White Privilege Summit 2011

Augustana College (Rock Island, Illinois)

March 30-31 at Augustana College, Rock Island

White Privilege Summit 2011 is a community event to discuss race, privilege, inequality and the fight for social justice. We need your voice at this important summit. Free and open to the public.

What is white privilege?

Do whites benefit from racial inequality? The idea of white privilege suggests that being white in a racialized society such as ours is actually a position of advantage. If people of color face barriers and discrimination in their daily lives, what is the effect for whites? Are whites unaffected by race, or are they privileged by race? Peggy McIntosh, an anti-racist activist and scholar, describes white privilege:

“I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was ‘meant’ to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools, and blank checks.”

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About the summit

The White Privilege Summit provides an opportunity for critical discussions about diversity, multicultural education and leadership, social justice, race, gender, class, sexual orientation, environment, health, religion and systems of privilege/oppression.

The summit serves as an opportunity to examine and explore difficult issues related to white privilege, white supremacy and oppression. This summit is not about making white people feel guilty. The summit is about critically examining the society in which we live and working to dismantle systems of power, prejudice and inequality.

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Featured speaker Morris Dees: ‘Whose America?’

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In 1994, Morris Dees warned the U.S. attorney general that radical militias were planning domestic terrorist strikes. Six months later, the Oklahoma City Bombing was tied to one such group.

As founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, Dees uses the law in his battle against prejudice and hatred. In the 1980s and 90s, he worked against the KKK and neo-Nazi groups with a series of historic lawsuits. Today, Dees focuses his attention on anti-government militias. In his expose, Gathering Storm: America’s Militia Threat, Dees explains the dangers these groups represent. He is also author of A Lawyer’s Journey, an autobiography, and Hate on Trial: The Case Against America’s Most Dangerous Neo-Nazi. Dees also was the The subject of the television movie Line of Fire and portrayed in the feature film Ghosts of the Mississippi.

His appearance is sponsored by the Office of Student Activities in conjunction with the White Privilege Summit.

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Dr. Tracy Davis: Masculinities (Re)considered: Complicating Privilege to Better Promote Learning and Social Justice with College Men

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Contemporary discourses regarding men and masculinities are stagnated by an overly simplistic view of privilege and oppression, as well as “essentialized” notions of identity. {snip}

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Dr. Marsha Smith and Dr. Araceli Masterson-Algar: “Privilege in a Global Perspective”

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Although prevalent, privilege is not a purely American concept, nor is it a purely white privilege concept within a global perspective. This program is designed to take a different look on privilege as it relates to the world, specifically China and Spain.

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Dr. Nadia Brown: “The Impact of Identity on Legislative Decision Making”

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Dr. Brown’s {snip} talk will explore the complexities of representing race, gender, and class in policy deliberations by investigating how black female officeholders legislate ‘intersectional issues’ that are pertinent to members of marginally disadvantaged subgroups.

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Dr. Lisa Killinger and Dr. Cyrus Zargar: “Muslim Identity and White Privilege”

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This panel will offer a personal glimpse into Muslim-American life in the context of white privilege. A 2006 study suggests that 39 percent of Americans express feeling intolerant toward Muslims; {snip}.

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Valerie S. Garr: “White Privilege: Lessons Learned From Both Sides of the Ocean”

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This interactive session will use a variety of visual mediums to demonstrate how white privilege has presence in both domestic and global arenas. {snip}

Augie Debate

Ben Fischer, Andrew Heidtke, Jamila Washington

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The participants will begin with a discussion of three distinct issues of white privilege related to the immigration system: biometric identification used at entry and exit points at the border; the question of critical race theory with regards to the crafting of immigration law; and the public’s response to immigration reforms in terms of media coverage, public dialogue and the question of nativism. {snip}

We are members of the Augustana Debate Union. {snip} This year’s topic is Resolved: that the United States Federal Government should substantially increase the number of and/or substantially expand beneficiary eligibility for its visas for one or more of the following: employment-based immigrant visas, nonimmigrant temporary worker visas, family-based visas, human trafficking-based visas.

