Education

Public University To Hold ‘Inclusive’ Workshop On ‘White Tears’

The University of Cincinnati is sponsoring a workshop on “white fragility” and “white tears” this semester.

University of Cincinnati fans cheer as the team runs out onto the field just before their NCAA Sugar Bowl football game in New Orleans, Louisiana January 1, 2010. REUTERS/Misty McElroy (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL) - RTR28H7R   University of Cincinnati fans cheer as the team runs out onto the field just before their NCAA Sugar Bowl football game in New Orleans, Louisiana January 1, 2010. REUTERS/Misty McElroy (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT FOOTBALL) - RTR28H7R   

The workshop, entitled “White Fragility, White Tears, and White Allies: Learning to manage emotion in difficult conversations about race and racism,” is one of 21 “inclusive excellence workshops” sponsored by the university throughout the year. The one-and-a-half hour workshop will take place April 3rd and will be lead by Ainsley Lambert, a PhD student who teaches in the university’s sociology department.

The university website doesn’t elaborate on the workshop’s content and the university did not return a request for comment by press time.

“White fragility,” as defined by a paper in the International Journal of Critical Pedagogy, “is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium.” A definition of “white tears” is not readily available. (RELATED: Seattle City Gov Sponsoring ‘White Fragility’ Workshops)

Other workshops held throughout the semester at the university address topics including: “Microaggressions and Unconscious Bias in the Classroom and Beyond,” “Starting Your Own Village: Engaging with Diverse Student Groups” and “Building a Diverse Network: Strategies for Building a More Diverse Network.” The workshops are sponsored by the university’s Office of Equity & Inclusion.

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