Urban’s White Privilege Awareness club drafts newsletter to spread understanding

Olive Lopez, Staff Writer

White Privilege Awareness, an Urban club, is launching an outreach project at Urban that will include a newsletter, set to launch in June.

Mabel Taylor (’14), the leader of WPA, said she wants ”to ground the club in facts.” The purpose of the club is not to prove whether or not white privilege exists in the first place, but to educate Urban students on examples of white privilege, so that they can learn and then educate others, she said.

The newsletter, which will go out to Urban students, seeks to focus on examples of white privilege as well as racial inequities around working, living, health, and education. The theory of white privilege is not taught in the freshman identity ethnic studies class, or in the sophomore service learning class, but is covered briefly in the junior project class.

According to Tim Wise, an antiracist author and editor, “white privilege refers to any advantage which persons deemed white will typically enjoy”, and which those of other races may not have the opportunity to enjoy. These advantages and opportunities range from material benefits based on wealth, to social, or psychological benefits.

White privilege awareness matters, because of “the reluctance of both dominant and marginalized groups to discuss racism…white people avoid the subject because they are afraid of being perceived as racist, and people of color avoid it because they are afraid their issues will be marginalized or rejected as exaggerations.” In today’s world, it is increasingly important for anyone, of any race, to be able to identify white privilege in any sort of environment, and statistics can prove this.

The majority of Urban students are white — 68 percent, actually, a fact found on the Urban website. A 2011 Census report showed 94117 as 68.9 percent white, San Francisco as 41.8 percent white, California as 39.7 percent white, while the U.S. population is 63.4 percent white.

In order to get more involved, or if you want to learn more – stop by WPA, which meets during lunch on Fridays in the Lotus room.