Decentering Whiteness

“If you have come here to help me, you’re wasting your time. If you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together.” — Lilla Watson

Many non-Black students are becoming aware of the pervasiveness of anti-Black racism within Canadian society — recognizing the systemic nature of anti-Black racism within our schools, workplaces, healthcare system, criminal justice system, and post-secondary institutions—including within our campus community.  WGST is holding sessions for all students to come together virtually on December 10 at 11:00-1:00 and 1:30-3:30.

WGST seeks to recognize and respond to the violence of anti-Black language in class, specifically the use of the n-word by WGST faculty members. Anti-Blackness cannot be ignored or tolerated.

WGST’s accountability must go beyond simply naming the pervasive climate of anti-Blackness. To this end, WGST is also committed to fostering spaces for non-Black students to reflect on what role they play in upholding anti-Black racism. To learn, to listen, and reflect on how white privilege and systemic anti-Black racism marginalizes, silences, and harms Black students.

This is vital because Black students are exhausted from experiencing, calling-out, and responding to anti-Blackness. Non-Black students must take up these risks and this labour. In order to dismantle anti-Black racism, non-Black people must challenge assumptions, fears, biases, privileges and benefits. Non-Black people need to welcome discomfort—to have difficult and uncomfortable conversations. In so doing, it is critical to recognize and respect the importance of centering and learning from the lived-experiences and guidance of Black leadership.

Accordingly, WGST is offering Decentering Whiteness sessions, facilitated by Dr. Rai Reece, a Black-identified mediator. Dr. Reece is an interdisciplinary scholar-activist, whose expertise includes Canadian Black feminism, critical race theory, anti-Black racism, punishment and misogynoir, critical feminist criminology, community-based ethnography, prison health, equity as social praxis, and abolition and activism. Dr. Reece was recently honoured as one of the 100 Accomplished Black Canadian Women in 2020.

All students are welcome to attend, regardless of racial/ethnic identity. WGST hopes you will attend this vital learning opportunity, which can help non-Black students undertake the ongoing, life-long process of unlearning, decentering, and disinvesting in white-supremacy.  

Register online at:


Participation is by choice:

Participants are encouraged to engage throughout the session, however, each individual should only participate to the level at which they are comfortable.  In order to enhance the quality of dialogue and community-building, it would be ideal for everyone to join the session with cameras on, but we understand why this may not be possible for some.


All participants are asked to respect each other’s privacy and not to reveal anything personal that they learn about someone outside of the circle session.  While we hope that everyone will respect this privacy, we can never guarantee complete confidentiality in a group setting.  What is said in each session will never be attributed to any individual afterwards.  Participants should know that if there are outcomes for further steps to take, WGST will receive a summary of these items from the facilitator after all sessions are complete.

Respectful Communication:

We ask everyone to be respectful in their disagreement and when speaking to one another.  For more information, students can refer to the University’s Student Code of Conduct.

Mental Health Support:

This may be a difficult discussion and in an effort to provide further support for participants, the University of Windsor’s Student Counselling Centre is available for appointments at  If you need to speak with someone immediately, please contact MySSP at 1-844-451-9700 or download the MySSP app for 24/7 talk/text counselling by licensed counsellors in multiple languages.  

For these specific sessions,

counsellor Safia Abdulle will be on-call during 11:00-1:00pm via Zoom and is available directly at, and

clinical therapist Dayna Rodrigues will be on-call during 1:30-3:30pm via Zoom and is available directly at