This past week Juniper Cruz ’19, manager of the Snowden Multicultural Center began advertising a new group on campus she would be running called “whiteness group,” and urged people of all backgrounds to attend as a platform to discuss white privilege and how it affects not only Kenyon, but the larger community. The first meeting last week was at 7 p.m. but was since moved to be every Tuesday at 4:10 p.m. in Snowden. (It should be noted that Snowden is now housed behind the bookstore. On some campus maps it still says it’s way the hell north by Bexley which is Very Wrong.) If you’re curious about Whiteness Group, here’s some information I got from Juniper about her thoughts and plans for the group:
1. What is whiteness group?
Whiteness group is a group that works to educate students on whiteness, what it means to be white, and ways to deconstruct whiteness to work towards anti-racist actions.
2. Why did you decide to start this group?
I decided to start this group last semester when I got tired of white people who would post these very intellectual and passionate statuses on their social media accounts, but that’s as far as their activism went. I wanted to create something more sustainable at Kenyon. A more sustainable form of allyship.
3. Is this group for everyone?
Yes! I think whiteness studies is so fascinating and helpful for everyone to participate in.
4. Your first meeting was last week, how did it go? What’s the agenda of meetings
The first meeting turned out better than expected! We had about 40 people show up. And the meetings are discussion based, I’ll present topics to be discussed and we’ll go from there. I act more as the facilitator than a lecturer.
5. What are your goals for the future of this group?
My goal, as I kind of mentioned earlier, is to create a sustainable form of activism that relies on community, education, and white people educating each other, while not relying on people of color to educate them.