Campus Reform | This workshop teaches ‘white-identifying students’ 'what it means to be anti-racist'

This workshop teaches ‘white-identifying students’ 'what it means to be anti-racist'

Ithaca College hosted a series of virtual meetings talking about race relations in the U.S.

The sessions were geared toward “white-identifying students” and most focused on white supremacy and white privilege.

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A college in New York will host multiple “anti-racism” workshops with the goal of educating students on white privilege, systemic racism, and talking about race “as a social construct.”

Ithaca College announced in July that its Center for IDEAS, whose mission is to "empower marginalized students by creating culturally validating spaces," would be organizing a series of virtual workshops for students and faculty that focus on the current state of race relations in the United States. The workshops specifically aim for “white-identifying students” to learn about and “systemic racism in order to dismantle it” and “understand their role in this work.”

“We are creating spaces for white-identifying students to be in community to learn, grow, challenge one another,” the announcement read. “and strive to shift from ‘I am not racist’ to truly understanding what it means to be anti-racist in thought and practice.”

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The series ran on a weekly basis from July 16 to August 13, covering a different topic about race and “white privilege” each week.

“Whether you are just beginning your journey of understanding racism and what it means to be anti-racist or are well-practiced and disciplined at interrupting the script of white supremacy you are welcome and encouraged to participate,” read the announcement. 

Five workshops were scheduled for the series, with one of the discussions being titled, "Understanding Race as a social construct” and another on "Understanding Systemic Racism and White Privilege.”

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“Our first session in this series will focus on how we talk about race as white-identifying folks,” Samantha Elebiary, Ithaca's BOLD Women's Leadership Network program director, wrote in a July 14 blog post. Elebiary added that the first session would be an open discussion that included “the opportunity to ask questions and express what you're hoping to learn from this experience.”

Campus Reform reached out to Elebiary and the Center for IDEAS for additional comment but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @JesseStiller3