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Explore Economic Inequality: the 2012 White Privilege Summit

Explore Economic Inequality, the 2012 White Privilege Summit at Augustana College 

Explore Economic Inequality Schedule at a Glance

Wednesday, March 21

Kick-off event - MPAACT: Urban Poetry Jam, Wallenberg Hall, 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, March 22

10:30 am - 11:30 am White Privilege Summit Keynote Address - Power, Privilege and Democracy, Marc Morial, Centennial Hall

11:45 am-1:00 pm Lunch Break

1:15 pm-2:15 pm (4) Concurrent Sessions

2:30 pm - 3:30 pm (4) Concurrent Sessions

3:45 pm-4:45 pm (3) Concurrent Sessions and (1) Featured Speaker

4:45 pm-6:15 pm Summit Reception & Reflective Session

7:00 pm-Film Screening-Precious Knowledge


Centennial Hall and Bergendoff Hall
Parking is immediately adjacent to Centennial Hall at the corner of 7th Avenue and 38th Street. Please enter off of 7th Avenue.

Wallenberg Hall
There is a small parking lot immediately west of Denkmann Memorial Hall. Turn south off of 7th Avenue and proceed up the hill to the parking areas on your right. If those lots are filled, additional parking is available in the Centennial Hall lot at the corner of 7th Avenue and 38th Street. Please enter off of 7th Avenue.

Welcome to Explore Economic Inequality: the 2012 White Privilege Summit

Click here to download a copy of the Explore Economic Inequality event poster

NEW Click here to download a copy of the Explore Economic Inequality program

Exploring Economic Inequality

Economic inequality has come to the forefront in recent years in both political and social discourses in America. There has been a renewed interest in examining disparities along the lines of income as well as the concentration of wealth in the hands of a very small group at the top of the economic ladder. Recent protests have brought national and international attention to "the 1%" and "the 99%." Economic inequality plays a role in many current issues including immigration, education, the criminal justice system and healthcare. Many of the conversations at the summit throughout the day will explore the relationship between economics and inequalities along the lines of race, class, and gender. In the United States, the social construction of race has created systems of advantage and disadvantage. A complete discussion of inequality needs to examine not only disadvantage, but advantage - or white privilege - as well.

What is white privilege?

Do whites benefit when non-whites face discrimination and exclusion? If non-whites face barriers in their daily lives, what is the effect for whites? Are whites unaffected by race, or are they privileged by race? Peggy McIntosh, an anti-racist activist and scholar, describes white privilege in the following way:

"I have come to see white privilege as an invisible package of unearned assets that I can count on cashing in each day, but about which I was 'meant' to remain oblivious. White privilege is like an invisible weightless knapsack of special provisions, maps, passports, codebooks, visas, clothes, tools and blank checks."

White privilege is about experience on an individual level, in addition to a web of institutional and cultural preferential treatment. It is not only our own personal experiences, but about how society may be structured to provide opportunities for some and challenges for others.

About the Summit

Explore Economic Inequality: 2012 White Privilege Summit (WPS) provides an opportunity for critical discussions about diversity, multicultural education and leadership, social justice, race, gender, class, sexual orientation, environment, health, religion and systems of privilege/oppression.

The summit serves as an opportunity for all of us to examine and explore difficult issues related to white privilege, white supremacy and oppression.

This summit is not about making white people feel guilty. The summit is about critically examining the society in which we live and working to dismantle systems of power, prejudice and inequality.

will The WPS is a challenging, empowering and educational experience. The keynote, workshops, and small group reflections not only inform participants but also engage and challenge them, while providing practical tips and strategies to fight for social justice. We highly encourage you to actively participate in the day's activities.

Thursday, March 22 Summit Schedule

10:30-11:30 a.m. Keynote Address

"Power, Privilege and Democracy"

Special guest, Marc Morial

Entrepreneur. lawyer. professor. legislator. mayor. president, U.S. Conference of Mayors, and CEO of the National Urban League, the nation's largest civil rights organization.

Centennial Hall (attendees are encouraged to arrive early)

In his 25-year professional career, Morial has become one of the most accomplished servant-leaders in the nation. Here are just a few of his accomplishments

Entrepreneur -Launched several successful small businesses, including an apparel wholesale company, a special events company, and a janitorial company, which was his first venture at age 15 with two childhood friends.

Lawyer - Winner of the Louisiana State Bar Association's Pro Bono Publico Award for his legal service to the poor and disadvantaged. He was one of the youngest lawyers, at age 26, to argue and win a major case before the Louisiana Supreme Court.

