Featured Speaker - MCRC@ADVIS DEI Conference: 10/11/19
You Are All of Your Identities; Pluralizing the Idea of the Self
Intermediate: Assumes some familiarity with or exposure to core content
Racial and Ethnic Identities: Developmental Models, Frameworks, Approaches
Session repeats - Round 1 & 2
Peggy McIntosh, Senior Research Scientist, Wellesley Centers for Women, Wellesley College
This interactive session will engage participants in a new framing idea: that all of us--students, parents, teachers, administrators-- have plural identities. Being complex is not being weak, cynical, or hypocritical. Knowing oneself as complex is intelligent, realistic, and effective in living one's life. Participants will test this hypothesis by using their own lives as their databases for the session, in conversation, writing, and brief serial testimony about their own experiences. Support for complexity of self from earlier thinkers will be cited briefly from the works of James Baldwin, Walt Whitman, Jean Baker Miller, Jamaica Kincaid, John Dos Passos, William James, and Carl Jung. The aim of the session is to encourage participants to explore whether thinking of their identities as plural could be useful to themselves, their communities, their schools, or the world.
This framework fosters reflection, empathy, and understanding. It adheres to the DEI theme of racial and ethnic identity, but it complexifies the theme. It answers needs of schools to respect identity politics, and also brings a new lens for thinking about any self as capable of multiple connections with the world. It rests on original research by McIntosh over the last 40 years. Her model of white privilege has been widely useful.This model of plural identity may be turn out to be widely useful as well, for people and institutions.
Participants will identify many complexities in themselves.
They will not be critiqued or judged for their complexities.
They will hear of many thinkers for whom complexity was a respected or central theme.
They will feel less fraudulent when having mixed feelings or "being of two minds" about something, including an aspect of their identity.
They may apply the idea of plural identity to themselves and/or their schools.
is founder of the National SEED Project on Inclusive Curriculum, which she co-directed with Emily Style for its first 25 years. She has presented on privilege systems, Interactive Phase Theory, and on feelings of fraudulence in many schools and universities. Her recently published book
Privilege, Fraudulence, and Teaching As Learning
contains a brand new essay on the self as composed of many shifting identities.
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