An upcoming conference at Michigan State University, titled, “Spring Conference on Teaching, Learning and Student Success,” will feature “affinity groups” that segregate participants by skin color. According to a university email, “There will be an affinity group for white folx and an affinity group for people of color.”
“Affinity (or caucus) groups provide spaces for people to work within their own identity groups,” read to an email sent to event attendees.
The university went on to say that such racial segregation will “advance racial equity,” adding, “there is work for white people and people of color to do separately and together.”
“There will be an affinity group for white folx and an affinity group for people of color,” the email states.
Regarding the segregated groups, the university explained that “for white people, an affinity group provides time and space to work explicitly and intentionally on understanding white culture and white privilege and to increase one’s critical analysis around these concepts.”
“For people of color, a caucus is a place to work with peers to address the impact of racism, to interrupt experiences of internalized racism, and to create a space for healing and working for individual and collective liberation,” the email adds.
In response to Breitbart News’ request for clarification on whether the racially segregated conference could be in violation of the school’s own anti-discrimination policy, a Michigan State spokesperson said that “this optional activity established for the Academic Advancement Network’s Spring Conference was not intended to be discriminatory.”
“Nonetheless, we regret the impact the invitation had on some,” the spokesperson added.
“We are examining and updating the format of the two optional facilitated discussions to be more inclusive,” the spokesperson said. “All conference participants are welcome to attend either discussion and we are no longer inviting individuals to join based on identity. Additional information will be shared with attendees soon.”
“Our institution values diversity and inclusiveness and continues to steadfastly work to create a more welcoming campus for all,” the spokesperson added.