Anti-Racist Activist Says She Won’t Join Efforts that Are Mostly White

Counterprotesters hold signs before conservative organizers begin a planned "Free Speech" rally on Boston Common, Saturday, Aug. 19, 2017, in Boston. Police Commissioner William Evans said Friday that 500 officers, some in uniform, others undercover, would be deployed to keep the two groups apart. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

An academic who led a training for social workers on “anti-racism” admitted that she turns down opportunities to join projects if “the majority of the folks there are … white people.”

The training, titled “Walking the Talk: Practicing Restorative Justice and Anti-Racism,” was hosted by the University of Minnesota and the Center for Practice Transformation. 

It was led by Sheryl Wilson, the “President of the National Association for Community and Restorative Justice and the Executive Director of the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution.” In exchange for attending the session, social workers could receive continuing education credits that are needed to maintain their license. 

The talk is part of a three part series titled “Deconstructing and Decentralizing Whiteness in Practice.” In one section of the talk, subtitled “Restoratively dismantling all white spaces,” Wilson admits that she has refused to take part in group projects or to join organizations if they are majority white.

“I’ve often been asked to be part of a project, part of an organization, and I’ll evaluate by who’s involved … and if I see that the majority of the folks there are … white people, then my inclination might be to decline. Not always, but in some instances I’ve chosen to decline,” Wilson says.

Wilson says that sometimes she may join the effort on certain conditions, specifying that she may be convinced to join “If I know that the intention of the folks is to transform that space.” She went on to say that anti-racism training is a way by which to “dismantle all white spaces,” going on to claim that racism is systemic.  

Later in the talk, Wilson argued that instead of being allies, people should aspire to be “accomplices.” Wilson explained that an accomplice says, “I am willing to go to jail if you have to go to jail.” She continues, saying that being an accomplice means that “maybe that white person might lose their life.”

Breitbart News reported that one social worker training, called “Recovery from White Conditioning,” was also hosted by the University of Minnesota and the Center for Practice Transformation.

Spencer Lindquist is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SpencerLndqst and reach out at [email protected]

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