Seminar to focus on ‘white United States-ian culture’
The June 25 seminar, sponsored by the school’s Institute for Ethical Leadership, will be led by Bonnie Cushing, an “Antiracist Organizer and Educator” from the New York-based Center for Racial Justice in Education.
Attendees will learn to understand “white United States-ian culture” and its beliefs and values, according to the university’s website. They will also be taught to recognize “characteristics of white United States-ian culture in organizations” and “learn antidotes to dismantling white organizational culture.”
In an e-mailed statement to The College Fix, Rutgers Business School Executive Director of Communications & Marketing Daniel Stoll said the program is part of a workshop series the Institute for Ethical Leadership holds annually for executives of community non-profit groups.
“It is not intended for students,” Stoll said.
The Rutgers event webpage uses a picture of what appears to be mounds of white salt or sugar to help advertise the seminar.
According to her official biography, Cushing has spent five years serving as vice president of the board of the Center for the Study of White American Culture, “where she also develops curriculum and co-facilitates workshops on issues of white culture, white privilege and white identity.”
Cushing is currently editing a book about “the quest for a spiritualized racial justice practice.”
The Center for the Study of White American Culture is an organization founded 24 years ago by a multiracial couple whose goal was to “build an equitable society in the United States by decentering white culture and centering an anti-racist multiracial culture free of white supremacy.”
“When we started out, people laughed and poked fun at us, even folks who called themselves liberals, progressives, and said they were working for social justice,” say founders Charley Flint and Jeff Hitchcock, adding, “Now many people understand what the racialization of white people has meant, and the impact it has.”
Attendees to the Rutgers seminar are asked only “to pay what you can,” although the notice states the price of the workshop is “valued at $120.”
In recent years, Rutgers has pledged over $40 million to hire a more racially diverse faculty, including “hiring 79 new diverse faculty members across the university and mentoring and retaining faculty from diverse backgrounds.”
In April, a Rutgers associate professor in both Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies complained that time is a construct thought up by white people.
“When white, male European philosophers first thought to conceptualize time and history, one famously declared, Africa is no historical part of the world,” said Professor Brittney Cooper in an interview with NPR. Cooper had previously claimed Jesus was “potentially queer” and was “married to a prostitute.”
Following lunch at the Dismantling White Organizational Culture event, artist Emma Wilcox is scheduled to deliver a keynote presentation “using a queer feminist perspective and drawing from 16 years of lived experience with Aferro, a grassroots, Newark-based, artist-run space.”
“As a [sic] artist/nonprofit worker, Wilcox employs conceptual strategies to address jargon, false binaries, and hyperbole, and imagine other worlds beyond our inherited structures of power, access, and outcome,” the notice reads.
In 2016, Wilcox gave a TedX talk in which she describes a second-grade boy pantomiming putting on a pair of pantyhose as “the finest act of performative intervention art I have ever witnessed.”