Conferences/Meetings/Institutes

ALSC Meetup in Kansas City at WPC

Logo for The WPC (White Privilege Conference)

Next month, I will travel to Kansas City, MO to meet educators, librarians, and other community members at the 18th annual White Privilege Conference (WPC). You might be wondering, “What is the WPC?” The conference website offers the following answers to that question:

  •       WPC is a conference that examines challenging concepts of privilege and oppression and offers solutions and team building strategies to work toward a more equitable world.
  •       It is not a conference designed to attack, degrade or beat up on white folks.
  •       It is not a conference designed to rally white supremacist groups.
  •       WPC is a conference designed to examine issues of privilege beyond skin color. WPC is open to everyone and invites diverse perspectives to provide a comprehensive look at issues of privilege including: race, gender, sexuality, class, disability, etc. — the ways we all experience some form of privilege, and how we’re all affected by that privilege.
  •       WPC attracts students, professionals, activists, parents, and community leaders/members from diverse perspectives. WPC welcomes folks with varying levels of experience addressing issues of diversity, cultural competency, and multiculturalism.
  •       WPC is committed to a philosophy of “understanding, respecting and connecting.”
Picture of Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr.
Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr.

The conference was founded by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. and it “looks at White Privilege intersectionally, in the context of various systems of privilege.” The WPC is attended by teachers, librarians, academics, nonprofit leaders, activists, counselors, members of spiritual communities, high school and college students, and more from across the globe. To me, conference goals align directly with ALSC Core Competencies (especially under I. Commitment to Client Group). To register for the WPC, click here.

If you are thinking of attending, you can expect an optional one-day Thursday training leading into a three-day conference (Friday-Sunday). There are a few keynote talks each day, and several workshops from which participants can choose. There are also daily caucus meetings where people with shared identities can get together and process learning from each day. At night, film screenings offer extended educational opportunities. In their own ways, these learning experiences both challenge and empower, building up participants’ skills in understanding and working toward equity and justice.

I am excited to host an ALSC Roadshow Meetup at 7 p.m. on April 29 for ALSC members and prospective members interested in joining together in this deeply personal and collaborative work.  While the meetup will be social in nature, part of our time together will include structured reflection and discussion.  All are welcome (even non-librarians)! Click here for more information and to RSVP for the meetup. (Lit Fest KC is happening not too far away that same weekend, so even if you aren’t attending WPC we invite you to attend our gathering to learn more and help us reflect.)

ALSC wristbandsWatch the social media hashtags #wpc18 and #alscatwpc to follow participants’ learning and see what other opportunities arise for coming together while at the conference. ALSC division swag will be available (follow the hashtags during the conference for more information on where it will be) so participants can use ALSC gear as conversation starters and advocacy springboards. Pins and wristbands will also allow for librarians and kidlit folks to recognize one another easily.

If you are interested in attending WPC and/or the ALSC Meetup in Kansas City, don’t hesitate to reach out or follow the hashtags for more information. I look forward to seeing many fellow and future ALSC members there!

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Elisa Gall (@gallbrary) is a librarian from Evanston, IL and a member of the blogging team at Reading While White.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

If you’d like to write a guest post for the ALSC Blog, please contact Mary Voors, ALSC Blog manager, at alscblog@gmail.com.

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