This statement is one of our core principles at the College of Natural Sciences (CNS), and we recognize that the systemic oppression, abuse, and killing of Black and brown people across the United States means we have a long way to go toward removing the inequality that permeates all levels of our society. For this reason, CNS has committed to increase awareness of white privilege and racism in our institution, and to convert that knowledge to action through guided discussions, trainings, and workshops, so that we may become effective allies.
Below are events, resources, and curricula we are developing to improve learning about these issues for our community. We will continue to add to these throughout the academic year.
White Like Me Viewing and Group Discussion
White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son (2013, 1 hr 9 min, close-captioned), offers a personal account on whiteness, white privilege and racism in America. In this documentary, Tim Wise discusses how white privilege harms not only people of color but white people as well. Participants will be asked to view the film independently, reflect critically using guided questions, and then participate in a small, pre-scheduled group discussion afterward.
Participation in discussion groups requires pre-registration. Please note that separate discussion groups have been created for faculty and staff; discussion groups for grad students and postdoctoral researchers are currently in development and will be announced soon. After selecting a group, please use the link below to view the film no more than 24 hours before your scheduled discussion group to ensure that the film's details remain fresh in your mind.
View film for free using your UMass log-in:
To become active and supportive allies for our friends and colleagues of color, white individuals must take on the job of educating themselves about racism, white privilege and racial identity. This event is a first step in that process. We will be using information from these discussion sessions to create an action plan across CNS, and we recognize that we all will have a role to play in this important work.
Many of our Black faculty colleagues, graduate students and postdocs have expressed a desire to meet together within their groups to advance a sense of community, and the college is working to support their plans. In the coming weeks, plans for these Black discussion groups will be announced.
In addition, we commit to supporting our other colleagues of color—faculty, staff and graduate students—in sharing their experiences of racism and discrimination on campus. Forums for this purpose are currently being organized and will be announced in the near future. If you are interested in forming or participating in other types of groups, please contact us at CNS-Together@umass.edu.
Our Commitment to Diversity
Letter from CNS Leadership
Programs Offered by UMass Office of Equity and Inclusion
Curricula & Syllabi
TED Talks & Podcasts