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

REUTERS/Misty McElroy

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

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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