In Christianity, accountability is a common concept. But one faith-based school is employing it in a curious way.
For Fall 2022, Roman Catholic college Dominican University is giving justice a jolt. An official sign-up form allegedly announces the institution’s “White Accountability Groups,” also known as “W.A.G.”
Campus Reform says it’s obtained an email sent by the administration.
The university will hold six separate sessions, “[o]pen to students, faculty, & staff who identify as white and/or have white skin privilege,” the email explains.
The email shares that the group will “explore how to recognize whiteness and white privilege, identify and interrupt internalized dominance, and collectively develop strategies for liberation and change.”
The email was sent by Amy Omi, the school’s Project Coordinator for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Some wishing to whack away at their whiteness will have to wait. Per the registration page:
We are at capacity. Please reach out…with any questions or to learn more about the groups that will be offered next spring, 2023.
Whiteness has been deemed detrimental, and education is feverishly fighting the infection. Last October, I reported on nearly 50 social-justice “racial healing” centers across American college campuses. In April of 2021, Tulane University hosted segregated “racial healing spaces.” From my coverage at the time:
While the African space was called “Black People Finding Healing Spaces During Ongoing Anti-Black Racism,” the Caucasian one was labeled “White People Examining Anti-Black Racism.”
The white space’s description:
This space is intended to support white students, faculty and staff to process the verdict in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin and how anti-Blackness manifests in our daily lives, our work and our responses to high profile police murders of Black people. We hope to create a space for honesty, vulnerability and collective accountability. We hope to create a space to feel and connect with our emotions, but also to listen deeply and respond to the ongoing call for white people to step up and interrupt our collective legacy of violence, now in this moment and moving forward. We will look at how anti-Blackness shows up in our ambivalence to state violence, our tendency to play into the “white savior complex”, ways we consciously and unconsciously sabotage Black leadership, and the ways we uphold white supremacy when we prioritize white comfort, “order,” and allegiance to the status quo.
We recognize that for far too long, schooling, as an institution, has promoted values that function as overt and covert forms of anti-Blackness, racism, antisemitism, paternalism, misogyny, and white supremacy. We assert our disgust with the historical murder of the Black community, and continued violence at the hands of police. We, in the Department of Educational Leadership and Policies at the University of South Carolina, reaffirm our commitment to undoing this harm, in our leadership mission to uphold the values of anti-racism, equity, and social justice.
Back to Dominican University, Campus Reform spoke to one student who’s thankful for the Caucasian accountability:
“What Dominican is doing is amazing, educating others who might’ve not grown up with a community who would educate them on their privilege could be really helpful for them,” [freshman Reyna Valencia explained].
She continued, saying that “[a]t first the name seemed off to me but I think having to reflect on the fact that white people do in fact have to take accountability to take action in educating themselves in the system is at the end of the day, what the group is about.”
Just a relative short bit ago, racial unity was all the rage. Are “healing” spaces and accountability groups aimed at that goal? Either way, we’ll surely never reach it so long as we’re divided by color.
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