social justice

Group aims to tackle ‘what it means to have whiteness’ and how to be ‘part of the solution’

Stonehill College has launched a campus group for white students to discuss “what it means to have whiteness” – and what they can do to help offset the perceived injustices caused by their skin color.

“Exploring Whiteness” was introduced at the private, Massachusetts-based Catholic college this fall, and will delve into how “identity and privilege intersect,” an online description of the club states.

“White students want a place to explore what it means to be white,” Liza Talusan, the director of the Office of Intercultural Affairs, told The College Fix in a telephone interview. “Forever, you’ve grown up being told not to talk about it — that diversity is for brown people —they’re so scarred from being told for so long that they can’t talk about it.”

Common themes expected to be explored include “what it means to have whiteness, what is white as a cultural experience, systemic and institutional privileges that are associated with whiteness, and the ways in which white allies can interrupt the cycle of racism in our society,” a description of the group states.

The dialogue group will meet weekly, led by a couple of student facilitators, and discuss personal experiences related to diversity and how they can correct related social injustices. The group will not be focused on political or related topics.

“We don’t want them to feel like they have to have a position on political topics and risk being criticized,” Talusan said. “They’ll be given one assignment a week that just has to do with noticing. Like spending a week looking at who is in positions of power and who is cleaning up after the show. The goal for any of these groups is for people to be more aware of what’s around them.”

As the name and description suggest, only “those identifying as white” will be allowed to participate in the discussion group.

“All of our groups are self-identified, so if they self-identify as white, of course they’ll be welcome, but if they can’t articulate a connection, we’ll tell them no,” Talusan said. “It needs to feel like a safe space where people won’t judge them.”

She said the group is deliberately titled to ensure it’s not misrepresented as a “white power group,” and an online description explains the group is for “students from European heritage backgrounds who come together to discuss issues of diversity and their desire to engage in inclusion work.”

Stonehill led a pilot version of the group last year in which 10 to 12 students participated. Talusan said bigger numbers are expected for this year due to the interest shown from almost 30 students at the college’s recent activities fair.

The group held its first meeting on Sept. 8, at which four students attended in addition to the student facilitators, she said.

Talusan said she believes the group benefits the college community and hopes other colleges follow suit in establishing similar groups.

“My entire philosophy is that one type of person can’t solve the world’s problems, we have to work together,” she said. “When we run programs that exclude identities, we’re not making a lot of progress. Instead, we’re just paddling a boat with one oar.”

“We’re proud that after all of this, white students are saying ‘No, I want to be part of the solution,’” she added. “To move forward, we have to make sure all of our oars are in the water.”

“Exploring Whiteness” joins the already established cultural and diversity groups on campus, of which there are many, including clubs for Black and Asian students, and several to support the LGBTQ campus community.

The school also offers the: Campus Conversations on Diversity Series; DiverCity Festival; Diversity on Campus (D.O.C.); Diversity Networking Group; Diversity and Inclusion Networking Event (D.I.N.E.); Diversity Committee of Student Government Association; Faculty and Staff of Color Group; Intercultural Experience Program (IEP); Raising Awareness of our Cultural Experiences (R.A.C.E.) discussion group; and Stonehill Alumni of Color Group.

College Fix reporter Macaela Bennett is a student at Hillsdale College.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: PennStateNews/Flickr


Ask 100 people to define social justice, and you’ll get 100 different answers.

Yet this vague expression that means various things to various people has been unfurled at campuses across America as the banner under which social-progressive causes are successfully funded and pushed.

Take the Center for Social Justice at the University of Oklahoma, an initiative of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program. One of the center’s biggest projects right now is to push for “reproductive rights” in a “red state.” In other words, their definition of social justice is to make it easier for women to abort unborn children in a Republican-dominated region.

At Brandeis University, their idea of social justice is “racial justice,” and it sent a team of students to the Deep South to unearth more examples of racism from America’s past.

Rutgers University links social justice with gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer rights through its Center for Social Justice Education and LGBT Communities. Its main project is to train members how to defend the rights of homosexuals.

Social justice is also combined with judicial activism, as the University of Cincinnati’s school of law teaches students how to defend perceived injustices against feminism, gender, race and income in the courts.

At San Diego State University, Students for Justice in Palestine have labeled their effort to stop the campus from doing business with Israeli companies a “social justice” campaign.

When the Catholic Loyola University Chicago passed a resolution titled “The Undocumented Student Act” that called for administrators to “support the presence and integration of” and provide financial aid and scholarships to students in the country illegally – it was done so under the banner of social justice.

