The White Privilege Conference

Today marks the end of the 11th White Privilege Conference (WPC – link).  It has been a great opportunity (my second – I attended the conference last year in Memphis) to learn about and discuss white privilege/oppression, diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice.

Javier Ogaz and I are currently in our hotel room at the Radisson Hotel in La Crosse, Wisconsin. I enjoy the opportunity to spend good amounts of time having quality conversations with good friends.  Javi is certainly at the top of that list.  This is the second year in a row that the WPC has been good for this.

Earlier today, we facilitated two workshops on Addressing Microaggressions – A Focus on the Little Things.  Each was an hour and half.  The first had 38 participants and the second had 36 participants.  Our topic, workshop and presentation styles/methods were well received.  For our first major national presentation, I’d say that we were successful.  In our sessions, we had high school students, undergraduate students, graduate students, PhD students, high school teachers, college professors, government employees, non-profit workers, activists, community organizers, and business consultants.  Click here for a copy of our workshop handout.  Of course, we are available to facilitate trainings and workshops for you too!

The keynotes and sessions we went to included:

  • Redressing Health Inequities in Native America: The Role of India Self-Determination
  • Creating Social Justice in Organizations: Sharing Best Practices and Lessons Learned – a two part workshop led by the Social Justice Training Institute
  • Ethics and Leadership: Making Choices for Social Justice
  • What I Said and What I Meant: Cross Cultural Communication
  • Free Land: A Hip Hop Theater Experience
  • Shabbat Ce-Liberation Dinner
  • A Celebration of Youth

The White Privilege Conference has definitely been a great experience – it has helped me realize where I am in my personal development.  Last year, I was afraid that I would only be able to attend Beginner-level workshops and would find them all challenging.  In fact, the beginner-level workshops were usually easy/very understandable and I wanted more of a challenge.  I was further along in my understanding of these topics than I had thought.  This year, I found that the keynotes were more specific than I would have preferred – but the ones we attended were still good.  Further, I was less interested in as many workshop topics.  The ones we attended were Intermediate and/or Advanced levels.  It seems as though my experiences and involvement this past year have really helped me grow in my identity and my understanding.

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About Joel Portman
Network Builder. Diversity and Inclusion Advocate. Social Media Enthusiast. Lover of family, friends, the outdoors, travel, and learning. I have experience working in the healthcare, education, diversity/inclusion, retail, and non-profit industries with organizations ranging in size from five people to Fortune 500. I am an MBA graduate of the University of Denver.

2 Responses to The White Privilege Conference

  1. Theresa Null says:

    I liked your paper on microaggressions. I hope educators of all levels read it and take action.

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