Clemson staff, faculty and graduate students are invited to engage in a dialogue about racism and white supremacy by participating in a new seminar series titled “Unpacking and Disrupting Whiteness.” The series is a collaborative project between the Gantt Center, Center for Student Leadership and Engagement, College Preparation and Outreach, the College of Education and the English department.

The first workshop will focus on language and foundations. In this session, participants will explore such questions as “What do we mean when we say ‘racist?’” “What exactly is ‘white supremacy’ and why does it matter we understand the nuance behind these words?” The virtual workshop will be held 10:30 a.m. to noon Thursday, Sept. 24.   

“This summer, we saw continued examples of racism against communities of color, in particular Black communities, and how white supremacy continues to be present in the experiences of many people,” said Ciera Durden, associate director for multicultural community development at the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center. “We as a team wanted to create spaces for people to come together to process critically in order to develop identities rooted in anti-racism and disrupting white supremacist culture.”

 “This workshop is not meant to be a be-all, end-all experience for these crucial conversations, but rather, a beginning catalyst for upcoming endeavors centered on anti-racism,” said Durden. “We hope, through this initial event, people will come out with an understanding of key concepts to give strength to continued programming and movement in the pursuit of creating a culture that is grounded in equity for all individuals.”

In between the two workshops, the team will be creating affinity groups for multiple populations at Clemson. 

Affinity groups are often created with the purpose of providing a space for individuals who share identities, goals, values and interests to come together in formal and informal ways, to build community and enhance their experience within a particular organization. Affinity groups may also serve as a space for individuals to share challenges or concerns, and be vulnerable in a non-judgmental and affirming environment.  

Register for the workshop here by Tuesday, Sept. 22.   

Direct questions to Ciera Durden (cierad@clemson.edu).