University Cancels Classes for a “Power and Privilege Symposium”

On November 6, 2018, the University of Alaska Southeast will cancel most classes so students and faculty members may attend a “Power and Privilege Symposium,” which is designed to create a “safe space for meaningful conversation.” This year will be the third year in a row that the campus will cancel classes for this conference, allowing students and faculty members to discuss topics such as  “race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, age, religion, body size, ability, mental illness, class, and their intersectionalities,” Campus Reform reports.

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The university encourages students to talk with their professor and read the class syllabi to determine whether their class will be cancelled for the event.

“The 3rd Annual UAS Power & Privilege Symposium is a one day conference-style teach-in designed to give members of the UAS & Southeast Alaska communities an opportunity to come together and engage in difficult, thoughtful, and honest conversation about the ways social hierarchies and identities manifest themselves in our communities.”


The university has failed to release the names of any of the keynote speakers for the 2018 event. Previous symposiums have included sessions such as…

  • Violence’s Place in Repression and Protest
  • Thinking About and Beyond Confederate Memorials
  • Power and Pedagogy: Decolonial Interventions in Micrologies of Power
  • The Impact of Power and Privilege on Student Retention
  • Examining Climate Change through a Lens of Power & Privilege

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Likewise, Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington cancels classes each year for a similar symposium.


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