Race to be topic for upcoming presentation

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Tim Wise

Beloit College is talking about race.

For the second straight year, Tim Wise, anti-racist writer and educator, will visit the college on Wednesday, Oct. 10, and give a lecture about a number of different issues in today's society.

Wise has written six books about race and has provided anti-racism training to educators across the nation.

He came to the college last October, and the overwhelming positive response by students caused staff to invite him back.

“About 200 people came last year,” said Daksha Howard, coordinator for the Office of Intercultural Affairs.

Howard said the college is expecting even more to attend this year, and moved the venue to Eaton Chapel in order to accommodate the larger crowd.

Tamanisha John, a sophomore international relations major, went to Wise's lecture last year, and said she wasn't sure what to expect going in.

“I'd read his name on a few blogs before, but I didn't really know about him,” she said. “When I did read up on him I saw that he was anti-racism speaker and I thought it would just be another boring lecture.”

To her surprise she found his lecture very educating and interesting.

“He made a lot of people think,” she said. “Even days after he came many were talking about it.”

One specific topic that really stuck out in her mind was when Wise talked about drugs. Specifically marijuana.

Wise talked an incident when he was a teenager, when his friends got pulled over and the officer found marijuana on them but let them go.

“And he knew that some of his friends that were of color would get a ticket or get arrested,” she said. “That always stuck with me.”

John is going again this year with some of her friends that didn't attend the last lecture.

Cecil Youngblood, director of Intercultural Affairs for the college, said Wise brings a unique perspective on racism.

“He is a person not of color that has an objective view, on the views, of race,” Youngblood said.

It's because Wise is Caucasian that makes his lectures impactful for students.

“If a person of color said similar things it's taken as exaggerated, or we've heard it all before,” he said. “Because he isn't of color and does back his lecture up with facts people pay more attention.”

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