Professor - Served as an adjunct member of the faculty with Xavier University in Louisiana, where he taught constitutional Law and business law.

State Senator - Named Legislative Rookie of the Year, Education Senator of the Year, and Environmental Senator of the Year, while authoring laws on a wide range of issues.

Mayor - Built a broad multi-racial coalition to lead New Orleans' 1990s renaissance, and left office with a 70 percent approval rating.

As the mayor of New Orleans, Morial passionately attacked his city's vast urban problems with vigor and creativity. Violent crimes and murders dropped by 60 percent, the unemployment rate was cut in half, and New Orleans' poverty rate fell according to the 2000 Census.

The city's economy experienced its most dramatic growth in more than 20 years as the Convention Center was expanded, thousands of new hotel rooms were built, the Downtown Casino and Sports Arena opened and New Orleans hosted Super Bowls and Music Festivals, as well as International and Hemispheric Summits. The NBA also returned to New Orleans as he led the effort to relocate the Hornets from Charlotte.

During his tenure, New Orleans won the All-American City Award in 1996 for the first time in 50 years, as well as the prestigious City Livability Award, and finished first in the National Night Out Against Crime Competition on two occasions.

He produced eight balanced budgets, and led the passage of a new city charter which authorized the creation of a City Revenue Estimating Conference, an Ethics Board and Inspector General.

During his tenure, New Orleans won the All-American City Award in 1996 for the first time in 50 years, as well as the prestigious City Livability Award, and finished first in the National Night Out Against Crime Competition on two occasions.

11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Lunch Break

Note: Concurrent sessions labeled with an (I) may be of interest to those who are new to discussions of economic inequality and/or white privilege.

1:15-2:15 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

"Social Justice for Immigrants" (I)

Peter Kivisto, Ph.D. and Molly Todd, Ph.D.

Room: Hanson Hall of Science 102

This session examines some of the most pressing issues facing immigrants in the United States. Although the focus is on current issues of special interest to those of us in the Midwest, these issues will also be placed within national and historical contexts.

Dr. Peter Kivisto received his BA from the University of Michigan and his M.DIV. from Yale University. After completing those degrees, Kivisto earned an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the New School for Social Research. Currently, he is the head of the sociology department at Augustana College and is working on working on a book on race and ethnicity with Dr. Paul Croll; a project on minority integration in the Nordic countries, with a focus on Finland; and a project on multiculturalism as theory and social policy.

Born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Molly Todd was first introduced to Latin America in a grade school Spanish class. Since then, she has lived, worked and traveled throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Her interests in Latin America led her to earn a B.A. in Spanish literature (Reed College), an M.A. in Latin American studies (University of Texas-Austin), and a Ph.D. in Latin American history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


"The Impact of "White Flight" on Court Mandated School Desegregation Efforts in the Midwest"

Vincent Briley

Room: Olin 201

As we approach 60 years of the landmark school desegregation decision Brown v. Board of Education 1954, the achievement gaps between black and white students still exists. Although the "Separate but Equal" doctrine of 1896 was overturned with the Brown decision in 1954, public education in the United States has experienced a rapid re-segregation of its public schools, which has had a direct impact on educational outcomes. In the Midwest, the most frequent phenomenon experienced post-Brown was "White Flight" where White families moved out of urban city center areas into the suburbs - taking their families, economic and political power with them. This has contributed to increased poverty in urban schools while suburban schools flourished. "White Flight" made a major impact in Midwestern cities and public schools such as Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland and Topeka in regard to both educational attainment and economic support of public schools. This interactive session will explore how race and class interact to diminish the ideals of the Brown decision. Participants will share their narratives and scholarship in regard to addressing white privilege through educational policy.

Vincent L. Briley serves as the assistant dean of academic advising and testing at Scott Community College /EICC in Bettendorf, Iowa. Briley completed his doctoral coursework at The Ohio State University in 2010 focusing on court mandated school desegregation in the Midwest and has presented his research at the American Educational Research Association, Ohio University (Athens, OH) and Capital University Law School (Columbus, OH) among other educational research focused conferences. He is a 2006 alumnus of the Social Justice Training Institute and recently participated in the 2011 National Endowment for the Humanities Workshop for Community College Faculty Landmarks of American Democracy: from Freedom Summer to the Memphis Sanitation Workers ' Strike at Jackson State University and Rhodes College.


"Inequality and Health: When Care and Culture Collide"

Valerie Garr

Room: Hanson Hall of Science 305

This session will focus on the film Unnatural Causes and look at inequalities in healthcare related to racial and ethnic groups.

