The Interpersonal Neurobiology of White Fragility

White Fragility, as defined by Robin DiAngelo, is "a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation." In a multicultural workspace, these defensive moves perpetuate racial microaggressions and discrimination which dehumanize Employees of Color, and disrupt and damage the employee morale, productivity, and efficacy of the entire team. Drawing upon the tenets of Interpersonal Neurobiology, participants will learn how White Fragility develops and is maintained, and how White people can begin to move towards healing from their racist indoctrination.


NWPEDC Handout (1)

about Marc Otto, MA, RSMT/E

As a somatic therapist and facilitator, Marc offers support to people and groups who want more nourishing relationships. He earned a Master’s Degree in Somatic Psychology with an emphasis in Dance/Movement Therapy from Naropa University in 1998. From 1998 to 2013, Marc worked as an addictions, mental health, and creative arts therapist in various non-profit treatment agencies in Colorado and Oregon, with a focus on evidence-based practices. From 2004 to 2014, Marc Otto co-facilitated a local theater program, called “Play after Play,” that offered performances and experiential education about play to families with young children. He currently runs a private practice based in interpersonal neurobiology, mindfulness and embodiment, for individuals and couples. Marc's current focus is on the neuroscience of relationship and trauma. He brings a depth of understanding about how people get hurt in relationship and how they heal in relationship. This focus includes an experiential understanding of the interpersonal neurobiology of racism.

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