On Monday, April 22, Barbara Applebaum, associate professor in Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University, will speak on, "Being White, Being Good, Being Vigilant," at 4:30 p.m. in the Sanford Room.
Can the desire to be good actually contribute to social injustice? In this presentation I explore how white people's moral sensibilities may contribute to complicity in the perpetuation of systemic racial injustice. Three questions will be examined: What is white complicity? Why is it so easy for white people to deny complicity? What does "being good" look like when one acknowledges complicity?
Applebaum, associate professor in Cultural Foundations of Education at Syracuse University, is trained in philosophy of education. Applebaum's scholarly interests are currently focused on the point where ethics, education, and commitments to diversity converge. Her research is heavily informed by feminist ethics, feminist philosophy, and critical race theory.
Applebaum's published papers have appeared in such journals as Educational Theory, Philosophy of Education, Teachers College Record, Educational Foundations, and the Journal of Moral Education. Her book, Being White, Being Good: White Complicity, White Moral Responsibility, and SocialJustice Education (Lexington Press, 2010) introduces an approach to social justice pedagogy called "white complicity pedagogy." In this book, Applebaum explores the meaning of white complicity and calls for a shift in our understanding of responsibility, subjectivity and discourse. In addition, these shifts clarify why vigilance as grounded in critique, uncertainty and vulnerability is a crucial aspect of learning about whiteness and its role in the maintenance of racism. Applebaum concludes that white students who acknowledge their complicity have an increased potential to develop alliance identities and to engage in genuine cross-racial dialogue.
Sponsored by: Center for Teaching and Learning, the Faculty Learning Community on Whiteness and Critical Race Theory, the Race and Racism Coalition, and the Social Justice Studies Program.