bell, P. Griffin (Eds.), Teaching for diversity and social justice: A sourcebook (pp. 23-29). New York: Routledge

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References, continuedLove, B. (2000). Developing a liberatoryconsciousness. In M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, R. Castaeda, H. Hackman, M.L. Peters, & X. Zuiga(Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (pp. 470-474). New York: Routledge. Wijeyesinghe, C. L., & Jackson, B. W. (2001). New perspectives on racial identity development: A theoretical and practical anthology New York: New York University Press.

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Questions or Comments?Christine Nguyen International Services Specialist Office of International Affairs 1380 Lawrence Street Center, Suite 932 christine.p.nguyen@ucdenver.edu 303-315-2232