Racial Literacies: A Carolina Seminar

Racial Literacies is an open seminar designed to bring together the various members of the UNC Chapel Hill community to engage in intellectual, productive, honest, problem-oriented, and frank conversations about intersectional issues (pertaining to race as well as gender, sexuality, class, religion, nationality, ethnicity, ability—etc.). The group meets approximately monthly and uses a Sakai list to disseminate information and resources to members, alongside this public website.

Our Goals (as of August 2019)

  • Disrupt the silences
  • Cling to joy and support each other so there is strength to continue doing this work
  • Assert the importance of this work to all of our jobs/roles on campus
  • Address the confusion over whether to encourage prospective students and/or employees to go or stay
  • Reconsider the “business case for diversity” and other strategic frames necessary to communicate with audiences
  • Helping white folks acknowledge the work people of color (POC) are doing and reminding them to go back and carry the messages to other white folks who struggle to acknowledge privilege and white supremacy, instead of “canceling” them in favor of “woke” folk
  • Being conscientious of all POC identities beyond a black/white dichotomy, so POC are not pitted against each other
  • Having a space to deliberate potential actions
  • Democratizing these discussions

One tangible outcome of the Racial Literacies seminar will be to continue building this multi-modal website that provides resources for learning more and generating discussion about race and the experiences of race and racism that various people have had and are having at UNC-Chapel Hill.

2019-2020 Conveners:

Susan Griffin, UNC Libraries

Michael Palm, UNC Communication

2019-2020 Graduate Assistant:

Meli Kimathi, UNC Communication

Past Conveners:
Jennifer Ho, UNC English & Comparative Literature
Mark Driscoll, UNC Asian Studies
Renee Alexander-Craft, UNC Communication
Chris Faison, UNC Center for Student Success and Academic Counseling
China Medel, UNC Communication

Past Graduate Assistants:
Dwight Tanner, UNC English & Comparative Literature

Rachel Gelfand, UNC American Studies

Jennifer Park, UNC English & Comparative Literature

For more information, please email us at RacialLiteracies@unc.edu.