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Media Opportunity: Creating a safe space for white questions
When Ajay Parasram, assistant professor in Dalhousie’s departments of International Development Studies and History, began his career teaching at Dal in 2016, he noticed that students identifying as Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (QTBIPOC), in his classes weren’t afforded the same opportunities as their white counterparts to make mistakes as they learn. Wanting to address these issues and make life a little easier for members of the QTBIPOC community, Parasram, who is also a founding fellow in the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance, and his colleague Dr. Alex Khasnabish, associate professor in Mount Saint Vincent’s department of Sociology and Anthropology, created Safe Space for White Questions.
Safe Space for White Questions offers monthly drop-in sessions designed to encourage open and safe conversation for anyone, white-identifying people in particular, who would like to ask questions and deepen their understanding about a wide range of issues generally captured under the banner of “progressive” politics. Sessions are respectful and free of judgement, and are designed to encourage friendly and considerate conversation that will help people better understand the impact of existing racial structures.
Drs. Parasram and Khasnabish hope these public drop-in sessions, which are currently offered virtually on the last Wednesday of each month, will help to build racial resilience for white people, and help them gain the confidence to learn more about systemic racism so that they can begin to do the hard work of dismantling it.
Dr. Parasram and Dr. Khasnabish are available to discuss the importance of engaging in these safe and respectful conversations and the value of hosting them in a public space where they can be dealt with care and so everyone can benefit.
You can find recordings of previous sessions here.
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