College hosts 'Me & Whiteness,' 'Racial Battle Fatigue' events

Humboldt State University is offering a series of summer workshops on “microaggressions and bystander intervention,” “racial battle fatigue,” and the connection between “Me & Whiteness.”

According to a listing of “Diversity and Bias Intervention Workshops” available this summer, the school’s Library Lifelong Learning Lounge offers the events free of charge throughout the summer for community members interested in learning about “the importance of awareness and education on issues surrounding macro and microaggressions, explicit and unconscious bias, and culturally inclusive pedagogy.”

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One workshop, scheduled to be held Wednesday, will include a webinar on “Racial Battle Fatigue” led by Dr. Kathy Obear, a found of the Social Justice Training Institute, and Dr. Tanya Williams, a senior trainer with Class Action, an organization committed to ending “classism.”

A description of the webinar notes that participants will explore how “persistent and degrading racial microaggressions have taken a physical, psychological, and emotional toll” on “many people of color,” particularly at predominantly white institutions.

“Manifesting as fatigue, generalized anxiety, stress and a myriad of other ills, Racial Battle Fatigue is a very real problem for not only students at predominantly white institutions, but for faculty and staff of color, as well,” the description adds.

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Another workshop—titled “Me and Whiteness; What's the Connection?”—offers participants “a chance to explore what people mean by the term ‘whiteness,’ how and why our society must commit to this exploration, and to review recommended writings addressing whiteness.”

Participation does not require any particular “familiarity with issues surrounding whiteness,” as organizers hope that “it will contribute to meaningful dialogue around the role of whiteness” and help to “create a more race-conscious campus community.”

In addition, the California college is offering a two-part series on “microaggressions and bystander intervention.”

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Part 1, scheduled for July 19, will discuss “how microaggressions enforce modern systems of oppressions and ways to address them,” and on August 2 Part 2 “will go over how to be an active bystander and practice with scenarios.”

Participation in the microaggressions workshops is encouraged for those planning to partake in the final workshop offered this summer, which is intended to “build up our anti-racist vocabulary and skill development in the ability to interrupt micro and macroaggressions.”

Organizers of the “Practice Makes Perfect; No More Silence” workshop promise to “provide a supportive, authentic, and brave space,” and while the event is open to individuals with “all levels of experience with interrupting the silence,” they “strongly recommend” that participants first complete both parts of the “Microaggressions and Bystander Intervention” training.

Campus Reform reached out to Humboldt for comment on the matter, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @MrDanJackson