By Peter Fricke
Portland Community College has designated April “Whiteness History Month” (WHM), an “educational project” exploring how the “construct of whiteness” creates racial inequality.
“‘Whiteness History Month: Context, Consequences, and Change’ is a multidisciplinary, district-wide, educational project examining race and racism through an exploration of the construction of whiteness, its origins, and heritage,” PCC states on its website. “Scheduled for the month of April 2016, the project seeks to inspire innovative and practical solutions to community issues and social problems that stem from racism.”
For those interested in learning even more about the study of whiteness, PCC provides a link to a portal on the school library’s site listing additional resources.
Planning for the event is still ongoing, with applications being accepted until February 1 from those who wish to “get engaged” by hosting a lecture, guest speaker, panel, film screening, discussion, art exhibit, or class field trip to local art or history museums.
Representatives for PCC had not responded by press time to Campus Reform‘s inquiries as to whether professors would be allowed to assign grades for participating in field trips or on-campus events.
While details about the specific programming are not yet available, PCC does outline the objectives that it seeks to accomplish through the project, as well as the concepts it would like students to explore over the course of the month.
In the “Context” category, for instance, the school challenges students to explore the meaning and history of whiteness, specifically how it “[emerged] from a legacy of imperialism, conquest, colonialism, and the American enterprise.”
Following from that, PCC wants students to explore the “legal, cultural, economic, social, environmental, educational, and/or intrapersonal consequences of whiteness,” especially in terms of the winners and losers that result from it.
Finally, the school asks them to consider “alternatives to a culture of white supremacy … approaches and strategies to dismantling whiteness … [and] the roles and responsibilities of white people and people of color in dismantling whiteness.”
Through the event, PCC says it hopes to improve its campus climate and bolster student retention and success, while also helping students to graduate “with local, national, and global sensibilities regarding the learning tasks of Critical Race Theory.”
Campus Reform has not been able to reach spokespersons for PCC, but this story will be updated if and when they provide a response.
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First published at Campus Reform
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