TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Tim Wise, an anti-racism speaker and author, will lecture on “Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism, Privilege and Denial In The Age Of Obama” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 1, in Morgan Auditorium on The University of Alabama campus. The event is free, but tickets are required; go to www.crimsonartstickets.com to reserve seats. UA’s department of gender and race studies is sponsor of the event.
In this speech, Wise explores how President Obama’s emergence as a political force is taking the race debate to new levels. According to Wise, for many whites, Obama’s rise signifies the end of racism as a pervasive social force; they point to Obama as a validation of the American ideology that anyone can make it if they work hard, and an example of how institutional barriers against people of color have all but vanished. But is this true? And does a reinforced white belief in color-blind meritocracy potentially make it harder to address ongoing institutional racism?
Wise, who recently was named one of “25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World,” by Utne Reader, has spoken on more than 600 college campuses and to community groups across the nation. He has also lectured internationally in Canada and Bermuda on issues of comparative racism, race and education, racism and religion, and racism in the labor market.
He is the author of five books, including “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son,” and his latest, “Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity.” He has contributed essays to 25 books and is one of several persons featured in “White Men Challenging Racism: 35 Personal Stories” from Duke University Press. He received the 2001 British Diversity Award for best feature essay on race issues, and his writings have appeared in dozens of popular, professional and scholarly journals.
“Wise’s visit is an example of The University of Alabama’s proactive commitment to combating racism and injustice,” says Dr. DoVeanna Fulton Minor, chair of gender and race studies. “The broad support from colleges, departments, and organizations across the University demonstrates our determination to create a culture that believes in equality of every individual both here at UA and in our larger society.”
This event is co-sponsored by the department of gender and race studies; Crossroads Community Center; College of Arts and Sciences; Dean of Students and University Union; Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration; College of Education; social and cultural studies in the department of educational leadership, policy and technology studies; Creative Campus; American studies; New College; and the School of Social Work.
The department of race and gender studies is part of UA’s College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the USA Today Academic All American Team.
The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.