First National Conference on Whiteness and White American Culture
The First National Conference on Whiteness and White American Culture was exactly that, the first conference on whiteness held in the United States. It was during a time when discussion of whiteness was all but taboo in mainstream culture. People often confused public discussion of whiteness with white supremacist motives. Today this still takes place. In 1996 the misunderstanding was even stronger. So it was a very brave group of 54 people from 17 states who attended and presented at the first conference. CSWAC founded the conference. Early on we were joined by Partnership Against Racism in Chicago as co-sponsor.
A detailed report of the First National Conference on Whiteness and White American Culture was given in CSWAC's Quarterly Newsletter.
The Los Angeles Times covered the conference, calling it a "workshop" (although there were actually several workshops offered during the 2-day conference.
The First National Conference on Whiteness and White American Culture took place 5 months before the better known Berkeley conference on whiteness held in April 1997. Here an article a year later in the SF Weekly News mistakenly credits the Berkeley conference as breaking the ground. The Berkeley conference was a very significant event in its own right, but not the first.
The conference was planned as part of a larger effort named the "Dialogue on Whiteness." This archive of the Dialogue on Whiteness website contains detailed information about the conference as well.
Some feedback from participants exists as well.
Here is who was there. List of participants