Central College hosts anti-racist author and educator Tim Wise for an address titled “Challenging the Culture of Cruelty: Understanding and Defeating Race and Class Inequity in America” in Cox-Snow Recital Hall Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 7 p.m. Drawn from Wise’s most recent book, “Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Jeopardizing the Future of America,” the event is free and open to the public. A book signing and Q&A with Wise follows at 8 p.m.
Wise is one of America’s most prominent anti-racist writers and educators. He has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states—including several trips to Central more than a decade ago, when he presented during the college’s White Privilege Conference.
Wise also has lectured internationally and trained corporate, government, entertainment, media, law enforcement, military and medical industry professionals in methods for dismantling racism in their institutions. He is the author of seven books, including his highly acclaimed memoir, “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son.”
The event was inspired by campus conversations, said assistant dean of students T.Todd Masman, about ways to pursue empathy, economic justice, sustainability, good citizenship and respectful discussion of difficult issues — all vital parts of students’ Central College education. “This is part of our ongoing work to create a welcoming environment for everyone on campus,” Masman said, “where all are valued, affirmed and given the opportunity to engage with others in respectful dialogue and discourse.”
Director of community-based learning Cheri Doane said the event is perfect for a community where people desire to engage with society’s significant concerns and become part of a more just world. “It’s an opportunity for individuals who care about justice and compassion,” she said, “to explore how they can be part of the solution.”
The event is sponsored by Central College student development–inclusion, academic affairs, sustainability education and community-based learning. The program is part of student development’s Democracy Rocks! and Learning For Justice series, as well as student training for Central’s Iowa College AmeriCorps Program.