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Sociopolitical Grief

Sociopolitical Grief

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Earn 1 Credit for Orientation Module toward
Certification in Grief Therapy for Non-Death Losses
Offered by the Portland Institute.

Presented by

Darcy L. Harris,



Thanatology Department, King's University Collage

Faculty Mentor

Portland Institute for Loss and Transition

Tashel C. Bordere,


Assistant Professor

Human Development and Family Science

and State Specialist

University of Missouri-Columbia

USD$99 for 3-hour module

With the current political climate and the deepening divisions and polarization that accompany it, people often talk about grief that originates in social and political structures but is felt in a profoundly personal way.  Sociopolitical grief includes the direct losses that are experienced by individuals as a result of political policies, ideologies, and oppression enacted and/or empowered at the sociopolitical levels.  Racially and ethnically marginalized populations are challenged by the persistent pain and suffering that occur as a result of ongoing inequity, racism, and divisive ideologies on power maintenance and resistance to oppression.  In this module, the concept of sociopolitical grief will be explored from many different perspectives, along with approaches to better understand the personal and collective impact of losses that originate at the structural level.  Learners will have the opportunity to explore their own experiences of sociopolitical grief and find approaches that may help to address these issues from diverse perspectives, including compassionate perspectives and positions of radical self and community care directed towards the pain and moral injury that are unique to this form of grief. 


  • Define and describe sociopolitical grief and its implications for different populations;

  • Explain intersectionality, power, and systemic oppression in relation to nonfinite loss, cultural trauma, suffocated grief and sociopolitical grief;

  • Delineate systemic and individual shifts and actions essential to healing amid suffocated grief and sociopolitical grief; and

  • Identify constructive ways to approach sociopolitical grief at both the personal and broader structural levels.

Note:  Completion of this module and return of the Responsive Journal satisfies 1 Orientation Module required for Certification in Grief Therapy for Non-Death Losses.


This program contains the following video segments:

  1. The Social Context of Loss:  When the Political is Personal (45 mins)
  2. Popularism and the Costs of Othering:  Seeking Compassion and a Common Ground (41 mins)

  3. Privilege, Power and Oppression:  Sociopolitical Grief from the Margins (36 mins)

  4. Suffocated Grief in the Black Community:  Resistance and Resilience (43 mins)


  • A PDF copy of the presentation slides;

  • Glossary of terms and guidelines for culturally responsive language;

  • The Five A’s of Culturally Conscientious Practice; and

  • The Responsive Journal that, upon completion and return, confers 1 credit of Orientation Module leading to Certification in Grief Therapy for Non-Death Losses.


Presenting Faculty

Darcy L. Harris, RN, RSW, PhD, FT is a Professor in the Thanatology Department at King’s University College in London, Canada, where she also maintains a private clinical practice specializing in issues related to change, loss, and transition.  Darcy developed the undergraduate degree program in Thanatology at King’s University College.  She has served on the board of directors of the Association for Death Education and Counseling and is a current member of the International Work Group on Death, Dying, and Bereavement.  She is a series co-editor for Routledge Publishing Company’s Death, Dying, and Bereavement Series.  Her publications include Counting our Losses: Reflecting on Change, Loss, and Transition in Everyday Life (Routledge), Grief and Bereavement in Contemporary Society: Bridging Research and Practice (Routledge), Principles and Practice of Grief Counseling (Springer), The Handbook of Social Justice in Loss and Grief: Exploring Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (Routledge), and Non-Death Loss and Grief: Context and Clinical Implications (Routledge).  Darcy serves as a faculty mentor with the Portland Institute for Loss and Transition.

Darcy L. Harris, 

Photo - Darcy Harris (190420).jpg

Guest Presenter

Tashel C. Bordere, PhD, CT is an assistant professor of Human Development and Family Science and State Specialist at the University of Missouri-Columbia.  She serves on the Board of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), Board of the National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC), and Advisory Council of the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS).  Dr. Bordere is a former Forward Promise Fellow (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) and received the Ronald K. Barrett National Award (ADEC) for her research on bereaved Black youth.  Her research, publications, and trainings focus on cultural trauma, Black youth and family bereavement, suffocated grief (a term she coined), and coping.  She has a co-edited book with Darcy L. Harris, PhD, Handbook of Social Justice in Loss and Grief, published by Routledge.

Tashel C. Bordere, PhD, CT

Photo - Tashel Bordere.jpg

USD$99 for 3-hour module

For other enquiries, simply email Carolyn.

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