David B Hayes

Talking to the White Wall: Why Speaking Truth to White People about Racism is Often not Enough

David B Hayes

Talking to the White Wall: Why Speaking Truth to White People about Racism is Often not Enough

Biography

David Hayes lives in Warwick, Rhode Island. He has directed the Academic Enhancement Center for 11 years. David is a member of the President’s Commission on Faculty staff and Students of Color, the Academic Affairs Diversity Task Force, the Equity Council, and is chair of the University College Diversity Committee. His PhD research focuses on understanding how White people who do anti-racist work view themselves as white people and understand whiteness and racism. He has also applied Critical Race Theoretical critique to diversity policy making in predominantly white higher education institutions, and seeks in general to raise awareness among White people about the role of Whiteness in a racially stratified society.

Workshop Title: Talking to the White Wall: Why Speaking Truth to White People about Racism is Often not Enough

Workshop Description: In this presentation and workshop, David Hayes will offer insights from learning theory to discuss why learning is so difficult when new information does not align with pre-existent knowledge and beliefs. These theories will be discussed in the context of how whiteness-as-ideology continues to reproduced, often by distorting new concepts to fit with old cognitive constructs (such as the transformation of the Civil Rights era call for equality into our contemporary concept of “race-neutral” colorblindness, and affirmative action into anti-white racism). The session will then open up into a discussion for what these insights might suggest to anti-racist activists who seek to educate white people.

Workshop Time: Session I in Memorial Union Room 360