Social Justice Speaker Series features University of Arizona professor

Nolan Cabrera
Nolan Cabrera

The College of Health and Human Sciences at Colorado State University is excited to announce that the first speaker in its new Social Justice Speaker Series will give a lecture on Feb. 3.

Nolan Cabrera, an associate professor at the University of Arizona, will present, “White Immunity: Working Through the Pedagogical Pitfalls of Privilege.” The speaker series is supported by Dean Lise Youngblade and organized by the college’s Diversity and Equity Advisory Committee.

Cabrera’s talk explores the historical development of whiteness and shows how white advantage developed through systemic racism to which white people were socially inoculated. This lecture links the history of racial oppression to contemporary times and helps work through some of the pitfalls of “privilege” such as, “How can white kids from Appalachia be ‘privileged?'”

“The College of Health and Human Sciences Diversity and Equity Advisory Committee has worked for several years to address social justice and inequality,” said Youngblade. “We are excited to add the CHHS Social Justice Speaker Series as a venue to continue this work. I very much appreciate the service of the committee in organizing this year’s inaugural event featuring Dr. Nolan Cabrera. We look forward to this ongoing series as another tool to help us on our journey to promoting equity.”

Event details

The virtual lecture will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 3, and will include a question and answer period. The lecture is free and open to all – please register through the College’s events calendar.

“I am pleased to welcome Dr. Nolan Cabrera to our campus, as he has a vast amount of experience in looking at racism within University settings,” said Marie Villescas Zamzow, instructor in the School of Social Work and member of the College’s Diversity and Equity Advisory Committee. “Racism is not an on/off switch, it isn’t the good people versus the bad people. Instead, it is a system of power based on race and is more helpfully conceived of as a continuum. Dr. Cabrera will help us to look at some of the hidden, or not so hidden, areas where we are continuing racist practices as individuals and institutionally, within our everyday work at CSU.”

About Nolan Cabrera

Cabrera is an associate professor at the University of Arizona’s College of Education. His area of study is focused on racial dynamics on college campuses, with a particular focus on Whiteness. His publications have been featured in higher education journals such as American Educational Research Journal, Review of Higher Education, Journal of College Student Development, and Research in Higher Education.

“The recent deluge of social injustice against people of color is a harsh reminder that we as a society and university still have a lot of work to do to fight against racism,” said Michelle Foster, associate professor and the CHHS assistant dean for diversity, equity, and inclusion. “When we are silent, not only are people’s lives at risk, but we also lose opportunities and talented faculty, staff, and students. We should all be inspired to take action; we don’t have to feel hopeless. The Social Justice Speaker Series is an example of training and tools we are providing to clarify what racism is and how it is present within a university setting. The goal is to elucidate how you alone or with a group of supporters can influence change here at CSU.”