UMass raises awareness about racism
AMHERST — As Amherst residents confront racism and acts of hate that have occurred in the public schools, the University of Massachusetts launches its annual “Stand Against Racism” campaign Monday.
The campaign, which is in its fourth year, includes educational workshops and awareness-raising through social media, and concludes with a Stand Against Racism Day April 25.
All events are on the UMass campus and are free and open to the public.
The campaign’s first week features “I Stand Against Racism because …” Instagrams, with participants encouraged to complete the statement and then to receive buttons and wristbands showing their support. This will be at The Spot in the Student Union lobby daily between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The second week includes A Stand Against Racism table that will be set up at the Earth Day Festival on the lawn of Goodell Hall from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 22.
That evening at 7 in Mahar Auditorium, Robert Bullard, the “father of environmental justice,” will give the Earth Day keynote address titled “Building a Diverse Movement for Environmental Justice and Sustainability.”
Tim Wise’s film “White Privilege” will be shown at noon April 23 in the Commonwealth Honors College Events Hall, followed by a discussion led by Sut Jhally, professor of communication.
An identity workshop led by the Amherst chapter of the NAACP will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. April 24 in Room 201 at Wilder Hall. Participants will be led in an interactive exercise focused on self-reflection to build coalitions that contribute to a stronger and more just society.
At 7 p.m. April 24, in Room 201 at Wilder, participants will help design a banner for the silent walk from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 25 between the Haigis Mall and Wilder Hall.
Also on April 25 there will be several workshops and sessions from 1 to 2:30 p.m.
These include “How to Interrupt and Address Microaggressions” at 201 Wilder Hall, led by staff from the UMass Center for Multicultural Advancement for Student Success; “Learn Different Forms of Racism/Discrimination and Students’ Rights” at 102 Wilder Hall, led by staff of the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination; and “A Hostile and Unequal Climate for Ethnic Minority Student Scholarly and Financial Support” at 005 Wilder Hall, in which four teams of three students each will provide posters and presentation on their best solution to a case study and will be awarded prizes by a panel of five judges.
Additional sessions run from 2:45 to 4:15 p.m., including “That’s Messed Up! Intervening when It’s not Right” at 201 Wilder Hall, in which Women of Color Leadership Network staff will discuss how to respond to offensive jokes or behavior, and “Why Racism Hurts White People” at 102 Wilder, where Professor John H. Bracey Jr. will examine how racism and white entitlement have economic costs for everyone.
The closing ceremony begins at 4:30 p.m. in 201 Wilder and includes a performance by Phallacies, a reading of the Pledge to Stand Against Racism and a group photo.