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Feb 19, 2021

For over two decades, family constellations facilitator and therapist Lisa Iversen has been working with groups, including descendants of ancestors who have perpetrated harm or been victimized in circumstances of injustice. This work has led to a timely and thoughtful discussion about the intersection of gender and white privilege, a collection of essays that brings together twelve white women who explore the role of whiteness in collective moments of immigration, colonialism, slavery, and war. In Whiteness Is Not an Ancestor, these writers from the US, Canada, and the UK disentangle themes of innocence, grief, race, privilege, and belonging in their families and ancestries.

Iversen joined us, along with two contributors to the collection—essayists June BlueSpruce and Anne Hayden—in a discussion moderated by Dr. Bonnie Duran, Professor in the UW Schools of Social Work and Public Health. Together, they explored their relationships with whiteness, sharing the genealogical research, family documents, and deep reflections that informed their contributions to the collection. They invited us to engage with difficult truths of history, including concerns about the fate of democratic nations sourced in whiteness—and to continue the work of dismantling racism and healing collective historic trauma.

Lisa Iversen is the director of the Center for Ancestral Blueprints and CAB Publishing. She is the author of Ancestral Blueprints: Revealing Invisible Truths in America’s Soul.

June BlueSpruce is a writer, intuitive healer, Systemic Family Constellations facilitator, and activist. Her work has been published in a poetry chapbook, several anthologies and journals, and scientific articles. She writes about dreaming, healing, and social change on her blog.

Anne Hayden is a student of nature and of the human heart. She has taught and mentored students in the Eco-Psych field through Fairhaven College of WWU and Antioch College. As a trained initiation guide, she has guided nature-based, experiential programs for groups and individuals through Northwest Soul Quest for 25 years.

Bonnie Duran, DrPH (Opelousas/Coushatta Descendent) is a Professor in the Schools of Social Work and Public Health at the University of Washington. She has worked in public health and social care research, education, and practice with a focus on Native Americans/Indigenous peoples and other communities of color for over 35 years.

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