[Sayma-Discuss] FW: Information about the 12th Annual White Privilege Conference, April 13-16, 2011, Bloomington Minnesota

Free Polazzo freepolazzo at comcast.net
Mon Feb 21 22:21:29 JEST 2011

Thanks, Liz.    I edited the message you sent and forwarded it to my non Quaker friends so they would also know of this event.    Do they have a facebook page link?    Free



Hi,   Got this in the mail and thought you might know people who’d want to take advantage of this conference.     Pass it on.   

2011 White Privilege Conference

Date: Apr 13, 2011 - Apr 16, 2011

Location: Bloomington, MN




Conference Registration



All-day institutes



Shabbat dinner




Here are some highlights of the WPC: 

         Daily plenary sessions and keynote speakers

         Workshop sessions each day

         Caucuses to debrief: White caucus; People of Color caucus; GLBTQ caucus

         Films followed by discussion

         Pre-conference all-day institutes and all-day institutes on the final day of the conference

         Merchandise and books for sale, include steep discounts on DVDs

FAQs about the White Privilege Conference

1.  When and where is the WPC?  How do I get more information? 
This year's White Privilege Conference (WPC12) will be held near Minneapolis, in Bloomington, Minnesota.  The regular conference is April 14-16, 2011 with some pre-conference institutes held the day before, on April 13. 

2.  How is the WPC different from other workshops about anti-racism work? 
This conference looks at the flip side of racism:  the unearned privilege that comes from being White and of being of European descent.  The WPC is one of the few places where White people concerned about racism can look at dismantling and demystifying White privilege by learning from other White people.  As author Peggy McIntosh says, "Describing white privilege makes one newly accountable."  People of color who also participate are there to support us in our work, to be witnesses and allies, and to learn about and undo their own internalized racism.    

3.  Is this a conference for White supremacists? 
No.  Instead, the WPC actively engages White people and people of color who wish to dismantle a system that historically has given unfair advantage to people whose skin is white.  The WPC also helps people of European descent address internalized privilege and internalized superiority. 

4.  What does "White privilege" mean? 
White privilege has been defined as a system of unfair advantage based on the color of a person's skin.  It is "unearned power conferred systemically" (cf. Peggy McIntosh's Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack).  It is the "web of institutional and cultural preferential treatment" that exempt White people or people of European descent from racial oppression (cf.  <http://www.cwsworkshop.org/pdfs/WIWP2/1WIWP.PDF> "What Is White Privilege?" pdf from cwsworkshop.org)

5.  I get uncomfortable talking about this stuff.  Why should I put myself through it? 
Many White people get uncomfortable when talking about White privilege or racism.  Being uncomfortable might indicate a readiness to learn more so that we begin to see and understand the invisible forces, systems, and mechanisms that have silently taught us to be uncomfortable, to not talk about certain topics. To face our discomfort and put ourselves in uncomfortable conversations about racism and privilege can be the beginning of dismantling oppressive systems--systems that give some people advantages and other people disadvantages based on skin color. 

6.  Is the conference going to make me feel guilty or ashamed of being White? 
Everyone reacts differently to the conference.  For those Quakers who attended as a group in 2010, we learned how to view the systems in play that silently train White people and people of color to feel guilty, ashamed, or afraid.  Many of us left the 2010 conference feeling empowered and better equipped to be allies in our own communities and to speak up in our families where unearned privilege plays out.  There are opportunities throughout the conference to ask about what to do when guilt or shame creeps in. 

7.  I'm a person of color.  Can people of color attend the conference? 
Yes!  People of color are welcome to participate in the conference.  There are opportunities for people of color to gather in their own caucus to debrief; many presenters are people of color.  Attenders who are people of color are integrated fully into the workshops and discussions.  In 2010, there were more than 125 people of color, including Native Americans, Asian Americans, and African Americans. 

8.  I feel clueless about White privilege.  Should I go to the conference anyway? 
If you are curious and feeling open to learn, yes, consider coming to the conference.  In the past, workshops were all identified as being beginning, intermediate, or advanced.  But you don't have to participate only in one "track."  Descriptions of workshops and institutes will be forthcoming. 

9.  Won't people of color be tokenized?  How are they integrated into the conference? 
There's always a chance of anyone being tokenized or marginalized.  But those of us who attended the 2010 conference experienced people of color as full participants.  They asked questions, challenged other participants, led workshops, delivered keynote addresses, showed films, led discussions, and supported their fellow White conference participants.  The founder of the conference, Eddie Moore, is an African American male, and he has openly talked about the importance of continuing to draw on his experience and leadership as an African American man. 


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