Elon University cancels segregated 'White caucus' amid backlash

Elon University promoted a "White caucus" for "White-identifying" students.

The event was advertised as a space for White students to "learn about and process their awareness and complicity in unjust systems."

Elon University in Elon, North Carolina canceled a whites-only caucus it planned to begin during Black History Month. The event was widely condemned for potentially violating the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 

“A white caucus is a space for white-identifying individuals to engage in conversations that unpack race and systemic oppression,” said an email that invited student­­s to join the segregated group via Zoom on February 16. 

“White caucuses allow white-identifying allies to h­­ave these conversations in a way that does not burden or re-traumatize people of color,” the email continued. 

The space was intended for White students to “learn about and process their awareness and complicity in unjust systems,” according to a screenshot obtained by Young America’s Foundation. 

Prospective members of white-caucus would have been required  to sign a confidentiality agreement barring them from sharing “anything outside of the group for any reason.” 

This, the invitation said, formed the basis of white-caucus’ most important rule: “What is said stays, and what is learned leaves.” 

[RELATED: 5 times colleges segregated for diversity’s sake]

After Elon University received inquiries regarding the event, spokesman Daniel Anderson told Fox News, “Elon University today learned of a program being organized by a group of students in the School of Education who wanted to hold candid, confidential discussions about racism without victimizing those of other races.” 

Anderson added that, “Elon’s policies prohibit discrimination on the basis of age, race, color, creed, sex, national or ethnic origin, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, or veteran’s status. Because this student-led program would have excluded non-white individuals, it would be at odds with university policies and will not be held. Elon is reviewing the planning for this event to ensure that future programs are planned in compliance with university policies, are inclusive and align with the university’s mission.”

Campus Reform has reported on various similar instances of segregated spaces at colleges across the country. 

Campus Reform reached out to Elon University for comment but did not hear back in time for publication. 

Follow the author of this article: Dion Pierre