The Old Black Lesbian Elephant in the Room: HOW Power Dynamics Impact Everything and WHY No One Seems to Talk About It

60-minute Workshops

Day 2

Session Code: S1-J
When: April 17, 2019
Location/Room: M 100 CD
Level: Intermediate
Track: Social Responsibility
Presenter: Dr. Leeno Karumanchery, MESH Diversity


If you are minoritized in any way, you have most likely had someone in your life say things like this to you: “You should have spoken up.” or “You’re seeing it the wrong way.” or “Don’t be so sensitive.” Whatever the scenario or the specific context, the end result is usually the same—you have things to unpack, you have things to process, and ultimately you are left managing the aftermath.

How easily do these seemingly simple moments shift? How differently would you feel if the person who said it was a stranger on the street, a friend, a colleague, your supervisor, or perhaps the person closest to your heart? Does your interpretation of their intent (e.g., earnest versus defensive versus judgmental) mediate how you feel about the moment, and about them? When do you stop thinking about it? When is it going to happen again?

When these everyday situations occur in public, they are complex. When they occur in the workplace they are doubly so. Therefore, what is the effect when they occur in workplaces with avowed diversity and inclusion mandates?

In this session, we will have a chance to explore the deep science that underlies these invisible strictures and how they play out physiologically, psychologically and organizationally.

Learning Outcomes
  1. Participants will be better equipped to identify and mediate these types of situations, both personally and professionally
  2. Participants will be better equipped to mentor, educate and empower others
  3. Participants will be better equipped to strategize for change in their organizations

The Forum on Workplace Inclusion®
2211 Riverside Ave, CB 54
Minneapolis, MN 55454
(612) 373-5994

Photos by Sarah Morreim Photography
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