UNC-Charlotte brings back 'White Consciousness Conversations' after 2018 backlash
- The University of North Carolina-Charlotte is hosting "White Consciousness Conversations."
- A 2018 description stated that the event was a "space for white students."
The University of North Carolina-Charlotte (UNCC) has once again scheduled multiple “White Consciousness Conversations” for members of the campus community.
According to event descriptions, the “White Consciousness Conversations” will be open to students and faculty to attend and is aimed at getting students to understand the “meaning and implications of whiteness.”
“Understanding the meaning and implications of whiteness and engaging in anti-racist practice is crucial in creating racial equity,” the description states. "This space is for all undergraduate and graduate students at UNC Charlotte who are interested in engaging in conversations to assist in their understanding of how racism is perpetuated individually, culturally, and systemically.”
The UNCC Office of Identity, Equity, and Engagement, which is hosting the event, lists that there will be at least three “White Consciousness Conversations” for students and faculty during the fall semester.
However, this is not the first time that UNCC has scheduled the “White Consciousness” event.
In September 2018, Fox News reported that the university had scheduled “White Consciousness Conversations” for students and faculty.
The report said that the event was billed as “a space for white students” at UNCC “to assist in their understanding of Whiteness.” After Fox News reported on the event, UNCC reorganized the event to make it clear that it was not only for white people and scrubbed the original webpage.
Interestingly, the staff member organizing this year’s “White Consciousness Conversations” is the same person who organized the 2018 one, but instead of stating that the events are a "safe space for white students" like in 2018, this year's description states that it is "for all undergraduate and graduate students at UNC Charlotte. " The events will be held during the second week of September.
“The discussions at UNC Charlotte regarding 'white consciousness' are similar to those taking place on campuses across the country and will be open to all students or all faculty and staff," UNC Charlotte spokeswoman Buffie Stephens told Campus Reform. "Organizers expect a diverse group of participants to converse about topics including the reality of racism and discrimination in the lives of individuals of color."
Stephens related hosting the event to the school's vision "to cultivate a campus culture that embraces free expression, robust debate, and mutual respect."
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