Wake Forest Cancels Classes so Students Can Attend Diversity Training

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Josh Edelson/AP

Faculty at Wake Forest University have voted to cancel classes on April 23 so that students will have more time to attend a “diversity” seminar that is taking place on campus.

According to a report by The College Fix, Wake Forest University announced this week that classes have been canceled for April 23 so that students can attend the “Inclusive Teaching Conference.”

The faculty at Wake Forest University voted this month to cancel classes on April 23 to make it easier for students to attend the various workshops and lectures that are scheduled for the conference.

Wake Forest University claims on its website that the conference was created in response to student complaints. Some students at Wake Forest University claimed that they feel “alienated” and “unwelcome.”

Wake Forest is committed to providing equitable opportunities for all students. However, recent events on campus have made clear that many of our students feel alienated and unwelcome here. Though a significant aspect of their experience relates to social spaces and systemic inequities, it is nevertheless also true that, for various reasons, they do not always find our classrooms to be spaces of welcome and inclusion.

One workshop, which will be run by Dr. William T.L. Cox of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will focus on “implicit biases.” A description of the workshop claims that participants will uncover their own biases through a series of exercises.

This workshop introduces faculty and staff to the concepts of implicit or unconscious biases and assumptions about diverse groups of people by treating the application of such biases as a “habit,” with a focus on race, ethnicity, and gender. Participants will uncover their own biases, discover the underlying concepts and language used in the psychological and social psychological literature to describe such processes, participate in interactive discussions about the potential influence of implicit or unconscious bias in their department/unit, and learn evidence-based strategies for reducing the application of these biases.

Breitbart News reported last week that Harvard University had embraced a popular online quiz that claims to analyze a person’s “implicit biases.” The concept of “implicit biases” has been debunked by psychologists since its introduction in the 1990s.

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