What is the oreo Complex?

If you were called an Oreo, told by Black/POC (or even white) people you weren’t Black enough, or that you say/act/do XYZ “white” it can be tough to know where you fit. And, in a society that upholds whiteness as the ideal, white people, who hold systemic privilege and power over Black people, will always remind you that you are not one of them (even if you’re mixed). It’s a challenge to stand fully in who you are and your unique gifts when you’ve felt that kind of rejection. This creates The Oreo Complex, and it has a deep and widespread impact on your sense of self, how you move in the world, and how you pursue your goals…

Maybe some of this sounds familiar? You:

  • Feel a sense of rejection, isolation, and not enoughness that creeps up at the most inopportune times

  • Feel called to your work but may think, “Is this mine to do?” Or, “Can I speak for Black people?"

  • Hold back and feel like you’re waiting for outside permission

  • Feel both like you aren’t fully seen and like you’re afraid to be fully seen

  • Have a fear of further rejection if you show up as you are

  • The hiding and isolation leaves you secretly questioning, "Who am I really?”

  • Struggle to feel comfortable in your Blackness as you navigate the world

I get it! Trust me, I’ve been there several times over. As a Black American and Black Puerto Rican woman I was told by both Black and Latinx people that I was “white” and felt like I didn’t belong in either community. It was YEARS before I even realized how deeply this had affected and hurt me, then even longer to unravel those messages and step fully into my Blackness, my creativity, and my power.

Who am I?

kristin laugh tall.JPG

I'm Kristin Iris, a Film Producer, Speaker, and coach

I help Black folx cultivate liberation, joy, and power, through deep personal work and Black creative expression. It’s time to change the tired narratives around Blackness and step powerfully into who you are, what you're creating, and the impact you’re meant to have!

I too was called an Oreo…


The truth about the oreo myth

If you are part of the Black diaspora (incl. mixed race) and the above felt familiar to you you’re in the right place. Here are a few truths about the Oreo narrative that no one is talking about.

First: NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT IT. Do you know how many people I’ve spoken to whose Blackness was challenged in some (usually multiple) ways? People who grew up in the hood. People who grew up in upper middle class households. Even people who are from Africa! This issue affects Black folx from all walks of life all across the diaspora.

Second: Being called an Oreo is not actually about you. It’s not a reflection of you or your Blackness. Every angle of the Oreo narrative that I have found is rooted in white supremacy and anti-blackness. Other people’s internalized white supremacy and anti-Blackness that is then projected out onto you. White supremacy leads white people to say things that are intended to isolate you from your community. It leads Black and non-Black POC people to isolate other Black folx when they’re “too different” or seem too close to the “whiteness.” Then white supremacy instills itself in each of us who were called an oreo in the many ways we respond to this rejection creating an internalized oppression that must be dismantled.

Third: The Oreo Complex and the internalize oppressions and narratives it reinforces impacts EVERY AREA OF YOUR LIFE! Friendships and family. Romantic/sexual relationships. Career pursuits. Creative work. Sense of self. Things you’d never think were affected. You saw above some of the internal feelings that the Oreo Complex can lead to as a Black or mixed-race person, but how does that show up in your external world? Since we’re all creatives here are some ways it impacts your creativity and life ambitions.

When it comes to creativity The Oreo Complex leads to:

  • Fear around visibility

  • Imposter Syndrome

  • Procrastination or starting projects and not finishing

  • Issues around worth/value

  • Feeling stuck but not knowing why or what to do about it

As a member of the Black diaspora you are incredibly powerful. Your voice, experiences, and work matter and can create a powerful change in the world. But you have to get the bullshit out of your way. The Oreo Complex is part of that bullshit.

Go from oreo to empowered

This is why I created From Oreo to Empowered: an intimate 8-week group program for Black creatives who are ready to heal and dismantle the internalized oppressions holding you back from living and creating at your full capacity. This is for folx who have big aspirations, want to create change in the world, but feel stuck and are ready for a breakthrough.

NOTE: “Creative” means anyone pursuing anything in literally any arena (art, medicine, business, tech) because it take a creative mind to innovate an excel.

You may be a good fit for this program if you want to:

  • Regularly create in your arena

  • Leave your job and do your passion full time

  • Take your passion project or creative work to the next level

  • Create work not confined by—or that even challenges—white supremacy and hetero-patriarchy

  • Feel comfortable and grounded in your Blackness

  • Have healthier and more fulfilling relationships with people

  • Express who YOU truly are in every aspect of your life

  • Impact more people by creating work that creates change in the world

This program will provide you guidance from me, and the community support you need to dismantle, heal, own your power, and create an impact on the world through your work!


here’s what inside!

Each week will include both deep personal exploration and creative action in whatever your creative work/project is so that as you dive deep into your personal work you expand your creative capacity.

week 1: truth

Develop a connection to our community and yourself. Unearth your underlying “stories” and deeper fears, and speak the truths you’ve been avoiding.

week 2: dismantling

Uproot the judgements made on AND by you, and start dismantling your internalized oppressions around being an Oreo (and more) that are holding you back.

week 3: patterns

Identify the harmful patterns keeping you stuck that YOU live into and create new empowering patterns that will move you forward.

week 4: clearing

Clear your path by healing your pain, and making courageous changes in your relationships and life so you can live fully, be yourself, and create powerful work.

week 5: Self-discovery

Discover who you truly are outside the oppression, old stories, and pain that have shaped you, and welcome yourself home to your Blackness and Wholeness.

Week 6: Pleasure

Unlock your creativity and experience more wholeness by tapping into the power of your pleasure and sexual energy in a healthy, nourishing, and expansive way.


week 7: POwer

Own your Black power by choosing a new way of operating in an oppressive world, and—from that place of power—a clear vision for what you are creating and the impact you want to have.

week 8: creation

Stretch your comfort zone by taking BIG creative action in your project, and gain massive momentum with a solid plan for achieving your next big goal!


What’s involved:

  • Weekly training videos & exercises (with ongoing access to the content beyond the 8 weeks)

  • Private Facebook group to share insights, give and get support, and be seen and heard as you are

  • Close community of Black creatives on this journey with you

  • Weekly action steps to move you forward personally and creatively

  • Clear and repeatable framework for change (the same process I continuously use for myself!)

*** enrollment is currently closed ***


What's Really In It For You?

This work is not for the faint of heart. This 8 weeks will be intense, emotional, scary, transformative, and profound. Bullshit and excuses will not take you through. You will be unlearning the old oppressive way you’ve been operating and learning new ways to show up in the world. You will be showing up BIG for yourself, our community, and your creative work.

What you really have to gain by going through this program:

  • Stand in truth and power without whiteness being a part of it

  • Accountability and a community of support

  • A deeper understanding of your internalized oppression and tools to continue dismantling it

  • A process to handle fear, doubt, or old stories when they rear up

  • Create real and long-lasting changes in your life

  • A deep sense of self-love and wholeness in your Blackness

  • Clear plan of action for moving forward toward your big goals

  • A rich connection to your Black Creative Power and the impact you’re meant to have

If you’re ready to make a big shift…

It’s time to step up for yourself in a new way


Content & Community

- Weekly training videos & exercises
- Weekly personal work & creative action steps
- Private Facebook group
- Intimate community of support
- Repeatable framework for change

Total Investment - $479

*** enrollment is currently closed ***

Have questions First? Ask me below!

Name *