Valerie Garr, a 23-year student services veteran at the University of Iowa (UI), is a diversity coordinator in the College of Nursing where two of her roles include chairing the College of Nursing's Diversity Committee and the administration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars mentoring program for underrepresented nursing students, in addition to the Supplemental instruction Program for pre-nursing majors. She is also an adjunct instructor and practicum faculty advisor in the University of Iowa College of Education Higher Education Student Affairs Program. In addition, Garr is a member of the University of Iowa Health Sciences Diversity Committee, an advisory board member of the Iowa Area Health Education Center, a member of the UI Council on STEM, and a member of the University of Iowa Student Success Team.


"The Racial Wealth Gap: The Roots of Privilege" (I)

Paul Croll, Ph.D. and Christopher Whitt, Ph.D.

Room: Olin Auditorium

This session will center on a discussion of the connections between the racial wealth gap and privilege. Current public opinion about race and racial inequality will be compared against economic indicators (the average white household holds 20 times more wealth than the average black household) of wealth in the United States. Dr. Chris Whitt and Dr. Paul Croll will discuss key public policy actions and historical events that have helped some groups in America accumulate much more wealth than others and pass that accumulated wealth down through generations. The session will conclude with a discussion about the implications of a wealth gap for our nation and all individuals in our society as we move forward in the 21st century.

Dr. Christopher M. Whitt has been a faculty member in Augustana's political science department since August of 2007. He teaches a number of courses related to American government/institutions, American politics and political behavior. He is one of the co-founders of the college's Africana Studies Program and the co-founder of the Political Denizens Blog.

Dr. Croll is an assistant professor of sociology at Augustana College. He joined the department in 2008. In addition to his recent book, Race and Ethnicity: The Basics (with Peter Kivisto, 2011), his research has appeared in the journals Social Forces, Social Problems, Ethnic & Racial Studies, and The American Sociologist. Dr. Croll also helped design and manage the American Mosaic Project Survey, a national telephone survey conducted by the department of sociology at the University of Minnesota. 


"Economic Inequality and Environmental Policy"

Keva Steadman, Ph.D.

Room: Olin 304

At the Stockholm UNEP Convention in 1972, many developing countries rejected the idea of environment protection because they felt it compromised their path to economic development. This tune seemed to change after the Rio Summit of 1992, when it became increasingly clear that economic development and environmental protection were compatible, and so the idea of sustainable development was born. While in theory this makes abundant sense, developing countries soon realized that operationalizing the implementation of environmental policy was going to be challenging. In addition, there was pressure from international donor agencies to get it right. In this session, we will explore how challenges in implementing environmental policy relate to the economic disparity across countries, and what steps disadvantaged countries can take to overcome some of these challenges.

Dr. Steadman is an assistant professor in the economics department at Augustana College. Her research interests are environmental policy and economic development. She recently completed doctoral studies in economics at Binghamton University.

2:30-3:30 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

"Poverty, Incarceration and 'The New Jim Crow'"

Khara Coleman Washington, J.D. and Tionn Fambro, J.D.

Room: Hanson Hall of Science 305

Khara Coleman Washington and co-presenter Tionn Fambro will discuss the themes of the book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander, with special emphasis on the connection between poverty and incarceration, including the ways in which poverty affects access to legal counsel.

Originally from New Orleans, Washington is an Assistant Scott County Attorney in Davenport, Iowa. Her work includes the prosecution of misdemeanor to felony level cases in juvenile, associate and district court. She is a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, where she majored in French and English. After graduating with college honors, she was selected as a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs in St. Louis, Missouri. At the end of the yearlong Coro Fellowship, she attended Washington University School of Law as a Chancellor's Fellow scholar. Khara currently lives in Davenport with her husband, Dr. Blaine Washington. Her community activities include work with the Scott Community College Foundation, Ballet Quad Cities, the African American Museum of Iowa, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Fambro was born in Chicago, Illinois. She earned her B.A. in 2005 from Tennessee State University. She then earned her J.D. from Southern Illinois University, J.D., 2008 where she concentrated in litigation and trial skills. She has also studied constitutional and comparative law abroad at the University of Western Cape in Cape Town, South Africa.

 Fambro's practice areas are criminal litigation, both felony and misdemeanor and civil litigation including family, immigration, bankruptcy and civil rights law.


"White Privilege and Hurricane Katrina: New Orleans Six Years Later"

Kate Parks, Ph.D.

