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Taking sides: Race, privilege and social justice

Can we talk about whiteness?

Despite deep and lasting structural inequalities in our society and our field, the topics of privilege, race, class, and other structures of social inequality and oppression as it relates to our clinical work receives surprisingly little attention. Given that the field itself and the client population accessing therapy is not representative of the diversity that exists in our country, it is critical that we explore the ways that we both consciously and unconsciously perpetuate structural inequalities in our work. How are clinicians talking (or not talking) about race, power, and privilege in the consulting room with clients, and within the profession in general? How do we think and talk about whiteness, especially as it intersects with the field of psychotherapy in general?

Cynthia Chalker, MSS, is a licensed social worker and a graduate of Manhattan Institute for Psychoanalysis in New York City, where she works in private practice. She has presented papers at the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis conferences in Chile, Toronto and Sydney on topics that revolve around the intersection of cultural identity, politics and psychoanalysis. Cynthia was also an invited speaker at the 2017 conference of the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago on the implications of the work of Franz Fanon for contemporary psychoanalysis. Prior to entering analytic training, Cynthia worked for 20 years as an Equity and Diversity educator and administrator in colleges and K-12 schools.

Shervin Ravan, MD is a Columbia University trained and affiliated integrative psychiatrist and the Medical Director of Greene Clinic. He maintains an academic appointment as Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University where he teaches and supervises psychiatry residents and medical students. He is also a member of the American Psychoanalytic Associations Committee on Diversity and has lectured on a variety of issues such as transgenerational trauma, mass violence, immigration and race. Dr. Ravan has extensive experience working with a diverse group of clients and has particular expertise in issues related to cross-cultural dynamics, identity, LGBTQ experience, and the unique issues facing those working in high stress, creative and tech based professions.

Ryan M. Kull, PhD is the Director of Kip, is in private clinical practice in New York City specializing in sexual orientation and gender identity issues, and is a psychoanalytic candidate at New York University’s Postdoctoral Training Program in Psychoanalysis. Dr. Kull has served as an adjunct lecturer at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work, where he also received his PhD. He has engaged in numerous research activities examining issues affecting LGBT people throughout the lifespan. Dr. Kull is the author and co-author of multiple juried papers, invited book chapters, and conference panels/symposia on LGBT-related health and mental health topics, including HIV/AIDS, STIs affecting MSM, bullying and harassment of LGBT youth, LGBT issues in education, and LGBT veterans.

9:30-10am Coffee and Registration

10-10:30am Welcome to the Taking Sides Series

10:30am-12:30pm Panel Discussion

12:30pm-1:30pm Lunch Break

1:30pm-3:30pm Case Presentation and Discussion

3:30pm-4pm Closing Remarks

5 CE Hours

$75 Professionals - $63 NASW Members - $45 Students & Candidates - Free for KIP Fellows
We have a limited number of scholarships available for clinicians who have been historically marginalized on the basis of their identities or experiences, and are unable to afford the cost of attendance. Please email us at

Taking sides: Race, privilege and social justice
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