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'Anti-racist' Tim Wise to appear at PCC
Photos and Story by James Hill
The Portland Community College Diversity Council wanted to battle racism with a known speaker. They got it in the form of the most sought after anti-racist in America.
Tim Jacob Wise is coming to PCC in October to share his thoughts on racism. Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S. and has spoken in 48 states, and on more than 400 college campuses, including Harvard, Stanford, and the Law Schools at Yale and Columbia. Wise is the author of “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son,” and “Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White.” A collection of his essays, “Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male,” will be published in the fall of 2008, and his fourth book, “Between Barack and a Hard Place: Race and Whiteness in the Age of Obama,” will be released in spring 2009.
“He is without a doubt one of the most powerful and influential speakers I have heard in my lifetime,” said Kendi Esary, student leadership coordinator at the Cascade Campus. “He explains white privilege in such a way that you cannot deny what he says is the truth. PCC is very lucky to have him back to speak at all three comprehensive campuses this year.”
Wise received the 2001 British Diversity Award for best essay on race issues, and his writings have appeared in dozens of popular, professional and scholarly journals. Wise has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television programs, worldwide. He has also trained corporate, government, entertainment, military and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions.
Tim Jacob Wise Appearances & Topics:
“Beyond Diversity: Challenging Racism in an Age of Backlash”
11 a.m., Wednesday, Oct. 15. (Book signing to follow)
Performing Arts Center, Sylvania Campus, 12000 S.W. 49th Ave.
“White Privilege: Racism, White Denial & the Costs of Inequality”
11 a.m., Thursday, Oct. 16.
Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building, Room 104, Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth St.
“Profiles in Distortion: Misusing Data to Justify Racism and Privilege”(
9 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 18.
The Forum, Building 3, Rock Creek Campus, 17705 N.W. Springville Road.
Wise is a 2008 Oliver L. Brown Distinguished Visiting Scholar for Diversity Issues at Washburn University, in Topeka, Kansas – an honor named for the lead plaintiff in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. He has served as an adjunct faculty member at the Smith College School for Social Work, in Northampton, Mass. In 2001, Wise trained journalists to eliminate racial bias in reporting, as a visiting faculty-in-residence at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tulane University, where his anti-apartheid work received global attention and the thanks of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“As an institution of higher learning, we have the opportunity to bring dynamic speakers that challenge our perception of the world around us,” said Brenda Maldonado, multicultural retention coordinator at the Rock Creek Campus. “Mr. Wise does just that, he challenges folks to look beyond the surface and question themselves and others in a positive manner. His presence here signifies that we are progressively moving forward as an institution truly embracing our college’s diversity mission.”