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White Privilege and Its Consequences
THINGS HAVE CHANGED A LOT—AND NOT SO MUCH:
Why Americans Should Feel Good—And Not So Good—About The Progress We’ve Made Toward Racial Equality
Michael Wenger, whose memoir, My Black Family, My White Privilege: A White Man’s Journey Through the Nation’s Racial Minefield, was recently published, will draw on both his personal and professional experience in this presentation. He will discuss how white privilege, aided and abetted by a significant level of unconscious bias of which most of us are oblivious, perpetuates institutional policies and practices that continue to yield racially disparate outcomes.
We have made significant progress on the road to racial equality in the past half-century. We've elected Barack Obama President--twice. We have an African American Attorney General, and we've had two African American Secretaries of State. The number of African American elected public officials at all levels of government has grown from less than 1,000 people 50 years ago to more than 11,000.
Today, we have a vibrant and growing African American middle class, and we've had African American CEOs of major corporations. Nonetheless, as we approach the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we confront barriers to racial equality that were largely unforeseen a half-century ago. Mr. Wenger will discuss these barriers, with a special focus on the specific impacts of white privilege and unconscious bias in education and employment:
• What are the four “E’s” that help determine a student’s success in school?
• What can we do to overcome the racial bias that is built into our educational institutions?
• Why is job discrimination so difficult to recognize and confront, even though it remains rampant?
• How can we create a more equitable work place?
• How does unconscious bias rear its ugly head in our day to day activities?
• What can we do, individually and collectively, to create a more racially equitable society?
YOUR EXPERT PRESENTER
Mr. Wenger, a white man from New York, was married to an African American woman from rural North Carolina for 11 years, and he now is married to a white woman from Rhode Island. He has three African American children, four African American grandchildren, and an African American great grandchild.
On his professional journey Mr. Wenger is a Senior Fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a Washington, D.C. think tank focused on issues of race. He also teaches in the Department of Sociology at The George Washington University and is a member of the Board of the League of Black Women.
Before going to the Joint Center in 1998, he served as Deputy Director for Outreach and Program Development for President Clinton’s Initiative on Race. Prior to that he spent more than 16 years as States’ Washington Representative for the Appalachian Regional Commission, representing the interests of the Governors of the 13 Appalachian states. Before coming to Washington, D.C. in 1981, he served in a variety of policy-making capacities at the state and municipal levels, including 18 months as Commissioner of the West Virginia Department of Employment Security.
Directions: This is an online training workshop
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