University of Denver hosts ‘White Privilege Symposium’
Workshops offered include "White Accountability" and “Colored White: A Discussion On White Identity."
The University of Denver is hosting a variety of workshops as part of the annual "White Privilege Symposium."
The University of Denver will host and sponsor the annual “White Privilege Symposium,” (WPS) which is set up to “examine patterns, cultures, and systems that contribute to identity, power, and privilege,” on Friday and Saturday.
The symposium will feature breakout sessions such as “Anti-Racist Allyship: Avoiding The Pitfalls,” “Colleagial Check-In for POC: Needing Connection While Managing Whiteness,” “Colored White: A Discussion On White Identity,” “White Accountability,” and more, according to the symposium website,
“White Accountability” will explain why white people need to check their privilege in order to stop racism.
“Helping white people understand the difference between accountability and blame and challenging white people to use this knowledge to check their own white [privilege] and to dismantle the systems of racism that permeate this country,” is the stated purpose of the session.
Another workshop titled “Similar but Separate” seeks to explain the difference between black and brown women to the audience.
“We will explain the differences of black and brown women in Colorado,” that description states. “Many people believe black and brown women experience the same inequalities; however we do not.”
The “Anti-Racist Allyship: Avoiding the Pitfalls” workshop even criticizes the “good progressive or liberal” who considers themselves an “anti-racist ally.”The description asks progressives and liberals, “what happens when you are challenged, to think of yourself and your work differently?”
“Quite often, POC find ourselves disappointed, shocked, and saddened by how frequently the ‘ally,’ especially the white ally, reveals themselves to be anything but,” it explains. “How are folks engaged in this work really problematizing their own white fragility, defensiveness, tokenization of POC, etc., and how can you become an even better ally/accomplice?”
When Campus Reform asked the University of Denver what the university is doing to sponsor the program, the school said it is letting the WPS use university space. If members of the community disagree with the content in the symposium, they are encouraged to come and discuss the issue, the school told Campus Reform.
“The University of Denver brings together people and communities with diverse and opposing viewpoints and we invite members of our community to engage in civil discourse regardless of subject. We strive to create an inclusive environment that fosters the intellectual growth of our students, alumni, and the greater, global community,” the school told Campus Reform. “Within that environment, we encourage each individual to engage in respectful discourse and the critical examination of ideas. Freedom of expression is crucial to the mission of the University of Denver.”
The UD Graduate School of Social Work is sponsoring the WPS as well as The University of Colorado-Denver.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @asabes10