“Confronting Myself”: The Role of Disorienting Dilemmas in the Work of White Identified Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Practitioners

Case study was used as a method to explore the experiences of White identified diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practitioners who are paid by their employer to develop and/or implement diversity, equity, and/or inclusion initiatives in their organizations. This paper will explore the experiences that catalyzed those who identify as White to engage in diversity, equity and inclusion work in paid roles within organizations. Disorienting dilemmas will be examined as part of a transformative learning process as described by Mezirow (1997), in which the transformative learning experience is initiated by a life event that leads to the questioning of deeply held assumptions that results in changed beliefs that are more “inclusive, discriminating, self-reflective, and integrative of experience” (p. 5). This research offers insight into trigger events that motivate White allies to work in the field of DEI and whether and how these experiences catalyze effective antiracist work.

Format: Roundtable Session


Stacey Robbins, Saint Mary's College of CA
Stephanie Sisco, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities
Rebecca Evan, Metro State University
Crystal Fashant, Metro State University
Session Date & Time: Thu, 07 Apr 2022 | 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM EDT