33rd Annual Conference

March 8-12, 2021


Activating Empathy and Perspective-Taking to Promote Cross-Cultural Understanding and Racial Justice

75-minute Workshops

Day 1

Session Code: S1-F
When: March 8, 2021
Level: Intermediate
Track: Innovation & Transformation
Presenter: Leigh Morrison, The Winters Group, Inc.


Research shows that empathizing and taking on the perspectives of others are two of the best ways for people to build cross-cultural understanding and increase their personal investment in equity and justice initiatives. While we may understand empathy conceptually, there is more to empathizing effectively than we may recognize, particularly when it comes to areas of identity where we hold privilege. Importantly, perspective-taking supports those with privileged identities in understanding their “cultural others” without asking people with marginalized identities to “teach” about their experiences.

This session explores: What barriers exist to empathizing across difference? How can we address them? What can we gain? Learners will experience an activity challenging them to adopt the perspectives of others and reflect on their learning. A developmental model for allyship will be introduced to support individuals and organizations in moving from performative to meaningful allyship.

Learning Outcomes

• Deepen definitional and practical understandings of perspective-taking and empathy
• Practice perspective-taking; reflect on personal learning and potential for organizational change
• Distinguish between performative vs. meaningful allyship and reflect on potential areas of opportunity

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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