In the wake of increasing pressure to address issues of system racism, college and university administrators’ announcements of institutional initiatives to combat racism on their campuses have also increased. However, incidences of hate crimes and racist acts at these schools continue to increase as well suggesting that either the types of initiatives undertaken, or the processes of implementation are ineffective in the goal of reducing racism in these settings. This conceptual paper argues that is it likely both, problematizing the use of programming aimed only at generating discussion as “passive action” that which seeks to look like action, but actually engenders very little social change. Instead, colleges and universities truly committed to transforming their institutions into anti-racist ones must start with shifting hierarchies of power and reimaging the institutional mission before attempting to implement things like cluster hires, invited talks, reading groups, and pedagogy workshops. Only then do predominately white institutions founded on ideologies of white supremacy have the potential to become anti-racist organizations.
Harris, Jasmine L.
"The Perpetual Disservice of “Passive Action” to Reduce Racism on College Campuses: Why Things Like Cluster Hires, Talks, Reading Groups, and Pedagogy Workshops Don’t Work,"
Race and Pedagogy Journal: Teaching and Learning for Justice: Vol. 5:
2, Article 8.
Available at: https://soundideas.pugetsound.edu/rpj/vol5/iss2/8