Monday, April 17, 2017


By Elisa Gall

Photo from
 In two weeks, a few of us from RWW will travel to Kansas City, MO alongside teachers, librarians, academics, nonprofit leaders, activists, counselors, members of spiritual communities, high school and college students, and more to attend the 18th annual White Privilege Conference, or WPC. If you haven’t heard of the conference before, you might have questions about what it is all about. 

The WPC website offers several explanations:
  • WPC is a conference that examines challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offers solutions and team building strategies to work toward a more equitable world.
  • It is not a conference designed to attack, degrade or beat up on white folks.
  • It is not a conference designed to rally white supremacist groups.
  • WPC is a conference designed to examine issues of privilege beyond skin color. WPC is open to everyone and invites diverse perspectives to provide a comprehensive look at issues of privilege including: race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, etc. — the ways we all experience some form of privilege, and how we’re all affected by that privilege.
  • WPC attracts students, professionals, activists, parents, and community leaders/members from diverse perspectives. WPC welcomes folks with varying levels of experience addressing issues of diversity, cultural competency, and multiculturalism.
  • WPC is committed to a philosophy of “understanding, respecting and connecting.

The conference was founded by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. and it “looks at White Privilege intersectionally, in the context of various systems of privilege.” (You might also recognize Dr. Moore from the documentary film, “I’m Not Racist...Am I?”)
Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr.
Photo from
If you are attending WPC, there are pre-conference workshops held on Thursday. The main conference starts on Friday and goes through Sunday. There are a few keynote talks each day, and several sessions from which participants can choose. There are also daily caucus meetings where people with shared identities can get together and process learning from each day. There are early morning walks and discussions with Dr. Moore, and at night, there are film screenings, dinners, fundraisers, performances, and additional community events. All of these sessions offer learning opportunities for people to practice the process of anti-racism work.
You can register for WPC here. In addition, the Association for Library Service to Children is supporting a meetup at 7 p.m. on April 29 for members and prospective members interested in joining together to discuss their learning and conference experiences.  All are welcome to that event, even non-librarians and folks not registered for the conference. Click here for more information and to R.S.V.P. for that meetup. Allie, Ernie, and I will be there and look forward to meeting and learning with everybody. Please spread the word!
If you can’t make it to Kansas City this year, follow along with participants as they share their learning via #wpc18. ALSC members will also use #alscatwpc. If you are planning your professional development for the year ahead, note that WPC is always around the end of April. We believe this conference is a learning opportunity not to be missed, and we hope our conversations and tweets encourage even more people to engage in this work and perhaps attend the conference next year.


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