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Speaking About Race: The unconscious roots of structural racism and becoming anti-racist

January 23, 2021 @ 9:00 am - 12:30 pm

SPSI is pleased to announce that on January 23, 2021, from 9am-12:30pm, our institute will co-sponsor—along with NPSI, COR and The Alliance—a presentation entitled “Speaking About Race: The unconscious roots of structural racism and becoming anti-racist,” with Zachary Green, PhD.

Integrating ideas from Melanie Klein’s conceptualization of primitive splitting, Wilfred Bion’s work with groups, and Frantz Fanon’s analysis of racism, decolonization, and the psychopathology of oppression, Dr. Zachary Green will present his thoughts on Race: Projection, Construction, & Denigration.

Dr. Green will help us explore ways in which we are all complicit in co-creating a mutual projection process that requires primitive splitting, and which result in the literal denigration of people with darker skin. This dynamic creates both a victim status and a hegemonic structure of white supremacy: in our minds, in our society, and in our organizational and psychotherapeutic/psychoanalytic relationships. Working to recognize, dismantle, and give up a white supremacy mindset can lead to an experience akin to Klein’s depressive position. That begins to explain why there can be so much resistance to this kind of work: resistance in society, in our consulting rooms, and in ourselves.

Break-out groups will be incorporated into the event experience, facilitated by members of COR, NPSI, NWAPS, & SPSI. Suggested pre-event watching, reading, and listening has been provided and included below.

ZACHARY GABRIEL GREEN, PhD is a professor of Practice in Leadership Studies at the University of San Diego and the lead faculty for the RISE Urban Leadership Fellows Program. Trained as a clinical and community psychologist, he received his doctorate from Boston University and completed advanced clinical training at Cambridge Hospital/Harvard Medical School and organizational consultation through the Wharton Center for Applied Research. As an organizational consultant, Zachary’s clients have included multinational corporations, government agencies, university departments, religious institutions, and nonprofit organizations. He is a leadership coach for the World Bank and a co-founder of IMAGO Global Grassroots, an organization using a participatory, co-creative model to address the generational issues of poverty in international development. His career highlights include serving on the dialogue development team for the President’s Commission on Race, conducting leadership training on five continents, and leading a multi-year process for emerging leaders of Northern Ireland in advance of the Good Friday Accord.


Registration for non-members will be $125, members (of all co-sponsoring organizations) $100, and students/candidates $85.

Refund Policy: Refunds (less a $15 handling fee) will be given up until one week before the conference.


Suggested Pre-Event Community Activities

Tuesday, October 20, 2020: Shierry Nicholsen, PhD will present “After Wrongdoing: On Moral Injury, Apology, and the Case for Reparations” at a SPSI Scientific Session. Discussant: Scot Gibson, MD.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020: Dr. Zachary Green will facilitate a discussion of the video “Black Psychoanalysts Speak” at an NPSI Scientific Meeting.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020: Karen Weisbard, PsyD present Thoughts, Reflections and Questions on “The Perverse Pact: Racism and White Privilege” by Adrienne E. Harris PhD at a SPSI Scientific Session.  Discussant: Margaret Crastnopol, PhD.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020: Marianne Robinson will facilitate a discussion of a chapter Zachary Green co-authored in the book Diversity and Group Relations titled “The Denigrated Other: Diversity and Group Relations.” The chapter draws on ideas from Wilfred Bion, and it will be discussed at an NPSI Scientific Meeting.

Thursday, December 17, 2020: COR’s Study Groups on Centering Black Voices in Psychoanalytic Work will begin.

Suggested Watching, Reading, and Listening

These works are suggested with references to the work of: Wilfred Bion, Melanie Klein, Pierre Turquet, Donald Winnicott, & Sigmund Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents.

Contact Information


This seminar has been approved for 3.0 CEUs by the Washington Chapter, National Association of Social Workers (NASW) for Licensed Social Workers, Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists and Licensed Mental Health Counselors. The Provider number is #1975-289. These CEU hours are recognized for Psychologists per WAC #246-924-240.


January 23, 2021
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Event Category:


(206) 328-5315
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