Indiana University—Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) is hosting a “White Racial Literacy Project” aimed at making white students aware that they have racist thoughts and unknowingly commit racist acts. Events are racially segregated, in which speakers are expected to help white students understand how they can change.
IUPUI will host a “White Racial Literacy Project” with the goal of addressing “whiteness” in an attempt to “undertake an innovative approach to racial equity on campus,” according to the event description.
“Oftentimes, racist acts and thoughts are fueled by stereotypes, implicit bias, and lack of knowledge,” continues the description, adding that the project will provide “an educational environment and reflective opportunity for white people within the IUPUI community.”
Dr. Robin DiAngelo, who conducts research in “Whiteness Studies” and “how Whiteness is reproduced in everyday narratives” kicked off the project last October, which is to continue throughout the 2019 spring semester.
“This project will enhance participant’s racial literacy to realize that racial equity efforts should and must include white people,” states the description, “This initiative will communicate who we are and who we wish to become by engaging those who aspire to facilitate racial equity.”
The project will be hosted in the form of a workshop and speakers series, in which students and staff will hear from a variety of different speakers, on topics such as “white privilege” and “white supremacy.”
One of the speakers, Dr. Frances E. Kendall, will be hosting an event in February, in which she will discuss “the nature of white resistance” and the “complex challenges White people face when confronted with truths about white racism.”
Dr. Kendall hopes to challenge attendees to “reflect on ways they may consciously and unconsciously resist efforts to promote racial equity on campus.”
Another speaker, Dr. Paul Thomas, will host an event called “I Don’t Belong Here: My Otherness, My Privilege,” while a third speaker, Dr. Amanda Lewis, will speak about “Negotiating Whiteness in the Context of Contemporary Racism on Campus.”
Dr. Kendall, Dr. Thomas, and Dr. Lewis have also racially segregated time slots for their events, encouraging white students to attend in the early afternoon, while minority students are to attend in the late afternoon.
IUPUI is not alone in its effort to train white students to believe that they are unknowingly carrying out acts of racism on a daily basis.
Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri is considering bringing “Witnessing Whiteness” to campus, a white-only program that will encourage white students to discuss and come to terms with their alleged racism and white privilege.