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Diversity Expert Discusses Issues of Racial Sensitivity as Distinguished Donahue Scholar

October 3, 2012

Internationally recognized clinician and author Ken Hardy gave the annual Distinguished Donahue Scholar lecture to the Lasell community on October 2 sharing his thoughts on our culture's sensitivity to discussing topics around race and diversity.

Hardy, who is Director of the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships in New York City, spoke to the crowd gathered in de Witt Hall about his examination of the significance and impact that race has had in every aspect of life and his thoughts on how to navigate conversation between varying cultures. Hardy's open discussion was sponsored by Lasell's Donahue Institute for Values and Public Life.

Hardy, a professor in the Couple and Family Therapy Department at Drexel University, talked to the group about why race is such a  difficult topic to address.

"The reason why the eggshells still exist is because of differences in racial context. The realities of individuals are all are different. People of color tend to over endow race, however whites tend to under emphasize race," said Hardy, adding that this leads to a gap in understanding.

"The greater the differences the less conversation [there is]," said Hardy. He believes that the two properties required to successfully discuss race are skill and will. The difficulty comes when those with the skill don't have the will, and vice versa.

"Stakes always seem to be high when talking about race," he added.

Hardy has published extensively in the area of diversity including Psychological Residuals of Slavery and is the co-author of a new book with Monica McGoldrick, Revisioning Family Therapy: Race, Class, and Gender, is a co-author of Teens Who Hurt: Clinical Interventions for Breaking the Cycle of Violence and Minorities and Family Therapy.

- Lauren Navarro


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