Report: Wake Forest University Hosts Segregated ‘Listening Sessions’ to Advance ‘Inclusiveness’

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Faculty and staff at Wake Forest University are hosting racially segregated “listening sessions” in an attempt to advance inclusivity, according to a report by the College Fix. This action is being taken in response to students and staff calling on university officials to adopt a zero-tolerance policy for “white supremacy” which they allege has plagued the campus via Instagram posts and yearbook photos from the 1980s.

Wake Forest University is hosting several racially segregated “listening sessions” with the hopes of advancing inclusiveness, after students have become outraged over questionable Instagram posts and old yearbook photos, according to a report by The College Fix.

“Dear faculty and staff colleagues, this is a reminder about our upcoming listening sessions on inclusion that I am holding for faculty and staff of color over the next several weeks,” said Dean of the College Michele Gillespie in an email to university employees.

The email went on to list several upcoming listening sessions, specifying that they were for “staff of color,” indicating that white employees should not be in attendance. The email also included the note that the sessions were for faculty and staff “who identify” as employees “of color.”

The bizarre decision to host segregated meetings for university employees who “identify” as applicable attendees has arrived amid a coalition of students, faculty, and staff members demanding that school officials become more inclusive by adopting “a zero-tolerance policy for white supremacy,” according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

The alleged white supremacy that protesters are referring to involves “a racist Instagram post” and past Wake Forest University yearbook photos depicting former students in blackface, as well as students posing with the Confederate flag — two of whom are currently administrators at the university.

The Instagram post was a parody, according to The College Fix.

The existence of the Confederate flag photo — as well as the fact that two of the former students pictured in it are current administrators — became widely known on campus earlier this year, according to the Winston-Salem Journal.

“We have gathered in collective resistance to Wake Forest, and the ways that this institution embodies and emboldens white supremacy,” said Aries Powell, a Wake Forest student and representative of the university’s Anti-Racism Coalition, who says that the school should condemn yearbook photos of its former students posing with Confederate flags.

“But Wake Forest continues to dismiss the possibility of implementing a zero-tolerance policy for white supremacy,” added Powell, “By ignoring the demands of black students and refusing to hold itself accountable for the trauma this university inflicts on its students of color, Wake Forest has demonstrated its unwillingness to enact substantive change.”

Protesters gathered at the university on Monday where they demanded that the school adopt this zero-tolerance policy, as well as “provide money to begin African American history courses,” according to the Winston-Salem Journal, adding that students find the university’s response by hosting “dialogue on diversity, inclusion and the importance of community” to be ineffective.

Wake Forest is not the only school focused on segregation in the name of inclusiveness. Last week, the student newspaper’s editorial board for Williams College endorsed the school establishing racially segregated housing, claiming that the move would make the college “a less harmful place,” as well as “a more inclusive institution.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Twitter at @ARmastrangelo and on Instagram.

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