University hosting 'privilege' workshops for 'white folks'

Humboldt State University is hosting a series of workshops in June to help "white folks" better understand the concepts of "whiteness," "privilege," and "microaggressions."

In addition to a two-part workshop on "Microaggressions and Whiteness," the school also offers a five-session series where students can discuss Ted Talks dealing with the issues of whiteness and privilege.

Humboldt State University is preparing to host a flurry of social justice workshops intended for “white folks” who seek to take part “in conversations about race more productively.”

Starting on June 12, students may attend part one of the “Microaggressions and Whiteness” workshop, which will offer “an introduction to the concept of whiteness, the significance of whiteness in our everyday lives, and how this shapes our interactions with each other.” 

Part two of the workshop will take place on June 19, and is intended to provide “an introduction to the concept of microaggressions, how to identify them, and how to deal with microaggressions that occur during our interactions with each other.”  

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Alongside the two-part whiteness workshop, Humboldt invites white students to watch and discuss Ted Talks dealing with whiteness and privilege, including “How Can I Have a Positive Racial Identity? I’m White!” “Why Does Privilege Make People So Angry?” “How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion,” and “What Beyonce Taught Me about Race.”

Additionally, the students will get a chance to read and discuss an article titled “White People: I Don’t Want You to Understand Me Better, I Want You to Understand Yourselves.”

All five discussion sessions are part of a larger “Building Stamina: Cultivating a Positive White Racial Identity that Supports Positive Participation in Conversations about Race” workshop that is intended specifically for “white folks,” according to the online description of the event.

“This is an opportunity for white people to self-reflect, ask questions, and enter in conversation with each other in an effort to better understand whiteness and privilege as well as interpersonal and systemic structures that facilitate opportunity for some and limit opportunity for others,” the description explains. 

“No previous experience talking about race or whiteness is necessary,” it clarifies, saying the only prerequisite is “a willingness to listen, learn, and have what you know questioned.”

[RELATED: Students earn credit for attending White Privilege Conference]

Also on June 12, the university will be hosting a seminar titled “Strategies for Defusing Defensiveness,” which will “support folks to identify what our own defensiveness around privilege may look and feel like.”  

According to the school, attendees of this session “will have the opportunity to engage with mindful and grounding practices as specific tools to support us in moving forward and mindfully acting from our values, as well as discuss ways to address potential harms that may have occurred.”

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

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