Decentering Whiteness & Building Multiracial Community

United States society is centered upon white American culture. White cultural norms are the standard by which all are judged, and white cultural practices control access to power and resources. This reflects a historic legacy of white supremacy that carries into our present day. In a multiracial nation such as the United States, a society centered on whiteness is inherently unfair. Many have reacted to that unfairness by working for racial justice and equity. These efforts have called whiteness into question but left much to be done.

This workshop offers a strategic model developed by CSWAC on how the racial structure of our society might be changed in a way that is fair and equitable to all. We call the model Decentering Whiteness and Building Multiracial Community. In brief, we believe our society should be centered on a multiracial culture and white culture needs to be moved from its central position, or decentered.

Although simple in the broadest sense, the Decentering Whiteness and Building Multiracial Community model has some implications that are not immediately obvious. This workshop will compare and contrast other approaches to changing racial structure and then look at some of the implications of CSWAC’s model. We’ll look at both decentering whiteness and building multiracial community as goals, and why one goal cannot be met without the other. In the process, we’ll discuss how each goal might be accomplished.

Topics Addressed in the Workshop

  • basic concepts important to a multiracial perspective
  • centered and decentered whiteness
  • features of whiteness as centered
  • decentering these same features of whiteness
  • problems of monoracism
  • envisioning a multiracial community
  • how to begin building multiracial community
  • requirements for multiracial community building

Sessions Open for Registration


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What people are saying…

This program was real. I think the fact that the conversations from the participants became so passionate, bears witness to the space of truth and safety that the facilitation team created.  

When will it be offered again ? I would like to spread the word.  

Marty Hellman

we need this kind of workshop to reach a lot more people.
Ruth Yarrow

Finally a positive answer to what to build, practice and nurture in place of whiteness as the center. I think this is an amazing theory. 
Jeanne Geraci

The theory was helpful and was a reminder that we are a far cry away from having authentic multiracial communities. The theory gave me something to envision. 
Robin S

The readings were thought-provoking and informative.  I enjoyed them and learned a lot.  The ground rules for using Zoom were helpful, and the technical support was great.  The presentations were clear and dovetailed with the readings. 
Susan Wolf

I was very pleased to have the definitions. I knew the concepts but lacked the language. Thank you. 
Mary Pender Greene

A well-designed webinar! Especially the effort you went to to include many voices while keeping on course. 
Margery Freeman

Never having heard the phrase [decentering whiteness], it was all new and very clearly explained and defined. 
Maria Modica-Snow