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HISTORY

The Center for the Study of White American Culture (CSWAC) was founded in April 1995 by Jeff Hitchcock and Charley Flint, an interracial couple with a lifelong interest in matters of racial justice and equity. The founders continue to serve the organization. Jeff is Executive Director and Charley is President of the Board of Trustees. Shortly after its founding CSWAC incorporated as a nonprofit and applied to the IRS for 501(c)3 status which it obtained and continues to hold. (more)

The founders envisioned an organization that would raise consciousness about the role whiteness and white American culture occupy in the racial structure of United States society. In 1995 this topic was not discussed in mainstream public settings. In 1996 CSWAC organized the National Conference on Whiteness, the first event of its kind ever held. That same year we launched www.euroamerican.org, the first outpost of white-identified anti-racist advocacy on the internet which, even then, had already seen the appearance of several white supremacist sites.

Today conferences on whiteness and white privilege are more common, and the white anti-racist presence on the internet has grown substantially. CSWAC welcomes this growth, and continues to contribute leading ideas and works. In 2010 we published the book Accountability and White Anti-racist Organizing, the first book to delve into this crucial topic for racial justice advocates in depth. (less)

Since its inception, CSWAC has had three major areas of operation:

Training (more)

On February 24, 1996 CSWAC presented our ??Learning How to Talk about Whiteness?? workshop at The Thirteenth Annual Teachers College Winter Roundtable on Cross Cultural Psychology and Education at Columbia University. The workshop was a success and we continue to offer it. Over the years we have given this and other workshops at a number of conferences, nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and schools. We also offer custom-designed training events and ongoing support for anti-racist institutional change efforts. For more about training, see Services: Overview.

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Publishing (more)

CSWAC has published materials online and in print since our founding. Often our focus has been to provide information and content unavailable from any other source. CSWAC has sought to demonstrate the validity of a perspective that makes whiteness and white American culture specific matters of discussion. We have also promoted the development of a white anti-racist point of view expressed through the lens of print and online media. Significant events and products in CSWAC's publishing history are:

QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER (1995 ?C 1997) (more)

The QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER marked CSWAC??s first entry into publishing. Actually more of an experimental ??zine, the newsletter documented events and featured stories of whiteness as it was entering the public discussion. The QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER, a 16-page publication, was sold by subscription and several CSWAC supporters over the years made their first contact with us as subscribers. We published 6 issues in total. See CSWAC ??zine (1995-97) to view each issue online in its entirety in our Library. (less)

www.euroamerican.org (1996 ?C present) (more)

CSWAC built an early presence on the web with www.euroamerican.org (this website), established in May 1996. Over the years the site has undergone two major revisions and fallen out of use on occasion. At present we are actively supporting the site and adding new content. Click here took view an early 1998 version of www.euroamerican.org. (less)

Whiteness Papers (1997 ?C present) (more)

Following after the whimsically named ??Brown Papers?? of the Women??s Theological Center in Boston, CSWAC began its Whiteness Papers series. The papers feature new thinking about whiteness and how it may be transformed. Presently there are 5 papers in the series. Each is a timeless and perennial favorite. Descriptions and copies for purchase are available at www.CDDbooks.com. (less)

Membership Newsletter (1999 ?C 2003) (more)

When printing costs became unsustainable, CSWAC moved from the 16-page QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER to a more traditional 4-page newsletter focusing on our own activities. The Membership Newsletter reports events leading up to the pivotal White Anti-racist Leadership Conference held in New Orleans in 2002 and other events during a formative time at CSWAC, and in society at large. To read past issues, see Membership Newsletter in the Library. (less)

Racial Awareness Quiz (1999) (more)

The Racial Awareness Quiz is a discussion tool for classrooms, workshops and study groups that draws upon US history to raise awareness of false assumptions, typically conveyed by US education, in regard to racial structure in the US. Descriptions and copies for purchase are available at www.CDDbooks.com. (less)

WACAN.org (2003 ?C 2010) (more)

Following upon the outcome of the 2002 White Anti-racist Leadership Conference, CSWAC undertook a strategy of developing community among white anti-racists and allies of color. CSWAC??s name was deemed too academic and institutional to inspire organizing projects, so a new identity of the White Anti-racist Community Action Network (WACAN) was inaugurated with the launch of the online community at www.wacan.org. In 2010 CSWAC found www.wacan.org had run its course. We retired it from operation and presently are considering its future course. (less)

Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books (2003 ?C present) (more)

A failed relationship with a publisher, and a sense of needing to do it anyway, led the CSWAC to create an identity as a book publisher. The name of Crandall, Dostie & Douglass Books, Inc. (registered in NJ as an alternate business name) commemorates three 19th century abolitionists: Prudence Crandall, A. P. Dostie, and Frederick Douglass. Crandall, Dostie & Douglass operates www.CDDbooks.com where publications of the CSWAC are available for sale. (less)

Lifting the White Veil (2003) (more)

This is the first title published by Crandall, Dostie & Douglass. Originally published under the title of Unraveling the White Cocoon, Lifting the White Veil has been widely used in academic and activist settings alike. Many people report that reading it was an early and formative experience on their road to racial justice activism. Further description and copies for purchase are available at www.CDDbooks.com. (less)

The AntiRacist Cookbook (2005) (more)

The second title published by Crandall,Dostie & Douglass, The AntiRacist Cookbook is a complete guide to holding small group dialogues on race. It goes where other race dialogue programs do not and includes discussion of whiteness and white privilege. Further description and copies for purchase are available at www.CDDbooks.com. (less)

Walk With Us (2007) (more)

This book is an award-winning true story told masterfully by a poet and writer. With a manuscript that tackles issues of racism, white privilege and reparations in the here and now of real lives and intimate relationships, the author wanted a publisher that would not dumb the story down out of fear of affronting delicate white sensitivities. See the Walk With Us website. Further description and copies for purchase are available at www.CDDbooks.com. (less)

Talking About Race (2010) (more)

Based on a successful college course, Talking About Race is a self-study workbook about white people fostering racial equality in their lives. Tue to our publishing tradition, the book goes where few other books venture, taking on topics such as whiteness and violence in family settings. See the Talking About Race website. Further description and copies for purchase are available at www.CDDbooks.com. (less)

Accountability and White Anti-racist Organizing (2010) (more)

This book draws from activist settings to bring key principles of racial justice organizing to a larger public. It stands as a unique work on a topic that is crucial to organizing impact, but has never received in depth treatment before in print. See the Accountability and White Anti-racist Organizing Facebook page. Further description and copies for purchase are available at www.CDDbooks.com. (less)

WACANupdate (2004 ?C 2009) (more)

Following in the tradition of the QUARTERLY NEWSLETTER, the WACANupdate featured ??news and opinion of interest to the white anti-racist community.?? The WACANupdate was a free electronic publication sent by email, at its height to nearly 1,600 subscribers. After more than 100 issues, the demands of compiling the update and a hardware platform with an aging response time made the collection and assembly of the update unsustainable. To read past issues, see WACANupdate archives in the Library. (less)

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Organizing (more)

CSWAC has organized several conferences and gatherings over the course of our history. Consistent with CSWAC??s mission, our conferences have been directed toward discussing whiteness and fostering a white anti-racist community that can undertake the work of dismantling white privilege and white supremacy and building an anti-racist, multiracial society. In November 1996 CSWAC organized the National Conference on Whiteness and White American Culture. This was the first conference ever held in the United States on the topic of whiteness, white privilege and white American culture.

CSWAC believes it??s important to collaborate with other organizations and our conference series reflects this belief. Within the CSWAC framework, the white anti-racist community consists of white anti-racists and people of color who support white anti-racists in their work. Thus the white anti-racist community is multiracial in character and our organizing has always reflected this understanding. Our organizing work from the outset involved collaboration with similar groups. Our events almost always had several co-sponsors whose collective input was crucial for the success of the event itself.

We are proud to have been an early and visible advocate for the emergence of a white anti-racist identity and activist presence. We continue to network and collaborate with the many groups working for racial justice and equity today.

