The University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW) held a special healing session Monday for students to cope with recent racially-tinged events like the Dallas shooting and the deaths of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Ironically, these sessions were segregated by race.
“Today the Multicultural Student Center will hold open space for people to gather in community to process this past week’s events,” a Monday announcement on an official UW Facebook page said. “This is an opportunity to discuss, reflect, and support one another.”
But the opportunity to come together came with a notable quirk: Students in the community were split up by race. (RELATED: University Segregates Female Physics Students For Their Own Good, Lawsuit Claims)
“All are welcome and there will be affinity spaces for people of color and for white people,” the announcement said. The center held two distinct sets of “processing” meet-ups. First, two “processing circles,” one for white staff and another for non-white staff, were held in the morning, followed by racially separated “processing meet-ups” for students in the evening. No options were given for those who wish to have an unsegregated meeting.
The segregated meetings followed a weekend in which Madison, like many other cities, saw a large-scale Black Lives Matter demonstration. UW’s Multicultural Student Center, which is an official school body staffed by state employees, has been overtly supportive of Black Lives Matter and its goals.
A local news station attempted to gain access to one of the segregated meetings, but was blocked from entering by UW representatives. As a result, there’s only speculation as to what happened inside the meetings.
It’s not the first time colleges have deliberated divided students by race. Protesters at the University of Missouri held segregated meetings last fall, while Oregon State held segregated school retreats.
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