Oregon State University will hold four racially-exclusive “Social Justice Retreats” focusing on “white privilege,” “microaggressions,” and “institutional racism” in the first month of 2016 alone.
During the weekend of January 8-10, the university will have two retreats — one specifically for white students, “Examining White Identity in a Multicultural World,” and “Racial Aikido,” which is specifically for non-white students.
According to the university website, the white students’ retreat will focus on “white privilege,” while the retreat for non-white students will seek to “empower students of color.”
The university will hold another retreat on January 30th titled “Multiracial Aikido”– just for multiracial students. The university website invites multiracial OSU students to attend and gain “a better understanding of your multiracial identities.”
The university will hold an additional “Examining White Identity in a Multicultural World” retreat specifically for white faculty and staff members on January 8th and 9th.
The university does not appear to offer any social justice retreats specifically for non-white faculty and staff. In order to register for any of the retreats, potential attendees are required to disclose their “racial identity,” sexual orientation, preferred gender pronouns, and whether or not they “identify with a religious or spiritual practice.”
The university website showcases two promotional videos for the “Examining White Identity” and “Racial Aikido” retreats.
The video promoting the retreat for white students featured several OSU students and administrative staff members–all of whom are white–praising the “vulnerability” and “difficult conversations” that future participants will experience at the retreat.
Later in the video, Rachael Weber, an assistant director in OSU’s Division of International Programs, claims that the social justice retreats are just as important as the university’s core curriculum — which already requires students to take at least one course in “Difference, Power and Discrimination”.
Weber goes on to express her desire to require all incoming OSU students to attend the retreats, saying it would be “an amazing gift to the university and to the world.”
The video promoting “Racial Aikido” also features a handful of students and staff members–all minorities–discussing the retreat and praising its focus on “microaggressions.”
One student in the video said that the retreat provides students of color with “a set of tools to deal with overt or subtle microaggressions that you experience as a marginalized student.”
According to the university website, minority enrollments at the university have more than doubled in the last ten years.
The Daily Caller reached out to Brandi Douglas, OSU’s coordinator of diversity initiatives and programs who was listed as the contact person for the retreats. Douglas did not reply to TheDC’s request for comment in time for publication.