Speaker at WCU to discuss ‘Good White People’

University of North Carolina at Charlotte philosophy professor Shannon Sullivan.

University of North Carolina at Charlotte philosophy professor Shannon Sullivan.

Shannon Sullivan, a philosophy professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will be a guest speaker Thursday, Nov. 3, at 4 p.m. in Western Carolina University’s Blue Ridge Residence Hall.

Sullivan will discuss her latest book, “Good White People: The Problem with Middle Class White Anti-Racism,” which argues that well-intentioned, anti-racist white people often are more concerned with securing the appearance of their moral goodness than with dismantling racism.

Identifying unconscious strategies that good white people often use to distance themselves from race and racism – and to dump responsibility for them on lower class white people – Sullivan’s presentation urges white people to start creating new options for living their race. The new options would be ways of living as white that are neither good nor bad, but that would help white people be more effective partners in racial justice movements.

“Good White People” was named a 2014 CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title and a Ms. Magazine Must-Read Feminist Book of 2014. It also was awarded The Society of Professors of Education 2016 Outstanding Book Award.

Sullivan’s discussion is part of the Jerry Jackson Lecture in the Humanities series. Her talk is co-sponsored by the Honors College, Intercultural Affairs and the Department of Philosophy and Religion.

Sullivan is the author of a number of books, including “Revealing Whiteness: The Unconscious Habits of Racial Privilege” and “The Physiology of Sexist and Racist Oppression.”

For more information about the lecture or series, contact John Whitmire at jwhitmire@wcu.edu or 828-227-7262.