Liberal White Supremacy: How Progressives Silence Racial and Class Oppression

Thursday, April 20, 2023, 5 - 6pm

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Angie Beeman

Angie Beeman, Ph.D., gives a free online talk about her book, Liberal White Supremacy, that argues white supremacy is maintained not only by right-wing conservatives or racial bigots but also by progressives, who see themselves as allies to people of color. By distinguishing between liberal and radical approaches to racism, class oppression, capitalism, and social movement tactics, Beeman shows how progressives continue to be limited by liberal ideology and perpetuate rather than dismantle white supremacy. She analyzes case studies that elucidate various aspects of this process as well as her own experiences in diversity workshops and academic discussions. Drawing from Systemic Racism Theory and Black Feminist Thought, Beeman advances racism-centered intersectional approaches as correctives to progressive organizational strategies that either downplay racism in favor of a class-centered approach or take a talk-centered approach to racism without developing explicit actions to challenge it. The event is part of The Cooper Union’s ongoing series around the theme of intersectional justice.

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Angie Beeman is an associate professor at Baruch College whose research examines changing expressions of racism, the challenges of allyship, and building more equitable workplace environments. Her research has appeared in the Harvard Business Review, Forbes Magazine, The Wire, Counterpunch, Gender, Work, and Organization, and Ethnic and Racial Studies. Dr. Beeman is frequently invited by organizations to speak on the issues of racism, social justice, and cultivating inclusiveness in the workplace. She has appeared on CSPAN's Washington Journal, Connecticut Public Television, Historic Mitchelville Freedom Park, and was a featured speaker for the Diversity and Inclusion Research Conference (DIRC) as well as for the Association of Junior Leagues International and Network of Executive Women. 

This series is co-organized by the Office of Student Affairs and Nada Ayad, Associate Dean of HSS, as a continuation of a reading and discussion series for first-year students that was held as part of the Fall 2020 new student orientation. In the spirit of The Cooper Union mission, the Black Student Union and the Cooper Climate Coalition, along with several other Cooper students and faculty, were deeply involved in the articulation of the program as well as in contributing to the reading list and suggesting speakers.

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