Colorado Students Earn Credit for ‘Unmasking Whiteness’

Toni Airaksinen, Campus Reform, 1 May 2018

The University of Colorado-Colorado Springs is awarding three academic credits exclusively to white students who attend a conference dedicated to “white privilege.” 

The “Unmasking Whiteness” conference will convene students and educators from across the United States this July in North Hollywood, California to explore “how being white shapes our lives” and “discover our role as white people in struggle for social justice.” 

Only open to self-identifying white people, the four-day conference is co-organized by Shelly Tochluk, a professor at Mount Saint Mary’s University (MSMU) in Los Angeles, and is offered by the nonprofit AWARE-LA (Alliance of White Anti-Racists Everywhere). 

The recently-released conference brochure explains that attendees will learn about topics including “white privilege,” “guilt and shame,” “what it means to be white in today’s society,” and the “economic benefits” of whiteness. 

“U.S. society does not usually ask white people to explore how race affects our lives,” the brochure states. “When we honestly grapple with this question we become able to recognize the various ways we receive social and economic benefits based on being seen as part of the white group.” 

The brochure also notes that while deconstructing whiteness can release feelings of “guilt and shame,” working through these emotions is crucial because they “often lead to paralysis and…

Read more