US university launches new course teaching staff ‘how to deal with being white’

THE University of Michigan offers its employees a two-day course aimed at helping them deal with their “whiteness”.

The “Conversations on Whiteness” conference is reportedly designed to teach them how to “fight for social justice causes”.

 The University of Michigan held a conference for employees to help them "deal with being white"

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The University of Michigan held a conference for employees to help them “deal with being white”

Its December 5 meeting was created to help attendees “unpack whiteness’, according to a post on the university’s website seen by the College Fix.

Those who attended the session were taught to “recognise the difficulties they face when talking about social justice issues related to their White identity, explore this discomfort, and devise ways to work through it”.

It was based around the “White Privilege Exploration” (PIE) model created by University of Iowa professor Sherry Watt.

She highlighted “defences” people use to ignore their privilege including “denial”, where they refuse to accept they are, and “minimisation”, when they do not realise the impact it has.

 The session was based around the "White Privilege Exploration" (PIE) model created by professor Sherry Watt, which highlights the "defences" people use to ignore their privilege

education.uiowa.edu

The session was based around the “White Privilege Exploration” (PIE) model created by professor Sherry Watt, which highlights the “defences” people use to ignore their privilege

The PIE model also groups heterosexual, male and able-bodied people in the “privileged identities” category.

In 2016, the University of Vermont held a three-day retreat “specifically for white people”, where they could talk about privilege in a safe environment.

Those attending the “White Identity Retreat” would be taught to ‘recognize and understand white privilege from an individual experience”, the university stated.

The free program was hosted by the university’s African, Latino, Asian, Native American and Bi/Multiracial Student Center (ALNA).

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The University of Vermont held a three-day retreat “specifically for white people” in 2016

The organisation said students would be given guidance on ‘the impact of white privilege on the University of Vermont community and beyond”.

The same year, more than 1,000 students travelled to Philadelphia for a “White Privilege Conference” aimed at “dismantling white supremacy”.

Oregon State University has also held a number of ‘Social Justice Retreats’ aimed at promoting “campus dialogue about race and racism”.

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