Beyond White Privilege 101: Continuing the discussion in Anaheim

Contact: Gwendolyn Prellwitz

Acting Director, Office for Diversity

(312) 280-5048


For Immediate Release

June 17, 2008

Beyond White Privilege 101: Continuing the discussion in Anaheim

The American Library Association (ALA) Office for Diversity will examine the impact of white privilege in the library environment at the Beyond White Privilege 101 session scheduled during the ALA’s Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif.

It will be held from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 29, in the Hyatt Regency Orange County – Grand B/C.

The session is the continuation of a dialogue held during the ALA’s Midwinter Meeting in Philadelphia, when Art Munin, consultant and assistant dean of students at DePaul University, began a provocative conversation with a standing-room-only crowd during the meeting’s White Privilege 101 discussion. The Office for Diversity invites you to continue the dialogue in Anaheim at the
Beyond White Privilege 101 session. This is an ongoing conversation and attendees need not have attended the session at Midwinter in order to join us in Anaheim.

George Lipsitz PhD, respected scholar, author of numerous publications including “The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics,” as well as a faculty member in the department of Black Studies at UCSB, will facilitate this discussion with the mission of broadening perspectives and translating knowledge into action.

Communication is key to understanding. We all operate within multiple circles of privilege and are all motivated by hidden biases. The session intends to examine how we are impacted by white privilege in hiring practices, interactions with other librarians and educators, students and with our peers. This discussion will take this examination beyond a professional understanding of these issues at a distance to a personal connection in order to help us all understand the role that white privilege plays in our lives not just professionally but in our day-to-day interactions with the world. As Dr Lipsitz says in “The Possessive Investment in Whiteness: How White People Profit from Identity Politics,” “I hope it is clear that opposing whiteness is not the same as opposing white people. White supremacy is an equal opportunity employer, nonwhite people can become active agents of white supremacy as well as passive participants in its hierarchies and rewards."

The American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library association in the world, holds its Annual Conference each June. The largest such convention in the world is attended by more than 18,000 librarians, educators, writers, publishers, Friends of Libraries, trustees and special guests. The conference includes more than 2,300 meetings, discussion groups, programs on various topics affecting libraries and librarians as well as tours and special events.

The ALA Office for Diversity serves as a key resource and link to the professional issues that speak to diversity as a fundamental value and action area of the association. For more information visit