As reported by Campus Reform, a number of colleges and universities across the country are offering course credits for students to attend the annual national event, the White Privilege Conference. In some cases, the cost is being covered for the event. Students attending the event can earn up to three academic credit hours at the discretion of their Universities.
According to the website, the White Privilege Conference is “designed to examine issues of privilege beyond skin color,” including race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability, and “the ways we all experience some form of privilege, and how we’re all affected by that privilege.”
“White Privilege is the other side of racism. Unless we name it, we are in danger of wallowing in guilt or moral outrage with no idea of how to move beyond them,” reads a quote on the website, attributed to Paula Rothenberg. “It is often easier to deplore racism and its effects than to take responsibility for the privileges some of us receive as a result of it… once we understand how white privilege operates, we can begin addressing it on an individual and institutional basis.”
“Whites need to acknowledge and work through the negative historical implications of ‘Whiteness’ and create for ourselves a transformed identity as White people committed to equity and social change,” reads another quote by Gary Howard. “To teach my White students and my own children…that there are different ways of being White, and that they have a choice as White people to become champions of justice and social healing.”
The website lists “being able to assume that most of the people you or your children study in history classes and textbooks will be of the same race, gender, or sexual orientation as you are, being able to assume that your failures will not be attributed to your race, or your gender,” and “being able to not have to think about your race, or your gender, or your sexual orientation, or disabilities, on a daily basis” as examples of privilege.
More than 20 conferences and workshops have been announced for the event. One, entitled “White Women: Internalized Sexism and White Superiority,” is focused on examining “how our identities develop as we grow in our understanding of personal, institutional, and structural oppression,” taking a “deep look into white women’s learned patterns of behaviour. Recognizing these patterns helps us name and practice strategies to better collaborate in multicultural settings and more authentically build multiracial relationships.” Another one, “A Process of Liberation from Internalized Racism,” states “Internalized racism is part of the system of chains contributing to the continuation of racism affecting racially oppressed groups,” continuing that it is “important to study, understand, and seek out ways that groups of Color are able to gain a liberatory perspective in the midst of a racist society, just as it is important for whites to work to gain a liberatory perspective over internalized dominance.”
Are you burned out from all that patriarchy smashing and whiteness dismantling? There’s a workshop for that, too! “Self-Care and Healing as Change Agents” is the actual, real name of this one, and it gives a space to “heal, refuel, and re-commit to our vision and goals,” where participants will be encouraged to “explore the roots of their stress and burn-out and deepen their capacity to rejuvenate, re-energize, and retool themselves as powerful change agents.”
One of the most interesting workshops is titled “Blackness, Whiteness, & Womynness,” and focuses on “experiences as a Black cisgender womyn and a white cisgender womyn partnering as anti-racist educators and administrators with a commitment to re-imagining equity and justice in our relationships as womyn.” If you haven’t caught on, every use of the words “woman” and “women” is intentionally misspelled as “womyn,” a word used in some circles in order to omit the presence of the world “men.”
“Whiteness History Month,” which will be taking place at Portland Community College during the month of April, was recently announced. It was advertised as not being a “celebratory endeavor,” but is focused on challenging the “master narrative of race and racism through an exploration of the social construction of whiteness” in an effort to promote “multicultural education and equity” and examine how benefits are “accrued at the expense of people of color.”
It amazes me that people still haven’t considered that, maybe, targeting a specific demographic in order to blame them for the entirety of modern societies problems based entirely on their skin color, might not be the best idea.
Photo by ajkkafe/Getty Images
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