Professor's 'be less White' training goes viral after Coca-Cola denies using it

A University of Washington professor and frequent campus speaker's diversity training went viral after a Twitter user claimed that Coca Cola employees were required to complete it.

In one slide, the professor's trainining instructed participants to "be less White."

University of Washington Affiliate Associate Professor Robin DiAngelo’s controversial “Confronting Racism” training has been removed from LinkedIn following backlash about content advising learners to “be less white.” 

The online learning course - a series of short videos - reportedly contained a slide reading, “to be less white is to: be less oppressive [and] be less arrogant.” The list of purported benefits from lessening one’s whiteness also included “be[ing] less ignorant” and “be[ing] more humble.”

One slide simply reads, in bright orange text, “try to be less white.”

DiAngelo is an affiliate associate professor in the education department at the University of Washington and the author of White Fragility. According to her personal website, she was tenured at Westfield State University in Massachusetts, also as an education professor

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Though a viral tweet claimed that Coca-Cola required employees to take the online training class, the company said in a statement that “the video and images attributed to a Coca-Cola training program are not part of the company’s learning curriculum.”

As of Tuesday, the training was no longer available on the Linkedin platform. It is unclear whether Linkedin removed the training or if DiAngelo pulled it herself. 

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Following the publication of this article, a University of Washington spokesman responded to an earlier request for comment, stating “Robin DiAngelo holds a courtesy Affiliate Associate Professor appointment in the College. She has never taught courses.”

DiAngelo and Westfield State did not respond to a request for comment.

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @AngelaLMorabito