New York University has launched a discussion group called “White Administrators Talk Race” in the hopes that white administrators will realize how biased they are and stop oppressing people with their privilege.
During meetings, attendees discuss “the reality of white privilege;” “biases, prejudice, and stereotypes;” and ways to “stand in solidarity against systems of oppression,” according to the official description on the college website.
The Center for Multicultural Education began hosting the group this semester. Some people, like Goddard Residential College director Justin Lerner, think it’s great:
“In light of the recent Ferguson decision, I think it’s even more imperative for white administrators to understand their own power and privilege and how they can use that privilege to be good allies to people of color and to effect positive change,” he said, according to an article in Washington Square News, the official student newspaper.
But others pointed out that a group centered around white people talking to other white people might not be the best way for them to understand the struggles of non-white people.
“By operating under a title that only mentions white administrators, individuals of color may feel discouraged from participating,” the Square News editorial board writes.
But despite the fact that they literally named the group “White Administrators Talk Race,” Center for Multicultural Education director Selima Jumarali insisted that the center was “very careful . . . about not marketing it as a group that is just for white administrators.”
CME also hosts a student version of the discussion group, called “Unpacking White Privilege,” every other Wednesday.
— Katherine Timpf is a reporter at National Review Online.