The Riveter Presents
PNW's Language of Racism: Disrupting Passive Aggressive Communication Norms
Sep
16
Venue
The Riveter: Portland
501 SE 14th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
Description

What does racism sound like here in Portland? Is it subtle? Is it overt? Have I said something wrong? Have I been misunderstood? Why is racism so tricky to talk about? 

 This experiential engagement will explore the spoken and unspoken cultural norms of communication as key pieces to advancing racial equity in yourself and your workplace. Here in the Pacific Northwest (PNW), which includes Oregon, Washington and Idaho, we have a unique flavor of communication norms referred to as passive aggressive and conflict aversion. Based on WASP (white, anglo, saxon Protestant and middle class), the PNW regionally communicates indirect and 'watered down' sharing of information. This is significant because it is hard to manage for something if you cannot name it clearly for everyone to understand. Tone policing, vagueness, deflecting, blaming the messenger rather than engage in the content of the message, civility politics, conflict aversion etc are a few forms this takes.

Presenters Fleur Larsen and Jodi-Ann Burey, originally from Seattle and New York City respectively, will draw from their own lived experiences and invite attendees to do the same. We will identify how these regional norms impede addressing racial equity when people and institutions are not able to squarely name dynamics. White dominant culture is held together with the glue of passive aggressive communication norms here in the PNW making it really sticky to pull apart and identify racism in situations or conflicts. Together, we will name the ingredients needed to live into a better conversation and take racism head on. 

Ticket pricing is on a sliding scale. Nobody will be turned away for lack of funds for this event. Contact equity@theriveter.co for more information. 

 About Fleur Larsen: 

Fleur Larsen grew up in Seattle and learned how to relate to others based on the dominant identities she holds: white, protestant, working class, and socialized female. The norms of this region have a particular flavor of conflict aversion, indirectness and passive aggressiveness that are deeply ingrained in me from an early age. Unlearning these has been a HUGE place of personal and professional growth as she’s aimed herself at racial equity work. 

Fleur started facilitating 18 years ago on challenge course programs with youth and adults. Currently, she works with several companies utilizing challenge and experiential facilitation with corporate and nonprofit groups. People often learn better by doing. Experiential facilitation engages and activates more parts of the brain. Her style is based on sharp analysis, flexible thinking, fun, purpose and results. Her work is relationship-based with connection, collaboration, and community as integral elements to reach results. 

 About Jodi-Ann Burey: 

Jodi-Ann Burey is the Senior Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) at The Riveter, a membership workspace and community platform built by women, for everyone. She leads the development of a robust programming portfolio that powers The Riveter’s mission to redefine equity in the workplace. With a strong focus on intersectionality, Jodi-Ann works to ensure all women and their allies—inclusive of any gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexuality, ability, and child status - can leverage The Riveter to develop as impactful leaders in their businesses, networks, and the world. 

 Jodi-Ann is also one of the founding members and co-chairs of the Seattle DEI Community of Practice (DEI CoP), an expansive network of professionals across industry committed to improving DEI practices at work. Jodi-Ann earned her Masters in Public Health from the University of Michigan and her Bachelors in Communications from Boston College. 

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