College offers 'WOKEshops' on 'systemic privilege'

Lewis and Clark College will host a series of “WOKEshops” during the fall semester to teach students about “different forms of oppression and privilege.”

According to an advertisement for the new series, the so-called “WOKEshops” (derived from the popular social justice slang term “woke”) are designed to help participants “engage in critical reflection, dialogue with people from different backgrounds, explore various identities, and understand systemic privilege and oppression.”

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The “WOKEshops,” hosted by the school’s Office of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement (IME), are free for students to attend and will be “primarily peer-facilitated to create a student space for dialogue.”

While the workshops will address various topics, a tweet from the IME encourages any students who “want to learn more about diversity” to attend.

One “WOKEshop” called “The Power of Language,” for instance, will teach students “about inclusive language and the power of words” while offering strategies “for speaking up against hurtful language.”

In a “Self Care for Social Justice Advocates” workshop, meanwhile, students are encouraged to attend if they “feel like the more ‘woke’ [they] become, the more stressed [they] are,” exploring “the ways that social advocacy adds to [their] stress and how to more fully integrate ‘rest.’”

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Another “WOKEshop,” titled “Oppression, Privilege, and Microaggressions,” asks students who have “experienced or witnessed a form of oppression” to come learn “how they show up in our lives.”

“Here you can build your social justice vocabulary and deepen your knowledge about systems of oppression,” a description for the workshops adds, with a subsequent “Understanding Intersectionality” workshop teaching students how to “deconstruct the concept of intersectionality and build a well-rounded understanding together.”

While all Lewis and Clark students are invited to attend one of the many “WOKEshops,” the IME will also host a “Students of Color Speakeasy” exclusively for “students who identify with an underrepresented racial and/or ethnic identity” to share “their experiences and connect with one another around issues of race and diversity.”

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“In this safe, yet informal space, we encourage students to speak honestly and have an open dialogue in order to build a community of allies who can support and listen to one another,” a description for the speakeasy states, though in order to attend, students must provide the IME with contact information to be placed on a “list” to participate.

“Otherwise, you might miss out on the location and time of the next meeting!” the description notes, assuring prospective participants that “this information will not be shared outside of this group and is meant to create a truly safe space for this type of dialogue.”

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

Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @rMitchellGunter