White Dominant Culture in Every Seat: Navigating Complicity and Liberation

White Dominant Culture in Every Seat: Navigating Complicity and Liberation

Impostrix Podcast affirms the lived experiences of professionals of color who navigate imposter syndrome/treatment, and racial toxicity in their careers. Through personal anecdotes, historical facts, and scientific data, Civil Rights Attorney and Racial Equity Consultant Whitney Knox Lee and special guests share accessible language, tools, tips, and “fake it till you make it” tricks to empower listeners to protect their energy, embrace their power, and honor their worth.

What is white dominant culture? And white supremacy culture? And white supremacy? Although not new, these buzzwords stir a range of emotions, misconceptions, manipulations, and also create a contemplative space for accountability and awareness. In this episode, host Whitney Knox Lee engages in a thought-provoking and honest conversation with Kerrien Suarez, the president and CEO of Equity in the Center, to answer these questions and more. They delve into the concept of white dominant culture in the workplace and discuss the challenges of moving from complicity to actively dismantling systemic racism. They explore the importance of language, the weaponization of characteristics outlined in the article on white supremacy culture by Tema Okun, and the need to center the experiences of Black and Indigenous individuals in the fight for racial equity.

Drawing on her own experience and the work of experts in the field (discussed in the April 2023 article How (Not) to Dismantle White Supremacy), Kerrien explains more about the weaponization of the characteristic of white supremacy culture, and particularly against Black organizational leaders. Both Whitney and Kerrien acknowledge times when they’ve fallen into this trap and discuss how this self-accountability can be a tool to drive the work forward. They discuss too the role that assimilation continues to play in professional spaces as people of color attempt to climb the ladder toward “success” and power. Listeners will gain valuable insights and tools for interrupting their own complicity, using their earned power, and working towards building a race equity culture.

Kerrien highlights useful resources created and/or curated by Equity in the Center, including the (free) Awake to Woke to Work publication, the (free) newsletter (which also has employment opportunities!), and other research of EiC.

Kerrien Suarez is Director and CEO of Equity in the Center. EIC works to shift mindsets, practices and systems in the social sector to center race equity and build a Race Equity Culture™. With over 19 years of management and consulting experience, Kerrien has supported executive and leadership teams in bold decision making to solve strategic and operational challenges. As an independent consultant, she managed strategic and implementation planning projects for ProInspire, UNCF, National Black Child Development Institute, National Center for Children in Poverty and Martha’s Table.

Whitney Knox Lee (she/her) is a Black American mother to black children. She is an anti-racism and DEI educator, an attorney and mediator, and host of ImpostrixPodcast. Whitney joined the Resilient Advocates Collective in December 2023 and co-leads network development and consulting opportunities. Whitney has a sincere interest in promoting anti-racism, racial equity, and inclusion in the law, in the workplace and beyond. To this end, Whitney works as a consultant to law firms across the country to teach principles of anti-racism and racial justice advocacy to advocates, and to help foster cultural humility and inclusivity within the workplace and amongst legal professionals. Whitney has spent a majority of her professional life working for non-profit agencies.

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