Thanksgiving Dinner

William & Mary Offers ‘Thanksgiving Toolkit’ for Sensitive Students

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By Jillian Kay Melchior | 5:57 pm, November 21, 2016

Nervous about talking politics over Thanksgiving dinner? At the College of William and Mary, there’s training for that.

The so-called “Thanksgiving Toolkit,” sponsored by the English Department and held Monday night, offers students strategies to cope with family members with political viewpoints “that make you feel vulnerable and distressed.”

On college campuses, students may be able to avoid critical thinking, debate, or exposure to different political viewpoints altogether.

But the tragic reality is that parents’ homes may not have designated safe spaces, so William and Mary has pulled together a plan for students encountering actual dissent for the first time in their sheltered adult existences.

Many of these coddled youths are apparently wondering: “How do you engage with people you love, yet disagree with? How do you take care of yourself in the meantime?”

Fear not. At tonight’s event, students can learn “strategies for discussing privilege,” as well as “how to show solidarity with those who are made especially vulnerable by the election results, including: undocumented immigrants, people of color, queer and trans people, people with disabilities.”

The faculty hosting this event will also teach students about organizations and resources they can pass on to less enlightened family members.

Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.

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