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White-Identifying, Anti-Racist Workspaces

In collaboration with the Center for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Social Change (IDEAS) and the Division of Student Affairs and Campus Life (SACL), these workspaces were created in response recent and ongoing violence against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the United States and around the world.

These are WORKspaces where white-identifying students can explore what it means to be white, and subsequently, to understand their role in anti-racist work. Our goal is to shift from a mindset of "I'm not a racist" to actively practicing anti-racism in our everyday lives, but first we must understand the systems of white supremacy, white privilege, and white fragility that are operating all around us. Join this Engage portal to register for weekly workspaces, and gain access to resources. Remember, the work of anti-racism is lifelong and expansive - this is not a fully comprehensive series, and we encourage all students to continue learning on their own and to seek out additional resources. 

Follow the Center for IDEAS on Instagram to stay engaged in the conversation and get important updates about events. 

Upcoming Workspaces

Workspaces will be held on Fridays from 11am-12pm EST unless otherwise noted. Workspace topics are dates/times are subject to change. 

Click on each link to register in Engage. Please note that you must register for each event separately. Even if you attended one of these workspaces in the summer, you are still encouraged to attend as the conversation with a new group of your peers will undoubtedly be unique. 

Dates and times for workspaces in the spring semester at TBD, but tentative topics include: racism in higher education, racism in athletics, exploring when racism intersects with homophobia/transphobia and/or misogyny, racism in politics and policies, activism as a white accomplice and confronting racism.

Weekly Content and Discussion Questions

If you're not able to join us for a workspace or discussion, you can still "follow along" and review some of the content and discussion questions on your own.

  • September 25th: Open Discussion 
    • This was an open discussion and introduction to the workspaces. We shared information about the goals of this workspace, and spent majority of the time discussing some of the following questions:
    • On a scale of 0-5, how comfortable are you talking about race? On a scale of 0-5, how comfortable are you talking about racism? Explain both. 

    • 0 = I would rather not talk about race/racism. 
      1 = I am very uncomfortable talking about race/racism. 
      2 = I am usually uncomfortable talking about race/racism. 
      3 = I am sometimes uncomfortable talking about race/racism. 
      4 = I am usually comfortable talking about race/racism. 
      5 = I am very comfortable talking about race/racism.  

    • Does your comfort level change based on who you are with? 

    • What is your earliest experience dealing with race and/or racism? Or when did you realize that you are White? 

    • How have you been feeling about/reacting to recent and ongoing violence against BIPOC? 

    • What actions have you taken/do you want to take to continue your learning around whiteness and anti-racist work?

  • October 2nd: History of slavery over the last 400 years
    • Content: 2016 documentary 13th. You can watch the full film on YouTube: https://youtu.be/krfcq5pF8u8. We discussed the following questions:
    • How did you feel after viewing 13th? Did you feel helpless, inspired, stirred to action, or a combination of all three? Do you think the message of the film was ultimately hopeful? Why or why not?

    • How does 13th characterize our criminal justice system and political institutions? How did this film shape your understanding of the prison system? Was there a particular case or series of facts that altered or challenged any of your pre-existing views? Explain.  

    • How do you think media and popular culture representations of Black Americans, particularly of Black men, have contributed to a dangerous climate of white fear and anxiety?  

    • Have you ever considered who curates history as we know it? What does that mean about the history we’ve been taught (or not taught) or how we perceive ourselves within that history?

  • October 9th: Understanding What it Means to be White

    • Content: What it Means to be White by D. Elisabeth Glassco. We discussed the following questions:

    • What are your initial reactions to this article?  

      • What reaction do you have to this quote specifically: “Whiteness is the norm — -the default racial category. This allows those possessing it to generally think of themselves as not a race, an unmarked identity.” 

      • What reaction do you have to this quote specifically: “the value and privilege associated with Whiteness depends on other social categories being degraded.” 

    • What did you learn it means to be White?  

      • Growing up vs. Recently? 

    • What ‘value’ has been awarded to Whiteness? 

      • How does this ‘value’ operate to degrade other social categories? 

    • Have a discussion around this concept: “In the latter work, Dyer argued that, in Western culture, the essential everydayness of whiteness allows white people to “create the dominant images of the world,” and yet be unable to see that “they construct the world in their image.”  

    • Have you ever thought about the concept that because Whiteness and White culture is so dominant (the water we swim in), that we simply didn’t notice the way we construct the world in that image? 

    • How do you understand “White culture”? Have you ever thought about having a culture as a White person?

Ithaca College Course Offerings

Please consider registering for one or multiple courses that relate to race, racism, anti-racism, or another topic that is covered in this series.

This is likely not a comprehensive list of courses, please check HomerConnect for the most accurate and up-to-date information. If you notice a course that is missing, feel free to share that with us and we will add it to the list. 

Culture and Communication

  • Introduction to Culture and Communication

Culture, Race and Ethnicity

  • Introduction to African Diaspora Studies
  • Introduction to Native American Indigenous Studies
  • Introduction to Asian American Studies
  • Introduction to Culture, Race & Ethnicity Concepts
  • Japanese Americans and Mass Incarceration
  • The Politics of Whiteness
  • Watching Race in American Media
  • Punishment, Prisons, and Democracy
  • Scholarship of and by Women of Color

English

  • The Power of Injustice and the Injustice of Power
  • Survey of African American Literature
  • Studies in Multicultural American Literature
  • Latino/a Culture through Literature 

Health

  • Inequalities in U.S. Health Care
  • Wellness: Multicultural Perspectives on Health and Healing

Journalism

  • Media Literacy: Race, Gender and Ethnicity 

Music

  • African American Popular Music: Blues to Hip Hop

Psychology

  • Psych of Privilege & Oppression

Sociology

  • Scholarship of and by Women of Color

Spanish

  • Latino/a Culture through Literature

Please check back mid-fall for a list of Spring 2021 Course Offerings!

Additional Support and Resources

Please seek additional support, resources, events, and educational materials from any of these offices/departments/student organizations on campus.

Website: https://www.ithaca.edu/center-ideas

Engage (find upcoming events): https://ithaca.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/center-for-ideas-iden…

Website: https://www.ithaca.edu/center-study-culture-race-and-ethnicity (here you can find upcoming events, discussion series, lectures/presentations, and course offerings)

Engage Website: https://ithaca.campuslabs.com/engage/ (here you can explore events being offered across campus). Specifically, here you can find event that have the "leading in a diverse world attribute" https://ithaca.campuslabs.com/engage/events?query=leading%20in%20a%20diverse%20world

You may want to specifically check any of the following portals for events related to topics/themes discussed in this series. Please note that some organizations may restrict membership/certain events to a specific identity or community, and we ask that you please respect those spaces when they are identified that way, however, most will offer events that are open to all students as well. 

African Latino Society

African Students Association

Asian American Alliance

Brothers for Brothers

Buzzsaw Magazine

Caribbean Students Association

Chinese Students and Scholars Association

Committee on Decolonial Affairs 

Embrace Publication

Engaging Mental Health in People of Color

Futures Club, Ithaca College

IC Mixed

IC Proud

International Club of Ithaca College 

Ithaca College Physical Therapy Students of Color 

Melanin in Medicine

NaturALL - Ethnic Hair Care Club

PODER: Latinx Student Association

Sister 2 Sister

Student-Athletes of Color

Contact Us

Please email Samantha Elebiary (selebiary@ithaca.edu) or Elyse Nepa (enepa@ithaca.edu) if you have any questions.