Social Justice Series Addresses “Challenging Racism, Privilege and Denial in the Age of Obama”

By Kelly Sather

April 1, 2011--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls will host Tim Wise, renowned anti-racist writer and educator, as part of the Social Justice Series on April 11 in the Riverview Ballroom, University Center.

Wise’s lecture, “Challenging Racism, Privilege and Denial in the Age of Obama,” will be held from 8-9:30 p.m. and will examine his book “Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama.”

Other books written by Wise include: “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son,” “Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White,” “Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male,” and “Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity.”

He has also contributed essays to 25 books, and is one of several persons featured in “White Men Challenging Racism: Thirty-Five Personal Stories.”

“We are incredibly privileged to have Tim Wise on our campus. He is one of the most prominent anti-racist writers and educators in the country. His lectures relate to current events and pull the veil back to reveal how racism is alive and well in our culture and society today,” says Ashley Olson, UWRF sociocultural coordinator.

The goal of this particular Social Justice Series event is to encourage a discussion about the impact and influence of race.

“We are excited that Tim was selected by the Social Justice Committee. Many students, faculty and staff are currently reading his book "Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism & White Denial in the Age of Obama" to prepare for his lecture,” says Olson.

The event, free and open to the public, sponsored by the UWRF Social Justice Series, Ethnic Studies department, Falcon Programs, Student Life Office, Residence Life and the Women’s and Gender Studies Department.

Wise is the recipient of the 2001 British Diversity Award for best feature essay on race issues, and his writings have appeared in dozens of popular, professional and scholarly journals.

Additionally, Wise has made appearances on numerous radio and television programs, is a regular contributor to discussions about race on CNN, and was featured in a segment on ABC’s 20/20 in 2007.

Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide and has co-taught a Master’s level course on racism at Smith College School for Social Work in Northampton, Mass. Wise has also led trainings with physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care, and worked with corporate, government, entertainment, military and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions.

Recently named one of “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World,” by Utne Reader, Wise has spoken in 49 states and on more than 600 college campuses to community groups across the nation, and internationally in Canada and Bermuda.

For more information, contact Olson via email at or by phone at 715-425-4444.

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