University of Michigan Teaches Staff How to Overcome ‘Discomfort’ of Whiteness

University of Michigan Teaches Staff How to Overcome ‘Discomfort’ of Whiteness

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byTom Ciccotta19 Dec 20170

Employees at the University of Michigan were offered a training session earlier this month to help them cope with their “whiteness.”

The training session, which was called, “Conversations on Whiteness,” was held on December 5 as a part of a two-day conference on professional development and was designed to help faculty “recognize the difficulties they face when talking about social justice issues related to their White identity, explore this discomfort, and devise ways to work through it.”

The event’s description, which comes directly from the university’s website, claimed that faculty would learn how to better approach discussions on race. The event was led by three full-time University of Michigan staffers.

Do you feel uncomfortable as a White person engaging with students or colleagues about social justice issues? Do you want to help students and staff as they work through the difficulty of campus climate issues related to race, but don’t know how? Using the Privileged Identity Exploration Model (PIE), participants will have the opportunity to recognize the difficulties they face when talking about social justice issues related to their White identity, explore this discomfort, and devise ways to work through it. Please join us for this session, as we spend time unpacking Whiteness and how to contribute to the work of supporting students and staff related to identity and social justice.

The Privileged Identity Exploration Model was devised by University of Iowa professor Sherry Watt and analyzes the ways in which individuals react to being told that they hold certain privileges.

University officials refused to respond to a request for comment from The College Fix on the grounds that the event was only meant for members of the University of Michigan community.


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