Learn more about how the Cal Poly Humboldt Library can help
support your research and learning needs.

Stay updated at Campus Ready.

Skip to Main Content

Discussing Whiteness

Resources for discussing whiteness - a guide to a series of discussions about whiteness and antiracism.

Join us!

Whiteness accountability space logo with three rainbow-colored paint swatches

Currently, there is a weekly series of discussions on whiteness and anti-racism titled Whiteness Accountability Space: Processing Emotions and Moving to Anti-Racist Action. Once you register you can attend any of the sessions on the calendar for the noon or evening time slots:

  • Noon Hour
    • Every Thursday 12:05-12:55pm
  • Evening
    • Evening sessions are on hold for summer but will be back starting in fall!

Register today!

Everyone is welcome to these sessions that are intended to provide a space for White folks to process feelings around anti-blackness, police brutality, and systemic racism in order to move toward anti-racist action. These sessions will encourage participants to stay connected to their feelings and their bodies as we discuss and share.

The purpose is to allow for people to discuss whiteness and critically reflect, process, and ask questions with the intention of mitigating harm caused to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) colleagues, community, and students when White people participate in conversations and spaces that are diverse. These sessions will be facilitated by White facilitators.

This is a weekly series to hold a space for what can be difficult conversations. Though we encourage people to join as often as they can, there is no expectation that anyone should attend every week or even more than once. Everyone is welcome and can join at any time.

To support people who have several daily Zoom or other online commitments, these sessions begin at 12:05pm and end at 12:55pm to allow for people to move from previous and following appointments.

Facilitators: Meridith Oram, Tim Miller, Loren Collins, Len Wolff, Chuck Powell

Session Resources

Below is a list of resources that have been shared and/or used during the Whiteness Accountability Space sessions. Familiarity of these is not required for people to attend future sessions.

Ally vs Co-conspirator

Ally vs. Co-Conspirator: What it means to be an Abolitionist Teacher

Dr. Bettina Love

Frame from the video showing Dr. Bettina Love, author of "We want to do more than survive," speaking on CSPAN-2 Book TV

Discussion Prompts

Small Groups

  • What does this stir up in you? What are you feeling?
  • What parts of this are new to you?

Whole Group

  • What does Dr. Love's idea of 'using your privilege' look like?
  • Provide an example of Ally vs Co-conspirator

Self Reflection

  • Find a concrete thing that you will do.
  • Are you being an ally or co-conspirator? What are you risking?

Resources

Anti-Racism

How to be an Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

Definitions

Racist
One who is supporting a racist policy through their actions or inaction or expressing a racist idea.
Antiracist
One who is supporting an antiracist policy through their actions or expressing an antiracist idea.

This conversation was recorded during the 2019 Aspen Ideas Festival in Aspen, Colorado.

Discussion Prompts

  • What comes up for you when considering the framing of anti-racism vs ‘not being racist’?
  • How might you pursue anti-racist work as an ally? As a co-conspirator?

Self Reflection

  • In what ways are you anti-racist?
  • What does this look like - what do you do or not do?
  • As an ally? As a co-conspirator?

Resources

Antiracist Systems?

Is Our Anti-Racist Work in Systems?

Ijeoma Oluo (author of So You Want to Talk about Race)

Frame from Oluo's Facebook video.

Resources

The 'cancer' of racism

How anti-racism is a treatment for the ‘cancer’ of racism

PBS News Hour interview with Ibram X Kendi (How to be an Antiracist) and Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility).

Screenshot from PBS News Hour interview with Ibram X Kendi where the interviewer and Kendi are speaking via web conferencing software from their homes.

Resources

Invention of Whiteness

The Invention of Whiteness

with john a. powell, Professor of Law, UC Berkeley

Discussion Prompts

What resonated with you?

What did you hear that was new to you?

What are the implications of your understanding of the function of whiteness?

How does this impact your perception of who benefits from the existence of racial categories?

Resources

NEA Big Read 2020

The Fall 2020 Big Read was held in Humboldt County (virtually) during October and November of 2020.

"The National Endowment for the Arts Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. The main feature of the NEA Big Read is a grants program, managed by Arts Midwest, which annually supports community reading programs, each designed around a single NEA Big Read book."

Several events occurred during the Big Read around Claudia Rankine's book, Citizen: an American lyric.

Resources