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16th Annual White Privilege Conference

Beth Applegate, co-presented a day-long institute on using Polarity Thinking to interrupt White Privilege. Learning about Polarity Thinking has deeply impacted the way I approach my work. I use Polarity Thinking directly with clients when they are caught in cyclical patterns that emerge when polarities are not well managed. Polarity Thinking is not new. Polarities are ongoing, interdependent values (often opposites) that need each other over time in order to achieve a greater purpose. They are energy systems that work in a predictable way. They live in us and we live in them. They are free, unstoppable and leveragable. Each polarity is a powerful energy system that can be – and has been - leveraged to achieve positive change. Polarity Thinking has been used to support black students in a traditionally white school at the fall of apartheid in South Africa, and is being used to support black communities and police reform in the United States today. When we can see societal problems as a part of one or more key polarities, it increases the attainability, speed, and sustainability of our efforts to build the world we envision. Through storytelling and interactive exercises, participants will literally get to stand in and experience each of the four quadrants of a polarity map, experience the "getting unstuck” process, and work in teams to create action steps to leverage the upsides of both sizes of the polarity.