If you're a "self-identifying" white person and interested in creating an "anti-racist white identity" for yourself, look no further than the “Unmasking Whiteness” conference scheduled for this July in North Hollywood, California.
You can even earn credit toward a graduate certificate in Diversity, Social Justice and Inclusion from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs, by attending the four-day conference.
What's it all about?
Run by the the nonprofit AWARE-LA — which stands for Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere — the conference looks to answer questions of the "many people" who "struggle to grasp with what it means to be white in today's society," the conference brochure says.
Participants will cover topics such as:
- Institutional racism
- White privilege
- Guilt and shame
“U.S. society does not usually ask white people to explore how race affects our lives,” the brochure also says. “When we honestly grapple with this question we become able to recognize the various ways we receive social and economic benefits based on being seen as part of the white group.”
So, only white people can attend?
Yup. But the brochure explains why.
"For many, it sounds contradictory: 'It’s racist if just white people to get together. Isn’t that segregation? Isn’t this being exclusive?'" the brochure asks rhetorically.
But it also says "our colleagues of color" suggested that participants "build white anti-racist skills and community as a white community."
The brochure further outlines the rationale:
- People of color shouldn’t always have to be the ones to educate white people about racism and oppression. So, we are taking responsibility for learning about racism, our own white privilege, and how to challenge it as white people.
- To challenge racism, white people need to unlearn racism and discover how we enact white privilege. This is a long, difficult, and often painful process. Having a community of white anti-racist people gives us hope, helps us grow our practice, and gives us strength to stay in it for the long haul.
- A commitment to anti-racist identity and practice as a white person can sometimes mean increased alienation and conflict in our lives, especially with other white friends and family who disagree with us.
(H/T: Campus Reform)