- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 2, 2014

New York University has created a bimonthly discussion group for white school administrators that will supposedly help them identify and examine their “biases, prejudice and stereotypes.”

The discussion group — White Administrators Talk Race (WATR) — meets on campus in the Center for Multicultural Education every other Tuesday to help white school officials “identify” ways in which they can “stand in solidarity against systems of oppression,” and “deconstruct the complexities and reality of white privilege,” according to an official description on the university’s website, National Review Online reported.

Justin Lerner, an administrator who attends WATR meetings, told NYU’s independent student daily that he enjoys being able to discuss his “white privilege” with other administrators.

“In light of the recent Ferguson decision, I think it’s even more imperative for white administrators to understand their own power and privilege and how they can use that privilege to be good allies to people of color and to effect positive change,” he told Washington Square News.

Co-facilitator Brittany Bummer said they started the group in response to a discussion group for students, called “Unpacking Whiteness,” which meets every other Wednesday.

Co-facilitator Miriam Halsey said there was a need to open the discussion up to administrators.

“There is a lot of programming for students at NYU, obviously, but I think that staff administrators also want to be a part of the conversation,” she told the student paper.

Arielle Andrews, president of the Black Student Union, said she fears the intentions of the group are misguided.

“There is something to be learned from intragroup dialogues, so I can see what the intent was, but they will never gain the education that they seek to gain without engaging with the races who need a platform to discuss their issues the most,” Ms. Andrews told the student paper.

Group facilitators insisted that the discussion is open to administrators of all races.

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