The University of South Carolina has been revealed to have held a "White Student Accountability Group" for students at the institution’s College of Social Work.
An email obtained by Turning Point USA showed the College of Social Work informing students that more spots were still available for their April 26 group meeting, which was held virtually through zoom.
The event description, which is no longer accessible, stated that the purpose of the group was for white students to "recognize their contribution" to racism, encourage students to use their power and "privilege" to enact change, and to build skills for these students to go out and hold their own "White Accountability Groups."
"The purpose of engaging in this project is three-fold," the description, obtained by Turning Point USA, began.
"1) To help social works students recognize both their contribution to and responsibility to dismantle racism in our practice and everyday lives, 2) To encourage students to use their voice, power, and privilege to enact change in their classrooms, community, and practice, 3) To support students in developing skills to host similar groups among peers or colleagues to expand the community dedicated to racial equity and justice," the description read.
The group aligns with a statement made by the university’s Educational Leadership and Policies Department in the wake of George Floyd’s death titled "In Solidarity."
The statement, signed by 23 faculty members, states "As part of our pledge of solidarity, we recognize white privilege and silence contributes to the horrific racial inequities and we commit to fostering growth of our critical consciousness so that we cease to be complicit in the persecution of the Black community."
"In our view, the indifference of color-blindness is ineffective in supporting anti-racism and ameliorating white supremacy. Education must stand as an institution of anti-racist action, grounded in the recognition that no one is free and equal until the violence and discrimination perpetrated on the Black community is dismantled. Leadership matters, and we seek to prepare leaders who are committed to anti-racist education, social justice, and action," the statement added.
"We will work with our students in the continued struggle for civil rights, racial equality, and social justice. To begin, we will examine our program curricula to ensure an emphasis on anti-racist education for leaders at all levels. Further, we will strive to build a critical consciousness about racial inequity, white privilege, and white supremacy among our students and partners, as well as within ourselves.
"Members of our department marched in the local, 'I Can’t Breathe' Rally in Columbia. Others are working with local activist organizations to convene lawyers who will represent protestors pro-bono. Beyond critical consciousness and course materials, we commit to social justice action and change. Join us," the statement concluded.
In response to the group, the Student Chapter President of Turning Point USA’s UofSC chapter said: "It’s just very sad and disappointing that the university would organize an event that promotes legitimately racist ideas."