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HomeBreaking NewsUW Health DEI Training Urges White Employees to 'Yield Positions of Power'...

UW Health DEI Training Urges White Employees to ‘Yield Positions of Power’ to ‘Marginalized’ People


DEI training given to employees by UW Health instructs white employees that they will show “growth” on their “continued journey towards antiracism” if they “yield positions of power to those otherwise marginalized,” screenshots of the training materials show.

The training materials also teach white employees that denying racism is racist. To show “learning,” they must acknowledge that society is currently racist.

One document asks, “As a white person, in which zone do you fall on your continued journey towards antiracism?” It gives four zones: comfort, fear, learning, and growth. Under the “growth zone,” these statements are presented, “I yield positions of power to those otherwise marginalized” and “I promote and advocate for policies and leaders that are antiracist.” Employees are asked to check a box indicating which zone they are in.

Uw health dei


The comfort zone includes “I deny racism is a problem” whereas the learning zone includes “I recognize racism is a present and current problem.” Another document asks people to “select assumptions you have been guilty of that are examples of white privilege and fragility in action. They include, “I am free of racism” and “My own suffering relieves me of racism or racial privileges.”

The document lists “behaviors” that “are examples of white privilege and fragility in action,” citing “physically leaving” or “emotionally withdrawing,” “focusing on intentions,” “denying” and “seeking absolution.

The screenshots were shared this month on X by the page “End Wokeness,” which has 2.2 million followers.

“EXCLUSIVE: UW Health employee sent this from their mandatory DEI training,” the site wrote. “White employees are required to check off examples of their white privilege & white fragility. Whites are also instructed to take steps like yielding positions of power to non-whites in order to atone for their natural racism.”

UW Health denies the trainings are mandatory but did not contest their authenticity in an email response to Wisconsin Right Now.

The page noted, “They are also directed to take courses to unlearn the systemic racism they were inherently born with.”

One document, with UW Health’s logo in the top right corner,” is called “DEI Resources and Action Items.”

Uw health dei

It says that “the resources below are by no means comprehensive. We hope they will help you begin the work to understand privilege, avoid common missteps, and identify ways to in which you can intentionally be anti-racist in your work.”

The document instructs, “Read these articles and do self-reflection.” They include “6 ways to be antiracist, because being ‘not racist’ isn’t enough” and “Stop killing us: A real-life nightmare.”

The document then provides a series of “reflection questions,” including, “Have I confronted the racist ideas I’ve held or continue to hold?” and “Have I confronted my fear of identifying my power and privilege?”

It also asks, “What am I doing every single day to stop the killing of black people?” The document says UWHealth is “embedding DEI learning. It suggests people “embed DEI into your workflow” and take web-based training on things like “imposter syndrome” and cultural appropriation.”

Uw health dei

We asked UWHealth:

What comment does UWHealth have about these documents?

Is this discrimination against white employees?

Why is UW Health urging white employees to yield positions of power to marginalized people? Why should white employees have to do this?

Was this given only to white employees? If so, when, why, and in what context?

Can we have the full presentation if this is only a piece of it?

Who created this? Were any tax dollars used to create this?

Sara Benzel responded for UW Health and ignored most of Wisconsin Right Now’s questions. She said the “trainings referenced on X” are “not mandatory” but then defended UW Health’s training to address “social determinants of health.”

“UW Health is committed to providing remarkable health care to all patients,” she wrote.

“While the trainings referenced on X are not mandatory, we recognize the existence of long-standing health disparities for communities of color and our responsibility to address these health disparities through training, addressing social determinants of health, supporting non-profit organizations in our community, and other initiatives within our health system.”

Wisconsin Right Now has submitted an open records request to UW Health for more details on the training materials and the person who created them.

“UW Health cares for more than 766,000 patients each year with more than 1,800+ employed physicians and 23,900+ employees. UW Health includes six main hospitals in Wisconsin and Illinois,” its website says.

Jim Piwowarczyk
Jim Piwowarczyk is an investigative journalist and co-founder of Wisconsin Right Now.

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