UNH offers 'Unpacking Whiteness' workshop for faculty, staff
An upcoming University of New Hampshire workshop will help faculty and staff in “examining” their “whiteness” and learn to create “a community that is racially just.”
On January 17, UNH is set to hold a training workshop for white faculty and staff members to teach “what white people can do about racism,” titling the event, “Unpacking Whiteness: A workshop on examining whiteness and focusing your work to end systemic racism.”
"Racism...also includes those invisible systems that confer advantages on those people considered white while disadvantaging people of color."
According to the event flyer, the workshop will ask such questions as, “What does it mean to be ‘white’ in our country today?” and “Do you sometimes feel uncomfortable in multiracial groups?”
These examinations are meant to help individuals become “skilled allies” and “partners” with their “colleagues of color” in order to “advance equitable outcomes in [their] personal and professional lives.”
“Racism is not just about individual acts of meanness. It also includes those invisible systems that confer advantages on those people considered white while disadvantaging people of color,” the flyer elaborates. “These invisible systems have concrete results on the social, economic, and political health of our communities and nation.”
Event facilitators Lu Ferrell and Michele Holt-Shannon told Campus Reform that the goal of the event is to help participants “gain a stronger sense of community and a feeling of empowerment in working towards racial justice and inclusivity on campus” by introducing them to subtle forms of racism.
“Participants in this workshop will engage in constructive and reflective conversations focused on examining and understanding racial bias and systemic racism,” they said. “The main purpose of the workshop is to provide space for folks to explore this topic and gain skills that will enable participants to become genuine partners in creating a community that is racially just.”
The facilitators also pointed out that the workshop is voluntary, and while this particular event is for faculty and staff, they “have offered similar workshops to students, community members, and in other NH communities and faith communities.”
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