A four-day conference opens this morning in Pella studying the role race played in America’s creation and how it effects us today 228 years later. Eddie Moore Junior is director of intercultural life at Central College and founded what’s called “The Conference on White Privilege.” Moore says “The conference was really established and built on a foundation that America was started by white people for white people and there were certain benefits that were laid out for a specific group of folks that other folks didn’t have access to.” He says a host of national speakers are lined up to address an expected audience of more than 500 people from at least 30 states. Moore says it won’t all focus on what he calls white privilege but on sexism too. “In addition to looking at privilege from a white-skinned…area,” Moore says “we also look at privilege from a gender perspective because the issue of men being the ones who were favored in the country’s beginning over women is something that we have to look at.” Moore says the conference is a format in which people can “get real about issues faced by numerous groups of disenfranchised people and take part in the process of defeating institutional racism.” He says privilege is also analyzed from the standpoint of Asians or Latinos who may have what he calls “disabilities from language” in an effort to reach the goal of “truly creating a United States of America where all folks have access and opportunities.” The list of speakers includes civil rights attorney Morris Dees, co-founder of the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center. The fifth annual conference runs through Saturday. For more information, surf to “www.whiteprivilegeconference.com”.
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