Greenfield Community College’s (GCC) faculty and staff are predominantly white (93%) and though most espouse progressive politics and have the best of intentions, conversations on campus focused on race or racism are still difficult. In an attempt to address this challenge, we created a book group based on Robin DiAngelo’s White Fragility: Why it’s so Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.
For several months, we, the three authors, met once a week to share stories about our evolution as social justice educators. While we come from different back- grounds and are different ages, we have each pursued a career in academia, moti- vated by a desire to address social injustice. Different identities and experiences have shaped our lives, but we share a common understanding of social justice and a collective desire to make an impact on the lives of our students. We are Korean, Black, and White, all raised in the United States. We are cisgender heterosexual, bisexual, and gay.
As part of the neoliberal trends toward public-private partnerships, universities all over the world have forged more intimate relationships with corporate interests and more closely resemble for-profit corporations in both structure and practice. These transformations, accompanied by new forms of governance, produce new subject-positions among faculty and students and enable new approaches to teaching, curricula, research, and everyday practices.