University of New Hampshire's 'whiteness' workshop draws criticism, report says

The University of New Hampshire has been criticized for an upcoming event called, “Unpacking Whiteness,” that will help its faculty examine “whiteness” and what “white people can do about racism,” Campus Reform reported.

The event is scheduled for Jan. 17 and is described as a training workshop. The news site reported that a flyer for the event asks, “Do you sometimes feel uncomfortable in multiracial groups?”

“Racism is not just about individual acts of meanness,” the flyer read. “It also includes those invisible systems that confer advantages on those people considered white while disadvantaging people of color. These invisible systems have concrete results on the social, economic, and political health of our communities and nation.”

Organizers of the event told the website that the event is voluntary and offered to the university’s faculty and staff.

There have been similar events held in Manchester, The Union Leader reported.  One event was held on Monday by New Hampshire Listens, which is an initiative by the university’s school of public policy.

The initiative asks, “How do I unintentionally benefit from racism?” and “What does it mean to be 'white' today?”

“I believe the workshops offered in honor of Dr. King are, at best, a terribly misguided attempt to promote diversity and inclusion and, at worst, an insult to the city and citizens of Manchester,” Rich Girard, a school board member, told the paper. “Either way, there is reason to be manifestly displeased, even disgusted by them.”

The city’s mayor, Joyce Craig, took part in Monday’s event.

“Even though we all come from different backgrounds and varying life experiences, we are all united in our desire to make our city a better place for everyone,” she said.