All faculty and staff at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, are now required to participate in monthly anti-racism training sessions that are segregated by race.
According to The College Fix, the training seminars consist of monthly “community-wide events” which are followed by small group sessions called “affinity-group meetings.” The latter are divided along racial lines — one session is open to all races, another is open to biracial people only, two are reserved exclusively for “BIPOC” employees, and eight are set aside for whites.
Faculty and staff have discussed topics like “implicit bias and microaggressions,” “racial identity for how life at Carleton is experienced,” and what it means “for Carleton to commit to anti-racism.”
Faculty and staff are required to attend both the community-wide events and an “affinity-group” meeting each month, The College Fix reported.
School leadership mandated the training sessions in response to a 10-page list of demands issued in August by 12 black students, who call themselves the “Ujamaa Collective.”
“The College is reluctant to quickly take action against police brutality and white supremacy — realities that resonate deeply with Black students when, aside from our social lives and studies, we are compelled to focus on the multiple ways that whiteness is weaponized against Black people,” said the demands letter.
The letter called for an “institutional commitment to the Black Lives Matter movement” and “financial compensation” for “all members of this committee.”
President Steve Poskanzer responded to the demands with a commitment to provide $500,000 for “the upcoming year to support anti-racism work and efforts related to improving equity and inclusion,” despite “the current budget cuts.”
“As we think further about what it will take to dismantle institutionalized racism and transform Carleton into a college that lives up to our collective aspirations, we must address gaps in equity and justice on campus — gaps we are turning to with urgency and attention,” he continued. “As a first step, anti-racism training facilitated by non-Carleton personnel will be required of all faculty and staff this fall.”
Some of the information on the training sessions was placed behind a firewall after The College Fix reached out to the school for comment, but a list of the “10 most common missteps” in anti-racism sessions remains viewable.
“Positioning training as a form of mandatory confessionals, where white members feel they are being shamed and disdained simply because of their identity. Enormous resentment develops if they feel that ‘training’ requires them to apologize, confess racist sins, and ask people of color to absolve them of their racist history,” the course instructors explain in one of the “missteps.”
“In addition, people of color get weary of white colleagues expressing their ‘woke-ness’ in front of them. This is why we advocate racial affinity groups so strongly,” they add.
Carleton College, rated one of the worst schools for free speech in Minnesota, did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The College Fix.