2007/08 Study Group – Whites Challenging Racism

Whites Challenging Racism Syllabus-2007

This study group was organized by Noah Lewis, Say Burgin and one other person whose name I TOTALLy and shamefully forget. Thank you all for your sharing of resources and leading these 2 years of groups. While some of the links may be hollow you can search the web for the article if you are really interested.

Week 1: Historical Understanding

  • Understanding Racism: An Historical Introduction by Sharon Martinas, a white anti-racist organizer with the Challenging White Supremacy Workshop.
  • What is White Supremacy? by Elizabeth Martínez who has taught Ethnic Studies and Women’s Studies in the California State
    University system part-time since 1989 and lectures around the country. She is the author of six books, including two on Chicano/a history.  She has been an anti-racist activist since 1960.  Her best-known work is the bilingual book 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, used by teachers, community groups, and youth since 1976.
  • Optional, supplemental: the first two chapters of Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States.

Discussion on defining terms such as racism and white supremacy

Week 2: Privilege, Barriers & Fears
Readings on white privilege and barriers to anti-racist organizing

Week 3: Continuing to Implicate Ourselves

  • Chapter 1, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics by George Lipsitz
  • The Meritocracy Myth: A Dollars & Sense interview with Lani Guinier

Week 4: Intersections between racism, classism, colonialism, and patriarchy

Week 5: Family histories

  • Sharing & discussing our family histories
  • The Color of Supremacy: Beyond the discourse of “white privilege” by Zeus Leonardo, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 36(2), 137-152 (2004).

Week 6:  Backlash & Cultural Appropriation

Week 7: Experiencing and Responding to Racism

  • La Guera,” by Cherrie Moraga in This Bridge Called My Back (1979).
  • “Killing Rage,” Killing Rage: Ending Racism by bell hooks (1995).
  • “Where Are You From?” by Geeta Kothari in Under Western Eyes: Personal Essays from Asian America (1995).
  • Optional, supplemental: “The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism,” Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde (1984).

Week 8: Gentrification, Casinos & More

Week 9: Prison Industrial Complex

Guest speaker: Dr. Barbara Johnson, Associate Dean and Director of Diversity Initiatives at Carlow University speaks on racism in Pittsburgh

Week 10: Being an effective anti-racist ally

Spring 2008- While many articles are same, some topics are different:

Week 1 (Feb 21): Making Whiteness Visible

Week 2 (Feb 28): White Privilege | Experiencing & Responding to Racism

Week 3 (Mar 6):  Intersectionality | The Racial Wealth Divide

  • “Sexual Violence as a Tool of Genocide,” Conquest: Sexual Violence and American Indian Genocide by Andrea Smith (2005).
  • Selections from The Color of Wealth: The Story Behind the U.S. Racial Wealth Divide by Meizhu Lui, et al. (2006).
  • The Meritocracy Myth: A Dollars & Sense interview with Lani Guinier
  • Begin to prepare your family story: Tips on preparing your family story

Week 4 (Mar 13): White Identity Development

Week 5 (March 20): White Identity Development Continued

Week 6 (Mar 27): The System of White Supremacy

Week 7 (Apr 3):  Case Study: Anti-Arab Racism

Week 8 (April 10): Racism in Social Justice Movements

Week 9 (April 17):  Prison Industrial Complex | Public Transportation Inequity

Week 10 (April 24): Gentrification | Engaging in anti-racist work

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