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Featured Session for College Staff (All are Welcome to Attend)

Alfred Ramirez and Greg Aguilar: “Creating a Welcoming & Inclusive Campus Community: What Does It Take?”

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This interactive workshop will provides tools and strategies to develop cultural awareness, cross-generational interaction, inclusive environments and diverse leadership.

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Dr. Kate Parks: “White Privilege and Hurricane Katrina”

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Are so-called natural disasters color-blind? This session will examine how white privilege impacted evacuation and recovery during and after Hurricane Katrina. {snip}

Dr. Robert Elfline: “The Sound of Blackness: Motown, Southern Soul and the Question of Authenticity”

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Can one record be “blacker” than another? If so, what sounds create this difference? Does a “blacker” sound mean a better sound? In the years following the “British Invasion” of 1964, many American record labels were banking on specific answers to these questions in the search for a more authentic popular music. This presentation seeks to identify how race was heard in the mid-60s and how this perception affects the reception of a record label’s entire catalog.

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Khara Coleman Washington and Tionn Fambro: “Justice, Equality and White Privilege”

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This program addresses the effect of white privilege on the opportunities of people of color in the legal profession. It also examines whether or not white privilege has a perceptible or demonstrable effect on the administration of justice.

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Dr. Chris Marme: “Leveling the Playing Field and Historical Lock-ins”

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At the introductory level of economics, one can easily explain the loss to efficiency created by discrimination and therefore argue that discrimination is economically irrational and that a level playing field is best. {snip}

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Dr. Pat Shea, Dr. Michael Schroeder, Dr. Sohyun An: “Poverty, Race, and Privilege”

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The audience will participate in activities that would immerse them into the “hidden class rules” which influence the lives of citizens living in poverty as well as the middle class. Then, they will make the connection between race and poverty, via a full audience activity, which illustrates how people of different races and ethnicities are perceived by others, and the profound influences that these different perceptions have on their lives. The session will end with an exploration of these dual questions: What then IS white privilege? And how can those with “privilege” use it to work for social justice?

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Featured Session–Stone Lecture Series

Dr. Jose Ruben Parra-Cardona: “Learning from Their Voices: Developing Community Based Programs of Research with Underserved Latino Populations”

Latinos in the US, and particularly Latino immigrants, are often times depicted as one of the main sources of problems for the US society and economy. This presentation will briefly review the historical roots of Latino migration into the US, as well as research findings from studies highlighting the life experiences of US and foreign born Latinos in the US. {snip}

Dr. Mark Salisbury: “Diverse Backgrounds, Diverse Experiences: The Case of Study Abroad”

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Study abroad is widely touted as a fundamentally transformative experience for college students. Despite broad efforts to promote and diversify access to study abroad, participation patterns have remained disproportionately white and female. {snip}

Dr. Peter Kivisto, Dr. Molly Todd: “Social Justice for Immigrants”

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This session examines some of the most pressing issues facing immigrants in the U.S. {snip}

Eric Rowell and Dr. Darrin Good: “Careers and the Privileged”

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This program will focus on professional careers that tend to be dominated by whites, particularly white males, as well as on academia as it relates to jobs and tenure positions.

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The Anti-Racism Task Force of the Southeastern Iowa Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America “White Privilege, the Church, and the Onus of Systems and Institutions”

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Racism is more than just individual prejudice. It is prejudice plus the power of systems and institutions to act on that prejudice. {snip}

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Reflection Session 5:15 pm

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Reflective sessions are an opportunity to think about and discuss experiences throughout the summit. Participants will be divided into groups and conversations will be led by student and faculty facilitators.

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[A flyer for the White Privilege Summit can be downloaded as a PDF file here.]

dees

Morris Dees, keynote speaker.

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