Interrupting Privilege Workshop Series Begins


By: Janelle Bernales,

CCDE Communication Specialist & UW Comm Lead student


Dr. Ralina Joseph, CCDE director and associate professor in UW’s Department of Communication, introduces the Interrupting Privilege workshop hosted by University of Washington’s Communication Leadership Program in partnership with CCDE.

How do you challenge the systems and institutions that reinforce social inequity and marginalization? Seattle community members recently discussed this timely topic at the Interrupting Privilegeworkshop, hosted by University of Washington’s Communication Leadership Program, in partnership with the UW’s Center for Communication, Difference and Equity (CCDE). The workshop explored how racial and gender privilege for some strengthens inequality for others. While we might know the facts and figures about the structural inequities that persist in the realms of education, income, health, and access to careers opportunities, how do we connect such structures to the everyday realities of our own personal and professional lives?

“Changing the way we speak and act needs to be wedded to the institutions around us,” said Dr. Ralina Joseph, CCDE director and associate professor in UW’s Department of Communication. “By coming to terms with our own privilege, we can better understand the choices we’re making.”

Now in its third year, the Interrupting Privilege series brings together students and community members from across Seattle for intergenerational conversations about race, racism and its intersections. In addition to discussing how racism contributes to violence and discrimination, Interrupting Privilege participants examine how privilege intersects with gender, sexuality, and citizenship status, among other identities.

During the two-hour workshop Dr. Joseph and CCDE Assistant Director Gina Aaftaab facilitated small group discussions as participants reflected in what ways their visible and less visible identities, such as citizenship status, sexuality and social class, give them special advantages not granted to other groups.

The workshop is the first in a four-part series intended to create space for intergenerational dialogues and collaboratively generate the tools to create change. Dr. Joseph said, “By understanding how our privilege shapes our lived experiences, we can be better prepared to fearlessly interrupt interpersonal and structural inequality around us.”

Want to join the conversation on Interrupting Privilege? Watch the CCDE website for details on the next workshop in the series coming later this winter.

Photo by Alex Stonehill

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