Beyond Diversity: Challenging Racism in an Age of Backlash by Tim Wise
Thursday, January 31 at 12 pm in the Grand River Room, Kirkhof Center
*LIB 100 and 201 approved!
Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the United States. In this program he will critique “diversity” efforts on campuses and in corporate America. Unlike conservative criticisms, which claim diversity and multiculturalism have gone too far, this presentation focuses on how most “tolerance” training amounts to little more than a feel-good approach which fails to address the fundamental structures of racism and inequality. Since it is these institutional realities that cause a lack of “diversity” in the first place, failure to discuss strategies for changing the current distribution of power will doom diversity efforts to failure. Focusing on personal prejudice rather than institutional bias is shown to be inadequate for building an anti-racist movement. The negative impact on all Americans that results from failing to address structural racism is discussed in detail.
Learn more about Tim Wise by visiting his website.
Coming in February 2014: Kenji Yoshino
Covering: The Hidden Assault on our Civil Rights by Kenji Yoshino
"In a culture where racial minorities are pressed to "act white", women are told to "play like men", and gays are dissuaded from engaging in public displays of affection, it is difficult to believe that we are as "diverse" as we'd like to think. Drawing on his experience as a gay Asian American, Kenji Yoshino examines the prejudices embedded in both American life and in Civil Rights legislation-- prejudices that hinder our ability to be our authentic selves. Key to his talk is the phenomenon of "covering," where people downplay stigmatized traits in order to blend into the mainstream. Moving past conventional discussions of identity politics, Yoshino explains the dangers of a society that claims to support racial, gender, orientation, religious, and physical differences but still routinely denies equal treatment of these people when they refuse to downplay their differences. With a hopeful vision of the future, Yoshino, one of our best legal minds, proves how the ubiquity of "covering" provides an opportunity to redefine civil rights and lift this legislation into a higher, more universal register."
Page last modified January 14, 2013