There are times when only certain people should be in a room for a conversation. Parents only. Men only. White people only. U.S. Born Black people only. Non-U.S. born Black people only. People who identify as neither white nor Black only. Managers only. Supervisors only. Non-supervisors only, Wives only. Husbands only. Children only. Students only. You get the point!
When this is done intentionally to confront the effects of internalized identity oppression and internalized identity superiority in a company, organization, family, etc., it is called identity caucusing. Identity caucusing is a powerful strategy used to work through societal power dynamics between people.
Another way to think about it is that sometimes we should be allowed to express ourselves in “first draft” without fear of harming the person we’re talking about. After that “first draft” is stated, we can then be provided the tools to equitably reframe our perspective. But often we need to “get it out” and then work on "cleaning it up". That cannot always happen with the other person in the room.
Identity caucuses are intentional & facilitated spaces where identity groups process separately so that when they come back together, both have the skills and tools to speak truth to power in order to dismantle structural barriers.
If this sounds like a lot to think about, fret not. We are here to do the equitable thinking for you. Just show up and have the experience.
"Every human is like all other humans, some other humans, and no other human." Clyde Kluckhohn