'Anti-Racist White Affinity Group' wants to lessen BIPOC colleagues' 'emotional labor'
Pacific University's affinity is group is for any staff or faculty 'identify[ing] as white or has white privilege.'
The group is part of the university's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion office.
Pacific University in Oregon offers a series of affinity groups for faculty and staff, including an "Anti-Racist White Affinity Group."
According to the university, the purpose of this particular group is “accountability.”
The description claims that BIPOC individuals are often burdened with the “emotional labor,” the Affinity Groups website argues.
The university accordingly asserts that White people then have a "responsibility to engage in anti-racism work, especially understanding and dismantling white supremacy culture, and developing anti-oppressive practices."
"The group is open to any faculty or staff member who identify as white or has white privilege," the description states.
This affinity group is part of a larger effort of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) office at Pacific University. The DEI office’s 2020 OEDI Report details its goals for supporting and expanding affinity groups, potentially moving the initiative into athletics.
The Wall Street Journal reports that an intense focus on race actually might be detrimental to improving race relations on college campuses.
An academic study referenced in the news articles shows that participation in ethnicity-focused groups create more tense and racially divided atmospheres on college campuses.
Specifically, the researchers found evidence of an "increased sense of ethnic victimization and a decreased sense of common identity and social inclusiveness."
The study was conducted by faculty members at the University of California, Los Angeles, Leiden University, Claremont McKenna College, and the University of Virginia.
Campus Reform reached out to Pacific University for comment; this article will be updated accordingly.