Got Privilege? Champions for Change Take On Mesa, AZ

“I think the most significant takeaway I had about the WPC is that every aspect of my life and myself was made possible because of white supremacy, and I used to feel guilty about that, but that white guilt is completely useless, and the best I can do is try and dismantle it one at a time,” said Morgan Thompson ‘24.

Last week, a group of Monmouth College students attended the 24th annual White Privilege Conference (WPC) in Mesa, Ariz., put on by The Privilege Institute non-profit, to learn about race and white supremacy and give a presentation on methods of inclusive leadership. 

“WPC had an impact on me because I have never been in a space where I felt more comfortable around everyone who was there. I felt that If I had walked up to anyone, I would be greeted with only kindness and love, and that was an amazing feeling,” said Thompson. 

Along with Thompson, Monmouth attendees included Jonathan “JD” Diaz ‘23, Nyasaina Kwamboka ‘23, Kaid Landon ‘24, K Short ‘24, and Anita Gándara ‘24. Regina Johnson and Dr. Sydney Greenwalt advised the students and prepared a workshop about methods of inclusive leadership to present to WPC attendees. “It felt like I was helping people who actually had an interest in learning something rather than being forced to listen… I learned that there are many different ways in which you can be an inclusive leader. Inclusivity doesn’t always look like one technique,” said Thompson.

In addition to presenting the workshop, they attended day-long institutes of their choice that dove deep into topics of race, systemic anti-blackness, and gender. Keynote speakers and presenters included scholars like Dr. Jonathan Metzl, M.D. of Vanderbilt University, Dr. Sherard Robbins of Vanderbilt University, Equity Consultant Diane Goodman, and Natalie Thoreson, founder of rEVOLution. 

“If they [other students] want to go, be prepared to be uncomfortable in order to work through your own internal biases. Also, don’t be afraid to speak up, share your thoughts, and ask questions!” said Thompson.

Anita Gándara – Contributing Writer

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