Deconstructing Whiteness Working Group

CAE 2019

Why we exist:  

We work to address white supremacy and racism by taking a hard look at:  

  • how we have been socialized into whiteness and white supremacy, and  
  • how we perpetuate white supremist/racist thoughts, behaviors, and systems  

We hope to transform the way we show up in our work and personal lives to:  

  • Decrease and eliminate the burden on our peers who are Black, Indigenous, or People of Color  
  • deeply and authentically connect with others, ourselves, and humanity   
  • foster long-term commitment to anti-racist thoughts and actions   

What we do:  

  • In twice monthly meetings, we work to nurture a brave space for us to identify how we are shaped by whiteness and be accountable for our white supremacist and racist ideas and behaviors.   
  • We create, support, and amplify campus efforts that increase racial literacy (e.g. book clubs, speakers) and take responsibility for our actions that perpetuate oppression (e.g. personal behavior change, apply equity lens to our own work)  
  • We follow the lead of UO Black, Indigenous, and People of Color led initiatives and recommendations to promote anti-racist actions (e.g. contacting leadership to advocate for policy change). We build relationships with other Strategy Groups to understand how we might support them.   

How we engage with each other and the community:  

We ground our work in the values of  L.A.C.E. and applying an Equity Lens to promote critical self-reflection and accountability.   

Love: We do this “work” out of love for our community, for our relationships, for Black, Indigenous and People of Color, for ourselves, and for justice.   

Authenticity: We show up as imperfect selves with self-compassion to learn (not perform). As an organization, we seek to be transparent about our efforts.  

Courage: We dig deep though it may be painful. We “call in” each other even when it is hard or uncomfortable.  

Empathy: With empathy, we promote humility, curiosity, and transformation, rather than unproductive and unmoving shame/blame. We acknowledge and hold space for the experiences and concerns of BIPOC colleagues and peers.   

Equity Lens: We practice recognizing and addressing power dynamics within our group, institutional barriers to equity, and discriminatory practices within the University of Oregon.