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Confronting White Supremacist Culture in the Workplace for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

Index #1006

Level of Experience: Novice
Session Track: Intersectionality, Identities and Discussions

Whether we realize it or not, the actual work experiences of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) are heavily shaped and mediated by white dominant culture. Understanding how we have been socialized in a white supremacist culture in the U.S., reveals the ways internalized racism manifests and prevents us from authentically showing up at work.  For AAPIs, what is the personal cost of internalized whiteness and symbolic violence at work? How do we grant ourselves the freedom to shape our identities and experiences as professionals while existing in the complex power dynamics created for us in U.S. racial hierarchies? Participants will assess the role of white dominant culture in their professional contexts and develop personal strategies to decenter and disrupt internalized racism.

We kindly ask community members to consider that this space is intended for those who identify as Asian and Asian American and Pacific Islander before making their decision to select this session. 


Pam Chao, MA, Professor & Chair, Sociology, Co-Director, Center for Teaching and Learning, American River College, Sacramento, CA

Jenn Wells, MA, Director of Equity & Inclusion, , Marlborough School, Los Angeles, CA

Dawn Lee Tu, PhD, Faculty Director, Office of Professional & Organizational Development, De Anza College, Cupertino, CA