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Explore Economic Inequality: White Privilege Summit

March  12, 2012

Augustana College will host Explore Economic Inequality: 2012 White Privilege Summit, on Thursday, March 22, with a keynote address by National Urban League CEO Marc Morial.

This will be the college's third annual White Privilege Summit. The event will begin in Centennial Hall (3703 7th Ave.) at 10:30 a.m. with the keynote, “Power, Privilege and Democracy,” by Morial.

After the address, concurrent sessions will take place in Hanson Hall of Science (726 35th St.) and the Olin Center for Educational Technology (733 35th St.), with a reception and reflective session afterwards.

At 7 p.m. in the Olin Center, Augustana will present a screening and panel discussion of the documentary Precious Knowledge that examines Arizona’s battle over ethnic studies.

All of the events are free and open to the public.

The summit is an annual community event to discuss race, privilege, inequality and the fight for social justice. The 2012 summit will focus on economic inequality, which plays a role in many current national issues such as immigration, education, the criminal justice system and healthcare.

“The summit is not just for Augustana students, faculty and staff,” said Dr. Carolyn Hough, Augustana assistant professor of anthropology. “We want members of the community to attend and lend their unique voices and perspectives to the wide range of issues we’ll be discussing.”

Dr. Hough continued, “The spirit of the summit will be the same as it has been in previous years, but given the current U.S. economic climate, we have decided to use this forum to focus on the ways that racism and racial privilege shape our nation’s economy and affect families’ and individuals’ economic status.”

Marc Morial

Morial has been an entrepreneur, lawyer, professor, legislator and the mayor of New Orleans. He currently is the CEO of the National Urban League, the nation’s largest civil rights organization.

“The timing of the summit comes right when the National Urban League is releasing its annual State of Black America Report, ‘Occupy the Vote to Educate, Employ and Empower,’” said Dr. Christopher Whitt, Augustana assistant professor of political science.

“The broad-based approach to addressing issues of inequality and consequences of inequalities taken by the National Urban League in their annual report is similar to the approach we try to take in our summit,” said Dr. Whitt. “We are very excited to have Mr. Morial joining us this year to remind us of the importance of protecting voting right along with examining inequality.”

Concurrent sessions led by Augustana professors, scholars from other institutions in the region, and local Quad-Cities leaders will range from the roots of the ever-growing racial wealth gap, to government’s role in making higher education accessible, to white privilege during and after Hurricane Katrina.

“White privilege is important to discuss because we often ignore this side of racial inequality in our conversations,” said Dr. Paul Croll, assistant professor of sociology. “If some groups are disadvantaged by systems of racial inequality, do other groups benefit? This is the tough question about white privilege that we will tackle at the summit.”

The event is sponsored by the Multicultural Programming Board, Office of Student Activities, Diversity Initiatives Committee, Institute for Leadership and Service, and the Office of Multicultural Services at Augustana College, as well as the Lewis Stone Memorial Fund.

More details:

Sam Schlouch
Senior Communication Director
(309) 794-7833