Intersectional Approaches to Racial Equity: How to Create a System that Works for Everyone

In this interactive workshop participants will examine the history and evolution of intersectionality as introduced by Civil Rights Activist and Legal Scholar, Kimberlé Crenshaw. Participants will learn why leading with racial equity is a priority by reflecting on the racial history of the US. and by examining the forms of discrimination that intersect to create additional barriers for Black people, Indigenous people and People of Color.

Workshop facilitators will guide participants through an exercise that raises awareness of the way’s social identities, whether claimed or not, influence access to social power and use of power. This exercise provides a venue for building trust and relationship among participants as they will engage in dialogues about their multiple social identities and experiences with power and privilege. Participants will take tools and resources to advance racial equity with an intersectional approach. They will also learn skills on conducting equity analysis in decision-making process at the workplace, while emphasizing the use of an equity lens to create a system that works for everyone.


about Yolanda Sánchez

Yolanda Sánchez’s passion for social justice and equity grew out of her lived experience as an immigrant indigenous woman overcoming intergenerational poverty. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and has a background in social services and community education. Yolanda’s previous professional experience gave her perspectives and insights into the lives of domestic violence and sexual assault survivors, ethnically-diverse youth facing economic hardship, the undocumented community and migrant workers. She currently works for the City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights, facilitating racial equity education.

about Koffi Dessou

Dr. Koffi Dessou has over 28 years of experience in public administration, business administration, nonprofit administration, and community-based leadership. serves as Strategic Innovation and Performance Manager. He previously served as Interim Director of the City of Portland’s Office of Equity and Human Rights. He created the City's Equity Training and Education Program in 2012. Before moving to America, Koffi worked for the U.S. Department of State at the American Embassy in Togo for 16 years. He served consecutively as human resources assistant, manager of community development and democracy-human rights funding programs, specialist of political, economic and commercial affairs, and coordinator of International Military Education and Training programs. Koffi holds the Doctor of Business Administration degree. He also leads community-based organizations in Oregon.

about Jeff Selby

Jeff Selby’s diverse communications and training career has included roles with the U.S. Army, Walt Disney Company, and BMW. Jeff is responsible for the internal and external communications process at The Office of Equity and Human Rights and serves on the Training and Education Team, where he develops, co-designs, and facilitates racial and disability equity education.

Learn more at www.portlandoregon.gov/oehr