Diversity, feminism, gay rights, Palestinian angst, differences in income, immigration reform – any left-leaning fan favorite that needs more “empowerment” through “social change agents” is what social justice amounts to at college campuses today.

Loyola this month released a video montage of students defining social justice in their own way, a video which purports to suggest that social justice is ultimately “love.” In reality, social justice pushes a liberal agenda on campuses under the guise of “love.” 

Jennifer Kabbany is editor of The College Fix ( Follow Jenn on Twitter @JenniferKabbany )

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: YouTube screenshot

{ 1 comment }

Following last week’s “#FelonCrushFriday” which sprung up due to the story of one (handsome) Jeremy Meeks, Harvard’s Eva Shang, the director of the Women and Men’s Empowerment and Prison Education Program at the University’s House of Public Service (there’s a mouthful), says that Meeks is no more worthy of our sympathy than other criminals. She also holds society culpable for the US’s high incarceration rate. USA Today reports:

Call me a naïve 18-year-old, but I believe that Meeks isn’t the exception. He is not the only incarcerated person worthy of our compassion.

As a volunteer, I’ve seen firsthand how affable, kind and just human people entangled with the criminal justice system can be. Walter, one of the men I worked with, cried all of one Tuesday morning because his wife of nine years was in the hospital, and he wasn’t sure if she would make it through. Like Meeks, he had children and a family and an immense capacity to feel — just like each one of us.

The American criminal justice system currently imprisons around 2.4 million people, including 71,000 juveniles. This doesn’t mean that we are responsible for 25% of the world’s evil, but rather than we’ve failed to give 2.4 million people a fair opportunity to succeed and then, once they’ve committed a crime, shoved them into a hostile criminal justice system that further alienates them from the rest of society.

Shang continues, noting that “broader society” has “cheated” many out of “the same opportunities for success,” and that “there is no fundamental distinction between ‘good people’ and ‘bad people.’”

Read the full article here.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: sideonecincy/Flickr


A group at the University of Minnesota which dubs itself “Whose Diversity” is demanding that the college “admit it is a product of the evil actions of colonial Americans,” and as such must implement numerous remedies. Some of these … reparations include gender-neutral lavatories in every campus building, and a “faith-neutral ‘meditation and healing’ room on every campus.” Campus Reform reports:

The list of changes gives the school two years to have at least two “faculty members of color” in every single department who are “engaging in critical race and ethnic studies scholarship with a social justice emphasis.” It also demands that students with “historically marginalized backgrounds” have the opportunity to be involved in hiring these faculty.

Further demands include hiring more “medical providers of historically marginalized identities whose work is rooted in social justice” and increasing the number of “non-white” students to meet very specific proportions.

In terms of “restructuring curriculum,” the group orders the school to force every student to take at least one course on “gender non-conforming issues,” and offer “substantially more” courses on “marginalized peoples.”

In case those courses are not enough to constantly remind students about the plight of “marginalized communities,” the list also demands that the school erect a display of historical documents and photographs chronicling their activism to be placed in a “centrally located space” on campus.

“Whose Diversity” thus far has the support of over 700 students, profs, alumni, and other university faculty. But it does not want to become an officially sanctioned university group because that would make it “complicit in reproducing a homogenized notion of diversity.” Or something.

Read the full article here.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

IMAGE: Chris GoldNY/Flickr

{ 1 comment }

Columbia’s School of Continuing Education offers a Master of Science in the noted field of study, stating “The care of the sick unfolds in stories.” From the school’s website:

The Narrative Medicine master’s program seeks to strengthen the overarching goals of medicine, public health, and social justice, as well as the intimate, interpersonal experiences of the clinical encounter. The program fulfills these objectives by educating a leadership corps of health professionals and scholars from the humanities and social sciences who will imbue patient care and professional education with the skills and values of narrative understanding.

Health care and the illness experience are marked by uneasy and costly divides: between those in need who can access care and those who cannot, between health care professionals and patients, and between and among health care professionals themselves. Narrative medicine is an interdisciplinary field that challenges those divisions and seeks to bridge those divides. It addresses the need of patients and caregivers to voice their experience, to be heard and to be valued, and it acknowledges the power of narrative to change the way care is given and received.

The study of narrative medicine is profoundly multidisciplinary. The curriculum for the master’s program in Narrative Medicine includes core courses in narrative understanding, the illness experience, the tools of close reading and writing; focused courses on narrative in fields like genetics, social justice advocacy, and palliative care; electives in a discipline of the student’s choosing; and field work.

