confronting whiteness

One example given of whiteness that needs confronting is when “white staff and faculty” believe “Blue Lives Matter” is equivalent to “Black Lives Matter”

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, a publicly funded university, is holding a workshop to train students and staff on “confronting whiteness in the campus community.”

“We will discuss ideas and develop strategies for identifying and confronting whiteness,” the event’s web page says. The upcoming workshop will give strategies on how to confront a single race – whites – on campus, including for personal views supporting police through the phrase “Blue Lives Matter.”

The two professors giving the workshop run a consulting firm that focuses on “decentering whiteness.”

One example given of whiteness that needs confronting is when “white staff and faculty” believe “Blue Lives Matter” is equivalent to “Black Lives Matter,” according to the web page promoting the virtual workshop.


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The event website paints “whiteness” as a negative that must be challenged. All members of the “UWM community” are invited.

“Confronting Whiteness in the Campus Community” Workshop

Here is the Zoom link for the workshop. People will be asked to consider how whiteness shows up in their lives.


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“What is whiteness? Is it just about skin color? How does it show up in our lives? On our campuses? In our classrooms?” the website explains.

“Maybe it’s that moment when a white student says or does something–even unintentionally–that targets students of color during a small group discussion. Maybe it’s at the Greek party where a student’s costume feeds into a violent stereotype. Or when white staff and faculty believe that ‘blue lives matter’ is equivalent to ‘Black Lives Matter.’ What do you do? What can you do? If these are your questions, then please join us. In this 90-minute workshop we will discuss ideas and develop strategies for identifying and confronting whiteness.”

The web page says it’s part of an “antiracism event series” put on by the UWM Honors College. “The UWM Honors College seeks to be a radically welcoming space where all students, staff, and faculty can flourish and experience genuine belonging,” the website says. “The Honors Antiracism Event Series provides a forum for cross-campus conversations and activities that seek to dismantle systemic racism in higher education.”

The online workshop will be “facilitated” by Dr. Lisa Anderson-Levy and Dr. Catherine Orr from Beloit College. Levy’s research “examines the operation of whiteness as identity, structural apparatus, and ideology.”

Participants are encouraged to view an article on “anti-blackness” that has negative statements toward the police, containing this line, “Mr. Floyd’s death is the story of our babies, of the numerous black children who grow up literally or metaphorically under the steel heel of a police boot.” They are also encouraged to read an article about being a student of color in white institutions that “allow white and rich students to silence, manipulate and demean students of color.”

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