Room: Olin 307

Are so-called natural disasters color-blind? This session will examine how white privilege impacted evacuation and recovery during and after Hurricane Katrina, specifically focusing on how the city has bounced back after the disaster. Though there is/was a desire to de-racialize the events of August 2005 by the media and the public, race did and continues to play a role in the response to this disaster. Even six years later, racialized aspects of the disaster continue to surface. This is especially acute when exploring 2010 census data for the city.

Dr. Parks is an assistant professor of sociology at Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. Her teaching and research interests focus on race and ethnicity, inequality, education, and demography. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2007 and returned to her undergraduate alma mater. Dr. Parks' current research focus is centered around assessing the campus climate at Loras.


"Exploring Intersections Between Gender and Economic Inequality" (I)

Jane Simonsen, Ph.D., Vicki Sommer, Ph.D., and Marsha Smith Ph.D.

Room: Hanson Hall of Science 102

This session will look at the ways economic inequalities emerge from the nexus of race, gender, and political and economic realities. It will bring historical and global perspectives to bear on an understanding of the ways that assumptions about women's "nature" and women's work combine with women's lived experience both in the United States and in China to maintain systems of privilege. We will look at some of the historical roots of privilege in the U.S. in order to understand its lingering effects in current economic realities and social policies; we will also investigate the ways that globalization and urbanization has affected women workers in China and the efforts of non-government organizations to address the growing needs of women migrants.

Dr. Jane Simonsen is an associate professor of history and women's and gender studies and the current coordinator of the Women's and Gender Studies Program at Augustana College. Her book, Making Home Work: Domesticity and Native American Assimilation in the American West, 1860-1919 looks at the role that white women played in assimilation crusades in order to uncover the anxiety and conflict that both white and indigenous women experienced as a result of the devaluation of household labor.

Marsha Smith is a professor of sociology at Augustana College and has served as president of the Illinois Sociological Association and on the Board of Directors of ASIANetwork. She has presented her work on Chinese women, tourism, and communities in both the United States and China. Her work on this topic was published as "Navigating a Space for Labor Activism: Labor NGOs in the Pearl River Delta of South China," coauthored with Zhang Hong, of Colby College in State and Society Responses to Social Welfare Needs in China: Serving the People. Edited by Jonathan Schwartz and Shawn Shieh. Routledge Contemporary China Series, 2009.

Vicki Sommer is a professor of sociology and the longtime coordinator of the Women's and Gender Studies program at Augustana College. She has served as president of the Illinois Sociological Association and is a board member of the American Men's Studies Association. She has written and presented on the intersections between women's studies and masculinity studies as well as on masculinity studies and teaching.


"The White Privilege of Higher Education"

Danielle Geary

Room: Hanson Hall of Science 304

Higher education is not exempt from the influences of white privilege. Due to the unequal admission policies, unwelcoming collegiate experiences, and lack of educational support, minority students are not completing four-year degrees at the same rate as whites. In an economy that demands a higher education for entrance into the professional world, the system of higher education can limit social mobility. In this workshop, the history of higher education will be explored through the lens of accessibility for minorities. Additionally, the role of vocational and Junior colleges in the furthering of the economic inequality for minorities will be explored.

Danielle Geary is an assistant professor of social work at Carthage College. She graduated from Carthage College with a bachelor's degree in social work. She earned her master's degree in public child welfare degree the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As a former child welfare social worker, she focuses on child abuse/neglect, family violence, and social welfare policy. Currently, Ms. Geary is working toward her doctorate in educational policy and leadership from Marquette University.

3:45-4:45 p.m. Concurrent Sessions

"Learning from Their Voices: Developing Community-Based Programs of Research with Underserved Latino Populations"

Special Guest Speaker Jose Ruben Parra-Cardona, Ph.D. (supported by the Lewis Stone Endowed Lectureship in Psychology)

Room: Hanson Hall of Science 102

Latinos in the United States, and particularly Latino immigrants, often are depicted as one of the main sources of problems for the US society and economy. This presentation will briefly review the historical roots of Latino migration into the United States, as well as research findings from studies highlighting the life experiences of US and foreign-born Latinos in the US. The presentation of studies will center on contextual challenges suffered by this population, particularly as they refer to issues of discrimination and exploitation. Participants will reflect about the "silenced" stories about Latinos that are not widely recognized nor disseminated, particularly during current times which are characterized by an increasing rejection of Latino immigrant populations.

