Date of Award
MAE - Master of Arts in Expressive Therapies
Kelvin Ramirez, PhD, ATR-BC, LCAT
Transforming institutional racism and personal prejudice is a heated topic in the counseling profession and broadly in society. An imperative cultural and individual step to be taken towards addressing racism is making white supremacy visible in order to dismantle it. Part of that step is separating whiteness from supremacy and creating an ethical, humanist, and compassionate model of whiteness. This capstone thesis was a community engagement project focused on arts as therapeutic social action. The author explored oppression and dominance through body and movement with white women who are engaged in anti-racism. Group activities included observing how white supremacy and implicit bias are communicated non-verbally and creating a body movement repertoire for how a white ally moves. The author engaged in further movement exploration alone, including envisioning and practicing interjecting white ally body language into moments of interaction with people of color or other people with less perceived status or institutional power. Moving with the material revealed both verbal and nonverbal insights into whiteness, racial identity, and concrete ways to transform and increase self-awareness of implicit body processes that affect interaction with others.
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White, Jessica, "Deconstructing Embodied White Supremacy Through Dance Movement Therapy Community Engagement Project" (2019). Expressive Therapies Capstone Theses. 174.
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