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Portland Community College to Host Month of Solving Issue of ‘Whiteness’

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The month of April at Portland Community College will be dedicated to “Whiteness History Month,” which the school says is an “educational project” focusing on how the “construct of whiteness” promotes racial inequality.

“‘Whiteness History Month: Context, Consequences, and Change’ is a multidisciplinary, district-wide, educational project examining race and racism through an exploration of the construction of whiteness, its origins, and heritage,” Portland Community College said in an online statement that has since been scrubbed from the web.

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“Scheduled for the month of April 2016, the project seeks to inspire innovative and practical solutions to community issues and social problems that stem from racism,” the online statement said, according to watch dog group Campus Reform.

The month-long event was initiated by a Portland Community College subcommittee for Cascade Campus Diversity Council. The council found “evidence from hiring data, student-­led research, surveys, focus groups, college-wide emails, and other sources have illuminated the underlying reality of whiteness embedded in the overall college climate.”

The school will host lectures from guest speakers, panels, short films that promote diversity, art exhibits, and discussions.

This is not the first time “whiteness” has caused controversy on a college campus.

Last November, Arizona State University professor Lee Bebout announced that he would be teaching a course called U.S. Race Theory & the Problem of Whiteness. One book used in that course, according to the Washington Post, is Jane H. Hill, The Everyday Language of White Racism.

Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter @jeromeehudson.


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