Monday, January 28, 2019

Missouri school ponders white-only racism workshop


A Missouri school is considering a segregated safe space for white students to talk about their racism and white privilege.
“I have not had an opportunity to fully explore the possibility. Should we move to bring the program onto campus, it would not be before August of this year,” Flewellen said, according to Webster University’s student newspaper, the Webster Journal.
Flewellen most recently brought a “Witnessing Whiteness” program to Washington University in St. Louis. He spoke about the program during a 2018 interview with NBC and said that he wants white people to stop calling the police on black people “just because they’re gathering in a park.” Additionally, he told NBC that he hopes white people who participate will “find their voice and are able to speak to, call out and stand up against racism.” 
According to the YWCA chapter’s Racial Justice Director Mary Ferguson, there are currently 16 “Witnessing Whiteness” groups that meet regularly and approximately a dozen more that could begin meeting this year. Ferguson also formerly served as an adjunct professor at Webster University from 1997 to 2009. 
“It was important to us that we had a group where people of color wouldn’t be on the spot, wouldn’t be asked to teach, wouldn’t be asked to listen to white people as they struggle to understand racism,” Ferguson told NBC. “White people would not be as forthcoming if they were in a mixed group,” Ferguson told the Webster Journal.
The YWCA’s website states that members of “Witnessing Whiteness” will explore the “history and construction of white racial identity,” “white culture and values,” “manifestations of white supremacy and privilege,” and “activation of white solidarity and accountability.” 

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