National Conference on Whiteness series (1996 - 2000) (more)

The National conference on Whiteness series was founded by CSWAC in 1996 and produced four conferences over the course of five years. It was planned and organized to bring explicit discussion of whiteness, white privilege, and white American culture before the general public. View the archive page for this series of events in our Library.
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First National Conference on Whiteness and White American Culture, Burlington, NJ (1996) (more)

In November 1996 CSWAC held the First National Conference on Whiteness and White American Culture. Fifty-seven brave and dedicated people from across the United States attended the weekend event held at the Burlington Meeting House and Conference Center in Burlington, NJ. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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Second National Conference on Whiteness, Cambridge, MA (1997) (more)

The Second National Conference on Whiteness took place at the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, MA. Over 300 people attended, representing several organizations nationwide. COmmunity Change, Inc. and the Women's Theological Center provide the local organizing support. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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Third National Conference on Whiteness, Chicago (1998) (more)

The Third National Conference on Whiteness took place under local sponsorship of Partnership Against Racism and was held at the University of Chicago where 200 people gathered. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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Fourth National Conference on Whiteness, Boston (2000) (more)

The Fourth National Confernece on Whiteness was the final conference in the series. The conference was held at Simmons College, and was intentionally downsized from previous events. Eighty people attended. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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White Awareness Roundtable, Chicago (1998) (more)

The White Awareness Roundtable was a day long meeting of a dozen white anti-racist leaders from across the country invited to assemble for dialogue and networking in Chicago just prior to the Third National Conference on Whiteness. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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White Anti-racist Leadership Conference, New Orleans (2002) (more)

The White Anti-racist Leadership Conference was originally conceived as part of a larger project that failed to unfold, but was significant in itself. Fifty people gathered in New Orleans in November 2002 to discuss a colective white anti-racist effort to challenge racism and white privilege. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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White Anti-racist Community Action Network (2003 - present) (more)

The White Anti-racist Community Action Network is an organizing identity created by CSWAC to network and build community among white anti-racists and allies of color. It was started in the wake of the 2002 White Anti-racist Leadership Conference in New Orleans. WACAN has operated a social networking website, an e-publication, a conference series, and a listserv. Only the latter remains in operation at this time. View the archive page for this project in our Library.
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Mid-Atlantic White Anti-racist Gathering (2005) (more)

The Mid-Atlantic White Anti-racist Gathering brought together white anti-racist groups from New York to Washington, DC in March 2005. The gathering took place in response to the 2002 White Anti-racist Leadership Conference and a commitment made at that conference to do regional organizing. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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White Anti-racist Summit series (2005 - 2009) (more)

The White Anti-racist Summit was held as an annual event at the White Privilege Conference (WPC) between 2005 and 2009, for a total of 5 summits. It was organized as a call to people who have been organizing white people to take anti-racist action and oppose racism. The White Anti-racist Summit was intended to be an occasion to network, share information, report on group and organizing activities, distill lessons from local situations at various locations around the country, and support and encourage one another to continue in the work. View the archive page for this series of events in our Library.
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White Anti-racist Summit I, Pella, IA (2005) (more)

The first summit took place at the sixth White Privilege Conference (WPC6) on Saturday, April 30. Twenty people were present, and 3 white anti-racist groups were represented. Topics included a discussion of the history of white resistance to racism, a presentation by Catalyst Project on their work, and an in-depth look at accountability and organizing. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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White Anti-racist Summit II, St. Louis (2006) (more)

The second summit took place at WPC7 on Saturday, April 29. Seven groups were co-sponsors, and over 30 groups were representated. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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White Anti-racist Summit III, Colorado Springs, CO (2007) (more)

The third summit took place at WPC8 on two days (April 17 and April 21). The event was planned by a Summit Coordinating Committee composed of representatives from 4 groups. Attendance fluctuated between the two days, but over 50 people took part. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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White Anti-racist Summit IV, Springfield, MA (2008) (more)

The fourth summit took place at WPC9 and reverted to the single-day format, held on Saturday, April 5. The Summit Coordinating Committee remained in place as the planning group, and the work continued in the same direction as the previous year. The focus was on "building the base." Fifty-four people registered for the event. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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White Anti-racist Summit V, Memphis, TN (2009) (more)

This summit took place at WPC9 on Saturday, April 4. The economic recession impacted the entire WPC. Summit attendance shrank to 16 registrants. The Summit Coordinating Committee again planned the summit, but member organizations had been feeling the strain of limited resources and other pressing commitments. CSWAC was unable to sustain our participation following Summit 5, and no other groups were willing or able to bring the process together for the next year. View the archive page for this event in our Library.
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CSWAC remains a small put powerful organization. We operate on a fee for service basis, with additional support from foundations and donors. Over the time of our existence we have seen the topics of whiteness, white privilege, and white American culture move from being taboo discussion to now being open to public examination. We continue to engage in that public discussion and promote its growth. True to our founding purpose, we believe it is necessary to do so if the US is to achieve a truly fair and just multiracial society.


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