Want to fight racism? According to one university, cancel classes and take a nap.
La Salle University announced in early February its plan to combat racism...by having students take naps.
The Philadelphia school canceled class for one day to allow for "rest as resistance."
La Salle University in Philadelphia canceled classes for a day to allow students to conquer racism through rest.
On February 1, administrators at La Salle — a Roman Catholic university — announced that on February 9 it would replace classes with an “academic enrichment day,” dubbed “Rest as Resistance.”
According to La Salle's website, the spring semester’s first of three enrichment days will “aspire to give members of the La Salle community a respite from those days’ classes, coursework, and schedules while offering opportunities to explore important topics like anti-racism and showcase academic projects.”
La Salle explained that the inspiration for “Rest as Resistance” day comes from scholarship claiming that “since racism is a trauma on our bodies, any effort to heal racism begins with healing our bodies.” Rest can therefore function as “inoculation against the virus of racism.”
La Salle University’s tuition for the 2020-2021 school year is $31,350. According to the school’s academic calendar, students will receive roughly 75 days of instruction in the spring semester, including the “academic enrichment days” and excluding Easter break.
Therefore, students are effectively paying over $200 for each academic enrichment day, even though they will not receive classroom instruction.
The school’s Joint Commission on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and the faculty senate’s Anti-Racism Working Group assembled resources highlighting what social justice activists, “particularly women of color,” believe about the power of rest.
Among these resources is Rev. Tricia Hersey’s The Nap Ministry, which bases its discussion about rest as relaxation in “Black Liberation Theology, Womanism/Womanist Theology, Afro Futurism, Reparations Theory, Somatics and Community Organizing.”
La Salle students were also encouraged to explore Rest Then Rise meditation, which teaches listeners to “Cultivate a Self First mindset” in the name of “rest activism.”
Campus Reform reached out to La Salle University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.
Follow the author of this article on Twitter: @BenZeisloft