Entering diversity-focused discussions can be difficult and uncomfortable. Facing our own multi-faceted identities and reflecting on what they mean in terms of how we walk through the world, how we consciously and unconsciously interact with others and within systems, and even how others might view and interact with us can sometimes uncover unpleasant insights and challenge our sense of ourselves as good, fair, unbiased persons and healers. At the same time, exploring, reflecting on, and ultimately addressing (when needed) these issues is the very work that allows us to be the healers we strive to be. Creating a “safe enough” space for people to engage in the work of exploring their own identities, and how they interact with and are impacted by issues of power, privilege, and systemic, interpersonal, and internalized –isms and oppressions is a key element of this group. “Safe enough” spaces aim to allow for the non-judgmental, yet honest, recognition and acknowledgment of the varied internal reactions one might experience in such discussions, and the self-protective behavioral urges one might feel, while also encouraging individual and group exploration of how we each might productively continue to reflect on and engage in the conversations and ultimate learning, even (perhaps especially) when it’s uncomfortable. Through a combination of experiential exercises; individual and group prompts to reflect on our cultural identities, intrapersonal reactions, and interpersonal interactions and dynamics; and the integration of relevant didactics this group purposes to provide a rich experience 1) for increased personal awareness around our diverse identities and their layered impacts on our lives and work, and 2) to prompt ongoing consideration of areas and opportunities for impacting change in our respective social circles and systems as we move forward.
Ronke Lattimore Tapp, PhD is a licensed Counseling Psychologist with a lifelong passion and professional interest in issues of multiculturalism and diversity and its impact on individuals, their interpersonal/social and community relations, and societal interactions. Dr. Tapp currently works as the Assistant Director of Multiculturalism at the University of Rochester's, University Counseling Center. She provides therapy to a diverse student body, and training, consultation, and outreach to other therapists, University staff and professors, and student groups. In addition, she also creates and provides related lectures, workshops, and trainings within the local community as requested. Her concentration areas include: 1) Multicultural (including race/ethnicity, gender, religion/spirituality, sexual orientation, etc.) issues related to identity, adjustment, interpersonal relationships/conflict, academic/work success, etc.; 2) Understanding and addressing historical oppression and historical/generational trauma (especially race and ethnicity based traumas, e.g. PTSS, Japanese Internment, Native experiences, etc.); 3) Best practices in diversity training, e.g. "Teaching Sensitive Topics" series; and 4) Cognitive and Behavioral based treatments. She is also partially fluent in Spanish (~85% written, slightly less verbal) and has conducted some bilingual therapy.