Deepening the Learning
Intersectional Experiential Activities to Address White Supremacy
Keywords:Racism, White supremacy, anti-racism, cultural wealth, social work education
Graduate students of multiple racial identities in predominantly White institutions enter social work programs with a wide range of knowledge about and experiences of White Supremacy, particularly the ways in which structural forms of racism continue to inflict harm, block opportunities, and perpetuate wealth inequities. In addition, White students are often challenged to grasp the ways they have been socialized to participate in perpetuating White Supremacy. This wide range of knowledge and experiences makes it likely that students will experience a range of emotions and defensive resistance necessitating skillful pedagogical design and facilitation of class interactions. Intentional use of theoretical frameworks with experiential activities can deepen self-awareness and understanding of the systemic nature of White Supremacy (Okun, 2010). In this manuscript, four students and two instructors discuss their learning experiences within a course addressing White Supremacy for students of multiple racial identities in a predominantly White institution. Post-course dialogue amongst these multiracial authors identified six core areas of learning when examining intrapersonal, interpersonal, and structural racism, cultural wealth of BIPOC peoples, and anti-racism actions. Two primary implications for education are: Weave conceptual frameworks with interpersonal experiential activities throughout the course design, and attend to interactional power dynamics during class meetings.
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