The University of Iowa allowed its students to host a conference on ‘white privilege’ in order to allow students a safe space to discuss ‘whiteness and its privileges with other white people’.
“This can be the first step to reducing tokenism and increasing responsibility among allies to eliminate racism,” a Facebook event page stated about the event.
The flyer advertising the event said,“white Identity is often left out of the ‘diversity’ conversation but is a crucial part of people and allyship,” and that, “creating a space where White-identified folks can discuss this, teach and learn from each other can address different challenges in eliminating racism.”
The event consisted of three sessions across the last week of March and was open to University of Iowa students, faculty, and community members.
A flyer for the event featured a quote from anti-racism activist Emily Chiariello: “It’s impossible to see the privilege and dominance associated with white racial identity without acknowledging that whiteness is a racial identity.
The event was sponsored by the University of Iowa’s Chief Diversity Office, which claimed that it would serve the purpose of allowing “white-identified people to discuss Whiteness and its privileges with other White people.”
“Too often when we discuss racial inequity we exclude the conversation about white identity. We are all part of the solution, and this opportunity to discuss the role of whiteness in racial justice is an important one,” the event’s Facebook description reads.