The description for the course titled “Narrative, Health, and Social Justice” is … interesting, to say the least.

Read more here.

h/t to Instapundit.

Like The College Fix on Facebook / Follow us on Twitter

{ 1 comment }

Conservative female investigative reporters Katie Pavlich and Ann McElhinney are unimpressive nonacademics whose speaking honorariums are too high and credentials too unremarkable to pay to have them give talks at University of North Carolina Chapel Hill this fall, members of the school’s student government have agreed.

Despite pleas from College Republicans to finance the speeches, which would have cost about $8,000 from UNC’s student programming coffer of $124,000, a majority of student government members voted Tuesday night against funding the campus visits, with several members voicing concerns that Pavlich and McElhinney aren’t worth the price.

On the same night, UNC student government representatives tapped the anarchist group “UNControllables” to receive $4,000 to fly in a social justice crusader/academic from South America to speak on campus, and the feminists group Siren Womyn Empowerment Magazine was allocated $5,100.

Pavlich is news editor for the popular conservative website, as well as the award-winning author of the New York Times bestseller “Fast and Furious: Barack Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up.” As a reporter, she broke the so-called fast and furious scandal, and has also covered the White House, the 2012 presidential election, and Second Amendment and border issues.

McElhinney, co-producer of the feature documentary “FrackNation,” is well-known as a debunker of extreme environmentalist claims. As a filmmaker and investigative journalist, she has produced documentaries for BBC and written for various newspapers covering countries including Indonesia, Romania, Vietnam, Cambodia, Uganda, Madagascar and Uzbekistan. She has appeared on an array of international media organizations including ABC, BBC, CBC (Canada), ABC (Australia), RTE (Ireland) and Fox News, and is a regular guest on talk radio shows and at conferences across America.

Several UNC Chapel Hill student government representatives, however, dismissed the women as lackluster, and said they would serve no educational purpose by visiting the campus and talking to students.

“My concern why I supported removing this is that the educational value – her work has been called  … ‘unreliable as a Wikipedia page,’” ​ vice-chairman of the student congress finance committee Austin Root said regarding McElhinney, citing a two-paragraph review of “FrackNation” in the New York Daily News.

Another member of the finance committee, student Rep. Harrison Touby, took a shot at the women by saying “we’re talking about $5,000 for a lady who made a movie, and $3,000 for a contributor to Fox News. That is a lot of money for two non-academic speakers to come to an academic university to speak.”

“It has nothing to do with political party,” he added. “I couldn’t support even spending $3,000 on a contributor to any news organization; you can get professors, political campaign runners, politicians – you can get them for much less than $3,000. … We’re cutting what we believe to be the cost of a speaker that may not actually be beneficial to the university.”

The amount of their speaking fees and the validity of their biographies became the recurring theme during the contentious meeting, with phrases such as “non-intellectual,” “no value,” and “costs too much” often tossed around.

But at least one student government representative on the finance committee, Chairwoman Brittany Best, defended the conservative female investigative reporters, telling her peers their fees don’t seem exorbitant, adding: “I think we need to caution ourselves … These are well-known speakers in the conservative community and I don’t think this is a large amount to pay for speakers that would bring a lot of interest.”

Best suggested paying for both speakers wouldn’t bankrupt the student congress budget, that after doling out cash to plenty of campus groups already they still had about $90,000 left in the bank.

College Republicans leaders also pitched intellectual diversity to student campus leaders as they pleaded their case.

“What we set out to do is promote intellectual diversity and bring more opinions to this discussion,” said 21-year-old junior Peter McClelland, president of the College Republicans at UNC Chapel Hill.

He went on to cite the university’s student code, which calls on campus leaders to promote a diversity of ideas and opinions with its student-fee-bankrolled budget. The student congress oversees how student government fees collected annually – $39 from each of the university’s 29,000 students – are used.

McClelland, a member of the student Congress who abstained from voting on the issue, said he believes well over 100 students of all stripes would attend each speech – not just College Republicans.

“We are one of the few groups that promotes this opinion, and getting every side is what liberal arts is about,” McClelland said.

In the end, the student Congress voted 21 to 1, with three abstentions, to allocate only $3,000 to College Republicans, $5,000 less than what the group sought. Now College Republicans are scrambling to determine how to continue with their plans to bring in the two guest speakers.

Fix contributor Ben Smith is a student at UNC Chapel Hill.

CLICK HERE to Like The College Fix on Facebook / TWITTER @CollegeFix

IMAGE: Internet screenshots