White Institute Calendar

Confronting Racism, Discrimination and Othering: Perspectives from Around the World

Date: 18 2021 10:00





Perspectives from Around the World


An Online Series, 2021-2022




with Gurmeet S. Kanwal, MD




Destructive Authoritarianism


Within the Embrace of Nonviolent Activism:


The Sino-Tibetan Story


Events run from 10:00AM-11:30AM/Eastern Standard Time


Register Here

Your entry link will be sent via email prior to the event.

Please note: no CE or CEU credits are given for this series.




All over the world, and throughout human history, while select groups of people have enjoyed countless economic, social and political privileges, others have been excluded, discriminated against, and oppressed. In some countries, the relations between the powerful and the powerless are enforced and justified through racist ideologies; in others, through the discourses and practices of segregation and disenfranchisement based on social class, caste, culture, religion, or language.


In the U.S. we see institutional oppression and disenfranchisement based on race; In India, servitude and oppression is based on caste (e.g. the "untouchables") and religion (e.g. the marginalization of Muslims); in the Middle East, the plight of the oppressed Palestinians continues; and in Jamaica, class and skin color dictate clear inequities. What are the differences and common denominators among these social phenomena? How do we interrogate our own language use in these different contexts? Can ‘racism’ be an umbrella term?


This year's series, held online, will illuminate racism, xenophobia, classism and other forms of discrimination through their international, cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary study. We will explore the ideologies and practices implicated in widespread social, economic and political inequities in various parts of the world. Our series will uncover the many roles that notions of race, ethnicity, nationality, religion and caste have been playing in denying people equal access to jobs, housing, education, and health care. We will explore how racism and discrimination are dehumanizing, depriving people of their dignity, security and even their lives.  We will address the need for transformative justice, to counter the variety of processes and structures that continue to function around the world in creating alienation, suppression and otherness in societies. We hope to learn how these processes operate in different cultures, as well as how they are protested and overcome.





Honey Oberoi Vahali, PhD, is a Psychoanalyst and Professor of Psychology at the School of Human Studies. Initially trained as a Clinical Psychologist, she has a particular interest in exploring the social roots of emotional suffering. She is also interested in forging bridges between psychoanalysis, spirituality and models of social justice and has been thinking and working on establishing a socially sensitive model of psychotherapy of relevance to the Indian context. Dr. Vahali has been writing on these subjects as well as on refugees, the practice of psychotherapy, the history of insanity and that of psychoanalysis in India. Her first major research work was on the Tibetans in exile. Using a psychoanalytical sensibility she explored the inner world of three generations of Tibetans living in India and had also worked extensively with Tibetan torture survivors. In this work she looked at how culture and psyche are interrelated, and how Buddhism functioned as a creative force, enabling the Tibetans to work through losses that displacement and refugeehood had imposed upon them. Her book, Lives in Exile: Exploring the Inner World of Tibetan Refugees (2009, 2020 Routledge), is an exposition to this effect. In 2019, she edited a book on critical and empathetic pedagogy, A Song Called Teaching: Ebbs and Flows of Empathetic and Experiential Pedagogies (Aakar Books). Presently she is writing on psychoanalytic psychotherapy and the mother- daughter relationship. The founding Director of the Centre of Psychotherapy and Clinical Research (2013-2020), Dr. Vahali was also the Dean, School of Human Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi (2012-2015).





Gurmeet S. Kanwal, MD, is Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, and Supervising Psychoanalyst at the William Alanson White Institute. He is Past-President of the William Alanson White Psychoanalytic Society and an Editorial Board Member and Fellow of the College of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and Editorial Board Member, Psychoanalytic Discourse. Dr. Kanwal is co-editor (with Salman Akhtar) of the books, Bereavement: Personal Experiences and Clinical Reflections (Karnac, 2017) and Intimacy: Clinical, Cultural, Digital and Developmental Perspectives (Routledge, 2019). His papers have been published in Contemporary Psychoanalysis, Neuropsychoanalysis, Psychoanalytic Review, and Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society. In addition to teaching in the U.S., he has lectured on psychoanalysis in India and Iran.



Maria Nardone, PhD, is Faculty and Supervisor of Psychotherapy; Director of Technology and Global Learning; Former Director of the Online Interpersonal Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Program for Russian Speakers; Former Chair, Council of Fellows, and Founding member of the Center for Public Mental Health at the William Alanson White Institute.  She is the author of The powerful and covert role of culture in gender discrimination and inequality, published in  Contemporary Psychoanalysis (2018).  She is co-director of the Social Issues Department of the American Psychoanalytic Association.  Dr. Nardone is Adjunct Associate Professor in Fordham University’s graduate program in Healthcare Administration, and former Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, Director of the Division of Psychological Services in the Department of OB/GYN at S.U.N.Y Downstate Medical Center.  Dr. Nardone is an expert witness in Immigration matters including Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and Convention Against Torture; Hardship (e.g. I-601, I-601A, Cancellation of Removal); Rehabilitation (212c, 212h, 212i) and U Visa. With Tomás Casado Frankel, co-authored Psychological Aspects of Deportation and Child Custody, a chapter in Appleseed’s online Manual, Protecting Assets and Child Custody in the Face of Deportation.  She was guest speaker for the Princeton Alumni Corp series on Trauma in the Immigration Community.  A graduate of the Tavistock Institute, Dr. Nardone is an executive coach and advanced organizational consultant. She has lectured in numerous academic institutions in Europe and the US. Her chapter Executive Coaching as an Organizational Intervention, was published in English and Italian in Mind-ful Consulting (Karnac, 2009, 2014). Dr. Nardone is on the Board of Give Something Back International, a non-profit that provides education for children in Southeast Asia and Haiti.  


The Technology and Global Learning Committee: 

Maria Nardone, Ph.D., Director of Technology and Global Learning

Max Belkin, Ph.D.
Karen Gennaro, M.D.
Anton H. Hart, Ph.D.
Tom Hennes
Gurmeet Kanwal, M.D.
Katherine Noordsij, LCSW, Ph.D.(Lit.)
Vladan Novakovic, M.D.
Jean Petrucelli, Ph.D.
Hopeton Shaw, MA, NCPsyA, UKCP
David Solomon, MA
Masato Tsujikawa, Ph.D.
Cleonie White, Ph.D.