Upcoming CAPS workshop for learning and practicing accountability

Sydni Zidarevich, Justice, Equity and Diversity Beat Reporter

This Saturday, an affinity group provided through Counseling & Psychological Services called Critical Conversations: a learning and accountability group, will be holding an event called “Examining Power Tools,” from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Corvallis Museum.

Through this workshop, white identifying students at Oregon State are able to participate in this year’s Examining White Identity event, where the goal is to focus on “Building Co/nversations, Co/nnection and Co/mmunity.”

As of winter term 2023, Oregon State’s enrollment demographics show that out of 32,722 students, only 9,523 were people of color, while 20,249 students identified as white.

Understanding campus makeup, at a predominantly white institution, is a factor to consider for any individual, especially those that identify as white. 

“As a white person, in a society that’s been structured to privilege and uphold systems of oppression, we have a particular important responsibility to continue to take a look at advantages, whether we were creating them or whether they were just offered to us,” said Michele Ribeiro, group coordinator and one of nine EWI facilitators. 

Across the United States, according to a study published in the Metropolitan Universities Journal, the demographic makeup is beginning to become more diverse, and in turn, colleges and universities are working on their efforts to understand the importance of social justice awareness and learning to support students of various cultural backgrounds.

“What is accountability? Accountability is to stay in conversation, to stay in action…to stay in responsibility. And I say response, ability to respond, as someone that wants to help change the structures of our society,” Ribeiro said.

Following the retreat, EWI will be holding weekly Zoom meetings on Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. where students will be able to continue these critical conversations.

“Now is the time to help shape the society that you want to continue to move into. So just to recognize how much power that you actually have and you have the choice to get overwhelmed, or you have the choice to roll up your sleeves and help make the change that’s needed,” Ribeiro said.

The registration form for “Examining Power Tools: Building Co/nversations, Co/nnection and Co/mmunity” can be found here.

“That’s what this group [is], and that’s what our examining white identity retreats have always been about, is building awareness.”

For more information regarding “Critical Conversations: A learning and accountability group” contact Michele Ribeiro ([email protected]) or Allison Comiskey ([email protected]).

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