Dr. Parra-Cardona is an assistant professor in the department of family and child ecology at Michigan State University. He is also an associate researcher at the Centro de Investigacion Familiar in Monterrey, Mexico. His research addresses issues related to Latino families, specifically, Latino fatherhood, culturally appropriate parenting programs and violence in Latino populations. He earned his Ph.D. from Texas Tech, his M.A. from Syracuse University, and his B.S. from ITESO University.


"LGBT Issues and Economic Inequality"

Kara Brant and Erin Bertram

Room: Olin 201

This session will provide an in-depth look at the economic inequalities surrounding same-sex marriage and health care, two examples of the systemic oppression LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals face.

Kara Brant joined Augustana College as an area coordinator in residential life in 2011. She earned her M.S. in student affairs and higher education from Indiana State University where she designed and implemented a "Safe Zone" program to increase awareness of LGBT issues. The Safe Zone workshops provided participants with the knowledge and resources to enhance their capacity to be an ally to the LGBT community. Brant currently trains the Augustana Residential Life student staff members on LGBT sensitivity and heteronormativity within the residence halls.

Erin M. Bertram, an Augustana College alum, earned her MFA in poetry and graduate certificate in women, gender and sexuality studies at Washington University in St. Louis, where she was a fellow. The author of eight chapterbooks, including The Vanishing of Camille Claudel and Inland Sea, which won the 2009 Robin Becker Chapbook Prize for LGBTQ poets, Bertram is a fellowship instructor at Augustana College, where she teaches composition, literature, creative writing, and gender studies courses on same-sex desire in literature and queer theory.

Brant and Bertram are co-coordinators of Augustana College's Campus Pride LGBT-Friendly Campus Climate Index and Safe Zone committee.


"Occupy Wall Street & Occupy the Hood: Inserting Race and Gender into Conversations of Economic Inequality" (I)

Nadia Brown, Ph.D., and Justin Hansford, J.D.

Room: Hanson Hall of Science 304

Many would agree of the need for all citizens to engage in protest as a particular form of political participation. The Occupy Wall Street movements uniquely challenge privilege and Americans who believe in meritocracy. As part of protest culture, these localized movements have embraced progressive politics but have yet to fully address the racial and gender dynamics that suffer disproportionate economic instability. In this panel, we will present both challenges and opportunities to the Occupy Wall Street movement to heal the racial and gendered fractures of the movement.  

Dr. Nadia Brown, an assistant professor of political science and African American studies at Saint Louis University, teaches and conducts research in the areas of American politics, race and ethnicity, as well as women and politics. Dr. Brown currently is working on revising the dissertation into a book manuscript. In addition, she is working on exploring intra-group differences among black female state legislators to explore the complexity within groups.

Professor Justin Hansford, professor of law at St. Louis University, clerked for Judge Damon Keith on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (2009-2010) and served as a law fellow with both the University of Maryland School of Law and Georgetown University Law Center. Professor Hansford's research incorporates legal history, legal ethics, critical race theory, human rights, and the Global Justice Movement in a broader attempt to interrogate injustice in society.


"Help or Hindrance? The Government's Role in Making Higher Education Accessible"

Emily Johnson

Room: Olin 307

This session will explore the counterintuitive ways in which state and federal programs designed to make higher education more affordable or accessible can actually end up doing the opposite. As the Obama administration sets its sights on education reform, we'll take a look at the nuances of new regulations, funding issues and what exactly it means for higher education to be "an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford."

Johnson, an Augustana graduate, serves as an assistant director of admissions. Her professional areas of interest include the issues specific to underrepresented and underserved student populations.

4:30 p.m.-Summit Reflection and Reflection  

     Room: Hanson Hall of Science, 2nd Floor Lobby

Reflective Sessions are an opportunity for you to reflect upon and discuss your, and others', experiences throughout the Summit. Reflective session participants will be divided into groups, where an effective conversation, led by student and faculty facilitators, will ensue. You will find that within your group, a variety of diverse populations are represented, and thus, you will leave these sessions with a better understanding of the opinions and experiences of those different from you.

7:00 p.m. Film Screening-Precious Knowledge: A Documentary Film Examining Arizona's Battle Over Ethnic Studies

Room: Auditorium, Franklin Olin Center for Educational Technology

Explore Economic Inequality, the 2012 White Privilege Summit is sponsored by:

  • Augustana Multicultural Programming Board
  • Augustana Office of Student Activities
  • Augustana College Diversity Initiatives Committee
  • Augustana Institute for Leadership/Service
  • Augustana Office of Multicultural Services
  • Augustana College Stone Lectureship in Psychology