Positionality Workshops

On Positionality: Working from awareness, through guilt, to responsibility and action.

This workshop will focus on the ways to identify one’s positionality (e.g., understanding layers of privilege and how privilege and marginalization impacts one’s position), strategies to respond and work through any resultant guilt and shame with a focus on self-compassion as a tool to develop empathy, and following lessons that focus in on different areas of life (e.g., work, daily life activities, social media) given what one knows about their positionality. The focus will be on how to understand one’s positionality and identify how to act from that place in ways that promote equity without lingering in guilt, fear, shame, and any resultant anger. Each lesson will review research and literature on empathy and self-compassion as strategies to reflect on and process positionality as strategies to move toward action. Each case study will include a case study/vignette and specific strategies to identify one’s privilege and how to work through guilt, anger, or indecision. For each example, culminating in the final section, action-taking steps will reference or refer to recommendations made by BIPOC authors and academics. 

Length: 2 days or 5 2-hr sessions.

Workshop Topics

  1. Intro & what is positionality
  2. Identifying one’s positionality
  3. Working through guilt, shame, and anger: the role of self-compassion and empathy
  4. Positionality at work 
  5. Positionality in day-to-day life
  6. Positionality in social media and media consumption
  7. Taking action

Participants will leave with tools that help them to understand their positionality and how that might impact their lives in a way that moves through guilt, anger, and shame to action. The purpose of the workshop is to provide a primer on working through the emotions and reactions that often come before and may arise as one is beginning justice work that might cause them to retreat. These workshops will not cover similar content to books written by BIPOC who discuss the impact of racism and concrete ways that white people can be allies and work toward racial justice – instead, the workshop seeks to help individuals be ready to do the work of being an anti-racist. Each lesson will suggest specific resources authored by BIPOC to learn how to take activist action and the final chapter will review and organize those resources comprehensively.

To schedule a workshop, contact Laura.