‘White Accountability Groups’ Held at Colleges Across America
Colleges across America have held “white accountability groups” that urge white students to check their privilege and become “anti-racist” allies.
One such university is the University of North Texas, which held a white accountability group through its Division of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access.
The description explained that members of their white accountability group will police the behavior of other white people. It said “Members … will hold fellow white employees accountable for oppressive behaviors and the systems in which those behaviors are tolerated.”
The University of California San Diego’s Office for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion runs a “White Allyship, Action & Accountability” initiative. The initiative encourages students to “Understand and examine the role of white allies at UC San Diego in addressing systemic racism and anti-Blackness.” The webpage for the initiative includes a number of different anti-racism resources, including a 44-part checklist for white allies.
Loyola University Maryland also hosted white accountability groups. The university’s Office of Equity and Inclusion tacitly argued that its white students were vessels for white supremacy when it stated that the purpose of such groups was to “keep ourselves and our campus accountable as we continue to work towards dismantling white supremacy in all the spaces that it lives, even (and especially) when that space is inside of us.”
The University of St. Thomas is yet another university that hosts a “White Accountability Workshop.” The program is intended to serve as a “space for students to explore how whiteness and racism show up in our daily lives and systems to affect our thoughts, feelings, relationships, health & wellbeing, community and much more.” Students at the University of St. Thomas are encouraged to have an “anti-racist awakening.”
Dominican University hosted white accountability groups earlier this year, which it referred to as “an opportunity for individuals who identify as white to participate in dialogue on recognizing their whiteness and white privilege.” The group met for eight different sessions.
The University of South Carolina also held a White Student Accountability Group, which was facilitated by the College of Social Work. Turning Point USA reported that students who attended would “recognize their contribution and responsibility to dismantle racism.”
Last year it was reported that the University of Tennessee Knoxville also held a White Accountability Group, where students would “critically engage in whiteness, white privilege, and hold each other accountable.” Students were also called to “identify and interrupt internalized dominance.”
A similar program was held at Salve Regina University. A session called “Antiracism Accountability for White Identifying Employees” explained that “Waking up to the reality of being a white person can pose many challenges in a diverse environment.”