ABSTRACT

This chapter introduces the fourth core principle—the importance of acknowledging systems of privilege and oppression and taking actions to disrupt inequity. The authors begin by describing the importance of increasing awareness and understanding oppression. They define oppression and provide examples of different forms of oppression and of minoritized and dominant groups. They also describe structural racism as a form of oppression and then provide an overview of the different elements of oppression (Bell, 2016). Next, the authors emphasize the need for individuals and groups to understand how they are positioned within systems of oppression and privilege and how oppression can be represented through the bird cage metaphor (Frye, 1983) as interlocking systems. Several examples of individual and collective actions that disrupt inequity and strengthen healing and wellness are described. This chapter ends with an overview of the characteristics of dominant/white supremacy culture and antidotes (Okun, nd) for creating trauma-responsive healing centered work environments.