Whites Challenging Racism Syllabus


 Week 1: Historical Understanding  Readings:

  • Understanding Racism: An Historical Introduction by Sharon Martinas, a white anti-racist organizer with the Challenging White Supremacy Workshop.
  • What is White Supremacy? by Elizabeth Martnez who has taught Ethnic Studies and Women's Studies in the California State University system part-time since 1989 and lectures around the country. She is the author of six books, including two on Chicano/a history.  She has been an anti-racist activist since 1960.  Her best-known work is the bilingual book 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures, used by teachers, community groups, and youth since 1976.
  • Optional, supplemental: the first two chapters of Howard Zinn's A People's History of the United States.

Discussion on defining terms such as racism and white supremacy

Week 2: Privilege, Barriers & Fears  Readings on white privilege and barriers to anti-racist organizing

Week 3: Continuing to Implicate Ourselves

  • Ch 1, The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics by G Lipsitz
  • The Meritocracy Myth: A Dollars & Sense interview with Lani Guinier

Week 4: Intersections between racism, classism, colonialism, and patriarchy

Week 5: Family histories

  • Sharing & discussing our family histories
  • The Color of Supremacy: Beyond the discourse of "white privilege" by Zeus Leonardo, Educational Philosophy and Theory, 36(2), 137-152 (2004).

Week 6:  Backlash & Cultural Appropriation

Week 7: Experiencing and Responding to Racism

  • "La Guera," by Cherrie Moraga in This Bridge Called My Back (1979).
  • "Killing Rage," Killing Rage: Ending Racism by bell hooks (1995).
  • "Where Are You From?" by Geeta Kothari in Under Western Eyes: Personal Essays from Asian
  •  America (1995).
  • Optional, supplemental: "The Uses of Anger: Women Responding to Racism," Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde (1984).

Week 8: Gentrification, Casinos & More

Week 9: Prison Industrial Complex

Guest speaker: Dr. Barbara Johnson, Associate Dean and Director of Diversity Initiatives at Carlow University speaks on racism in Pittsburgh

Week 10: Being an effective anti-racist ally


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