- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 12, 2018

The University of Southern California installed an artistic mural that instructs students to “dismantle whiteness and misogyny on this campus.”

Designed by When Women Disrupt, an “intersectional feminist artist collective,” and students in the class “Women: Designing Media for Social Change,” the mural depicts four women of color on walls leading to the entrance of the journalism school. The “dismantle whiteness” caption is written in big, black letters on the top of a flat archway that leads out of the building into a quad.

Communicators professor Alison Trope said the mural is “intended to spark dialogue.”

“To that end, the signage is meant to offer grounding of terms and ideas,” Ms. Trope told The College Fix. “There is no expectation that everyone agree with the statement offered by the artists, but hopefully viewers can acknowledge the experience of peers on campus around these issues.”

“There have already been many generative conversations prompted by the work—by those who align with the sentiments and those who do not,” she continued.

An informative poster next to the mural describes “whiteness” as “an unnamed place of advantage, privilege or domination; a lens through which white people tend to see themselves as others; an organizing principle that shapes institutions, policies, and social relations.”

The mural was installed on March 22. Sponsors include the journalism school’s Institute for Diversity and Empowerment and USC Visions and Voices, an arts and humanities initiative.

Some USC students were unhappy with the painting’s location, according to the Daily Trojan. They said it should have been given a more prominent place on campus.

“It wasn’t disruptive enough in my environment,” said Charlie Porter, a senior communications major. “It’s placed in a very hidden area of campus where it’s not usually seen, and I think that speaks to the administration and how they want to frame and direct the conversation and the impact—the fact that it is inward-facing not outward-facing—all of these factors are intentional from the administration, and I think this project would have been much more powerful if the artists were given more freedom.”


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