Students earn credit for attending White Privilege Conference

Toni Airaksinen
New York Campus Correspondent

  • Students at the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs can earn up to 3 academic credits through a course that requires them to attend the annual White Privilege Conference.
  • The credits can be applied toward the school's Graduate Certificate in Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusion, along with courses such as "Unmasking Whiteness" and "Social Health Justice."
  • The University of Colorado-Colorado Springs is currently offering a class awarding students up to 3 academic credits for attending the White Privilege Conference. 

    Taught by Abby Ferber, a sociology professor who is also co-organizes the White Privilege Conference, the “Intersections of Privilege” course is meeting exclusively online except for required attendance at the annual conference, which will be held this year in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    "This course is offered to students planning to attend the annual White Privilege Conference, this year in Grand Rapids, Michigan, April 4 - April 7, 2018."   

    The class is “built around the White Privilege Conference, designed to provide foundational knowledge; provide an opportunity to connect the WPC experience with research and best practices in the field; and to apply knowledge gained there,” according to its description

    [RELATED: ASU hosts workshops by ‘White Privilege Conference’ founder]

    Though the course description is brief, the White Privilege Conference is well-known as an annual conference dedicated to deconstructing white privilege, promoting social justice advocacy, and elevating strategies for white people to promote racial justice. 

    Students in the “Intersections of Privilege” class can choose from among more than 100 individual workshops during their four-day sojourn, including “Breaking the Chains of Capitalism and White Supremacy,” the “Whiteness of Law,” and another on “How Whiteness Kills.” 

    This year’s conference will be held April 4-7 at Grand Valley State University, which initially offered its students scholarships to cover registration costs until Campus Reform inquired about how the public university was funding them last July. 

    While students are promised academic credit for attending, it is unclear if any additional homework or essays are required for the course, because Ferber did not respond to multiple inquiries from Campus Reform.

    [RELATED: University sponsoring ‘feminist social justice’ conference]

    The course credit can be applied toward the University of Colorado’s Graduate Certificate in Diversity, Social Justice, and Inclusion. To earn the certificate, students can also take other classes such as “Unmasking Whiteness,” and another on “Social Health Justice.” 

    Considering that Ferber is also the co-organizer of the White Privilege Conference, Campus Reform reached out to the University of Colorado-Colorado Springs for comment on the potential conflict of interest, but did not receive a response despite repeated requests. 

    According to her faculty profile, Ferber “is widely recognized as a leading scholar of the far right,” and has “conducted many workshops on the far right, hate crime, and teaching about hate.”

    Ferber is also currently teaching a class on “Racial Story Telling” that involves taking a group of students to Montgomery, Alabama, as well as a class on “Perspectives of Race and Ethnic Relations.”

    Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @Toni_Airaksinen





    Toni Airaksinen

    Toni Airaksinen

    New York Campus Correspondent
    Toni Airaksinen is a New York Campus Correspondent, where she reports on free speech issues and social justice research. She is a senior at Barnard College, majoring in Urban Studies and Environmental Science. She is also a columnist for PJ Media, and formerly held a post with USA TODAY College, The Columbia Spectator, and Quillette.
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