When Kennesaw State University held an event last week on privilege and interracial relations, it asked “those who identify as white” to go to one room and “those who identify as people of color” to go to another.
“The goal of the workshop, which was led by an outside expert, was to foster learning and create an environment of understanding and support for one another,” said Kennesaw State University spokeswoman Tammy DeMel. “Attendees were asked to work together and then were invited to join the group with which they identify.”
The April 13 event “is being mischaracterized” as segregation, DeMel added.
The event, a workshop called “Being, Becoming and Fostering Allies: Building Relationships Across Privilege,” was taught by two psychology professors and one grad student from the University of Massachusetts, as well as a Kennesaw State University professor.
In it, students learned about becoming an ally for less privileged people, as well as “the essential roles of self-reflection, cultural humility, and re-engagement after failures.”
Kennesaw State University is the latest to grapple with the implications of separating students by race. In the last academic year, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University of Michigan, and Concordia University all found themselves facing accusations of segregation after they held events divided by race or focused on one particular racial group.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.