2012 ISMs Conference - Main Part 1


Healing the Wounds of Internalized Oppression and Privilege:

Part 1 in the Building Hope and Change in Our Health Organizations Series

A Conference for Health Professionals and Diversity Champions

led by Kenneth Hardy, PhD

April 26, 2012

8:00am - 5:30pm

Samuel Merritt University, Oakland, CA

Conference Description:

Because we live in a society distinguished by unequal relationships, across age, race, gender, class, sexual orientation, able-bodyness/disability and other isms, we constantly navigate  the dynamics of oppression and privilege (external and internalized) - whether we are aware of it or not.

In the Spring 2012 Isms conference, we will engage in challenging conversations about internalized oppression and privilege, one of the  "elephants in the room" of our organizations.  Together, we will investigate the many disguises that internalized oppression and privilege take on in the workplace. These more subtle manifestations can be harder to identify but no less damaging to both individuals and the work environment.

Dr. Kenneth Hardy, back by popular demand, will lead us through lecture, interactive dialogues and story-telling to increase our understanding of these complex topics.  Participants will have the opportunity to work with Dr Hardy on  learning  communication and conflict resolution skills and the practice of forgiveness and to deepen their conversations in a facilitated group setting.

Read an interview with Ken Hardy:



For more information, please vist the Agenda, Resources and Speaker Bio pages from the conference.


Topics for Discussion:

  • Addressing internalized oppression and privilege in the workplace
  • For managers and supervisors
  • Across diverse communities of color
  • In teams and collaborations


Key Themes and Terms:

Internalized oppression and privilege can be experienced by anyone.  We all have multiple identities i.e, you may be an able-bodied man, a person of color, Christian, and gay -  and  experience simultaneously both privilege and oppression.

Internalized Oppression is the result of our individual and collective response to living in an oppressive culture that places differential values on people based on historical and present day discrimination and prejudice.

What is internalized privilege:

"Privilege exists when one group has something that is systematically denied to others not because of who they are or what they've done or not done, but because of the social category they belong to." Alan Johnson,  Privilege, Power and Difference

Internalized privilege is the result of absorbing the cultural messages about which social groups are superior and which are inferior. We are often unaware that our personal views reflect these cultural biases. These are things we take for granted and are not recognized or questioned, such as the idea that same-gender couples don't have as substantive relationships as heterosexual couples, or that women can't be tough enough to be good managers.

An example:

People who have internalized privilege may believe that due to their education and experience, their ideas and suggestions will always be superior to people who have less education. They may begin to think of people in poverty as less intelligent or less informed, and not consider their ideas seriously. This may happen at an unconscious level, even though the person consciously believes that everyone's ideas are important.


Minnesota Council of Non-Profits Leadership Conference June 14, 2011


For more information, contact Ellie Schindelman: ebs.berkeley.edu.


Sponsored by:

The Isms Collaborative, the Center for Health Leadership, & the California Pacific Public Health Training Center (CALPACT), at the UC Berkeley School of Public Health

Major funding also provided by:

Samuel Merritt University, Alameda County Department of Public Health, John Muir Health, Kaiser Permanente Northern California, and Alta Bates-Summit Medical Center


Isms Collaborative:

· Roberto Almanzan, Contra Costa Crisis Center
· Lynn Baskett, John Muir Health
· Lincoln Casimere, Alameda County Department of Public Health
· Thea Daniels, Children's Hospital Oakland
· Miriam Eisenhardt, Samuel Merritt University, School of Nursing
· Michael Huff, The African American Health Disparity Project
· Mia Luluquisen, Alameda County Department of Public Health
· Jill Miller, Children's Hospital Oakland, Center for the Vulnerable Child
· Amy Vy Phan, UC Berkeley student
· Christoph Sandoval, S.F. Crisis Care
· Ellie Schindelman, UC Berkeley, School of Public Health
· Kitsy Schoen, Kaiser East Bay, Dept of Psychiatry, Behavioral Health
· Christine Smallwood, Alta Bates-Summit Medical Center
· Dawna Vann, Contra Costa Health Services



Conference Pages

Agenda l Speaker Bios l Resources l 2012 Conference Part 2 (October)