NewsCovering Kentucky


UK offers new workshops about racism as part of their Professional Learning Series

Posted at 9:59 PM, Jun 04, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-04 21:59:26-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Two new online workshops offered by the University of Kentucky will discuss racism in American society.

“Beyond the Black and White Screen: Seeing/Reading Race in Social Media, Films and Society” and “Cultivating an Antiracist Mindset” are the courses offered to the public, among a list of 17 workshops in UK’s Professional Learning Series.

“I think it's important we remember that social justice movements not only happened when you're picketing outside,” said Dr. Cheryl Matias, who is teaching one of the courses. “Lives are being lost and if we can in a simple way take a class to start to understand how we can stop losing lives, then why not? The time is now.”

Matias said her class is a beginner’s introduction to how racism plays out in society through mass media. Her workshop involves watching films and analyzing social media to develop a deeper understanding of what role race plays in modern society and how to recognize it.

“It's about time that we pulled off the band-aid and just say, ‘You know what, I don't understand it. Let me learn about it. Let me know what it's like to be super uncomfortable.’ But in an academic space, not a social media, trolling, combative place,” Matias said.

Conversations about racism are complex but can be productive when all parties have an understanding of what racism is, according to Matias.

“Some people are talking about apples. Other people are bringing up oranges, and they're just throwing different types of ideas around, but at least the conversation is being held. We're at a starting point,” Matias said.

“Cultivating an Antiracist Mindset” is taught by Dr. Candice Hargons. “Participants will understand racial identity development for White people and BIPOC, and be able to define and recognize three levels of racism, including how to disrupt them,” reads the course description.

Enrollment as a UK student is not required in order to register for a workshop. If you would like to learn more about the Professional Learning Series or enroll in a course, you can go here.