Feb. 27 film and discussion to focus on racism and white privilege

Feb. 27 film and discussion to focus on racism and white privilege

Several University of St. Thomas departments will host an upcoming film and discussion on the notions of racism and white privilege in the United States.

The 50-minute film is “Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible.” Leading the discussion will be the film’s creator, Dr. Shakti Butler, a multiracial African American (African, Arawak Indian and Russian-Jewish) woman from California.

The program will be held in the O’Shaughnessy Educational Center auditorium on Tuesday, Feb. 27. It will open with a 5:30 p.m. reception. The film and discussion will run from 6 to 8 p.m.

Free and open to the public, the event is co-sponsored by St. Thomas’ Multicultural Student Services, University Lectures Committee and Faculty Development Center. For more information call Multicultural Student Services, (651) 962-6460.

The film features the stories of white activists – described as white people committed to ending racism – of various ages and backgrounds who have worked to understand what it means to be white and to fight individual, institutional and cultural racism. They share how they moved through the stages of denial, defensiveness, guilt, fear and shame to make solid, personal commitments to help end racism and build a more equitable society.

Butler holds a doctorate from the California Institute of Integral Studies in the School of Transformative Learning and Change. This is her third film dealing with discrimination.

In 1994, as executive director of World Trust Educational Services, she designed “Heart to Heart Conversations,” a national program designed to help people learn together and share deep feelings about race and culture.