Anti-racism activist Tim Wise, author of 'Dear White America,' comes to Virginia Tech Nov. 2-3
October 23, 2015
Author, teacher and anti-racist advocate Tim Wise, comes to Virginia Tech for two days of events and activities, beginning with a public keynote presentation at 7:30 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 2.
His presentation, based on the message of his book, "Dear White America: Letter to a new Minority," will be held in the Anne and Ellen Fife Theatre, located within the Moss Arts Center’s Street and Davis Performance Hall at 190 Alumni Mall. The event is free and open to the public, but tickets are required and can be reserved through the Moss Arts Center.
Wise’s visit is the result of an invitation by a collaboration of student groups, including the Black Graduate Student Organization and the Black Organizations Council, who asked him to come to campus to discuss ways to end racism and build a more inclusive university community.
“We are interested in how we can combat racism and how we can help make the campus a better environment for all,” said Stephanie House-Niamke of Roanoke, Virginia, a master’s student in the School of Public and International Affairs.
“I’m excited to see if he speaks about change,” said Tara Shockley of San Diego, California, a senior in the Department of Human Development and president of the Black Organizations Council.
Wise has spent the past 20 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states, on more than 1,000 college and high school campuses, at hundreds of professional and academic conferences, and to community groups across the nation. He has also lectured internationally and has trained corporate, government, law enforcement and medical industry professionals on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions.
Wise traces his work back to his days as a college activist in the 1980s, fighting for divestment from (and economic sanctions against) apartheid South Africa.
After graduating from Tulane University, he worked as a youth coordinator and associate director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism. From there, he became a community organizer in New Orleans’ public housing, and a policy analyst for a children’s advocacy group focused on combating poverty and economic inequity.
He has served as an adjunct professor at the Smith College School of Social Work, in Northampton, Massachusetts, and from 1999-2003 was an advisor to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute in Nashville, Tennessee.
Wise is the author of six books, including "Dear White America" and his memoir, "White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son." His latest book, "Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Jeopardizing the Future of America," was released this year. His essays have appeared on Alternet, Salon, Huffington Post, Counterpunch, The Root, Black Commentator, BK Nation and Z Magazine among other publications.
In addition to his public presentation, Wise will meet with several groups across campus to conduct trainings and participate in discussions about racism, diversity and inclusion. At noon on Nov. 3, he will join a panel discussion, “Forum on White Privilege,” in the multipurpose room of the Graduate Life Center at Donaldson Brown, 155 Otey Street. The student-focused event is free. Lunch will be provided and registration is required.
If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation for the Nov. 2 event at Moss Arts Center or the Nov. 3 student lunch discussion, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org during regular business hours at least 7 business days prior to the event.
Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.