Diversity Consulting and Teaching from a Social Justice Perspective

Debra A. Harkins, Sukanya Ray, Terri M. Davis


What does consulting and teaching look like from the sociopolitical spaces of privilege, ambivalence and oppression? Giving voice to visible social identities is explored through narrative exploration of teacher and student voices. Who can raise these issues and who cannot? Pedagogically, how can and should we as trainers address these issues? We discuss consulting and teaching about privilege and oppression across race, ethnicity and gender in psychology programs at urban universities in eastern and western United States. The three issues explored include: a) teaching about privilege and oppression from a visibly privileged social identity; b) acknowledging the ambiguities of privilege and oppression of minorities and immigrants from a sociopolitical space of ambivalence; and c) mentoring and modeling on issues of privilege and oppression from a visibly oppressed social identity. Consulting from this postmodernist perspective is different and more effective when members of all level of the organizations embrace readiness, patience and commitment toward organizational change. This approach is more aligned with the current shifts towards globalization and diversification occurring within organizations today.


Diversity; Power; Privilege; Ambivalence; Oppression; Consulting and teaching

Full Text: