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WVC to Screen New Documentary on Race

Race will be the topic of discussion September 17, 2013, when West Valley College screens “White Like Me,” a newly released one-hour documentary based on books by acclaimed author and anti-racism educator Tim Wise. A conversation with Wise will follow the screening.

The free event is sponsored by the West Valley College Library, WVC’s Global Citizenship Committee and WVC’s Student Activities Center.

“The goal of this event is to challenge our community, especially our white community, to reflect deeply on race and to spur an open and honest conversation about racial identity,” said Maryanne Mills, outreach and instruction librarian at WVC. “Through ‘White Like Me,’ we can begin to acknowledge the legacy of white privilege and how it has shaped our society. Accepting this, we can embrace our multicultural future as we live and work in diverse local and global communities.”

The film explores race through the lens of whiteness and white privilege, and shows how white privilege continues to shape individual attitudes, electoral politics and government policy in ways many white people do not consider.

The decision to screen the film and hold a discussion on race came about over the summer, Mills said. That’s when various topics – from racial profiling to the scaling back of voting rights to the Trayvon Martin murder case to the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington – pointed to a need to discuss race, she said. At the same time, the Global Citizenship Committee learned about the documentary, which aims to change the national conversation about racism and race.

“This is a good thing to think about and talk about,” Mills said. “It will be controversial, but it’s important to talk about and discuss. We’re looking forward to having a good conversation about this.”

As part of the ongoing theme, the library will host discussions and exhibits about race throughout the semester.

After the film screening, Wise will be on hand to answer questions and sign copies of his books.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 3 p.m. September 17, 2013 in the West Valley College Theater. Free parking is available in Lot 7 on the WVC campus. For ADA accommodations, please call 408-741-4661.