Warhawks tackle racism

Webinar encourages conversations about racial issues


Motlow State Community College President Michael Torrence

Dauntae Green, Lifestyle Editor

In the past few months, we have read, heard and seen racism happening all over America, which may make us question the role of race in our society today. We, as a community, must now come together to converse about how we are affected by racism, to support each other, and stay strong through these hard times. 

At UW-Whitewater, Chief Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Officer Dr. Kenny Yarbrough created a webinar series to talk about racial issues that started June 11. The weekly webinar series was created to help us give support to each other by positively communicating about racism and race. It can help people process the trauma of racism and the chaos happening in our society. 

 President of Motlow State Community College Michael Torrence was a featured presenter in the first webinar called Today’s Black Students and Professionals: Living in an environment of social chaos. 

“One of the things I’ve been discussing with our community students, as well as the college at the large, is the concept of openness in this concept of otherness.”

 Open dialogue gives a purpose to help other individuals to stay strong together by communicating among each other, and talking about this in order to understand what is going on in the world.

Other topics in the series include Racism in Athletics, Racism in Academia, A White Privilege Discussion and more. The series is very popular among the Warhawk family.The highest number of people in attendance has been 88 and the least attended session still had 32 participants. 

“The webinar series was created due to this nation’s social and civic issues – the lack of talks about issues like police brutality, and the need for coming together to address them,” said Yarbrough. “I hope this raises awareness to understand it’s not fake news. We have to create a game plan against systemic racism, and it can’t be just people of color to address these issues.”

Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Artanya Wesley was a featured panelist who explained the importance of the series for educating students and the broader UW-Whitewater community.

“It’s about the situations happening around the world, around Wisconsin, in our backyard at Kenosha. Living with the people, understanding social issues, and experiencing injustice to access what’s happening, is to address the issues together,” Wesley said. “It’s important to have conversations for getting resolutions and to come together as a community. We must begin to take action with plans, ideas and motivate people with the information for conversations for change.” 

The Equity, Diversity and Inclusion webinar series will continue through the fall expanding beyond issues of Black and white. Systemic racism affecting Hispanic and Latinx communities is a planned topic that will continue the conversation. Webinar videos can be found in the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Library