Dr. Eddie Moore acknowledges that being the founder of an organization called the “White Privilege Conference” can sound a bit intimidating, but that’s not at all his intention.
“I’m not the black guy that was hired to beat up on white people,” he said in his keynote address at CVTC’s in-service day Wednesday opening the spring term. “The work I do is really about skills.”
Even as one of the country’s foremost speakers on diversity, he admitted that he has work to do on his skill set as well.
“Everybody’s got work to do, but everybody’s got to do the work,” he said. “This challenge to you is my challenge as well.”
Moore could clearly see what he was dealing with in his audience. The Commons area of BEC was filled with almost exclusively white faces. It was not a new experience for him. Moore explained that he grew up associating almost entirely with black people, but eventually he spent 16 years in white-dominated Iowa, where he received advanced degrees and launched a career in education.
But, motioning toward the white faces in the crowd, he warned his audience, “This is not what America looks like. Your kids, your grandkids, are not going to live in this type of world.”
He suggested we do as much a disservice to students not teaching them about diversity as we would do if we did not introduce them to computers – because both will certainly be part of their futures. Educators need to get themselves and their students ready for that future, he said.
“What have you done to get ready for a 21st Century, multicultural America?” he asked.
Moore urged people not to be indifferent or silent about diversity issues. He said one of his greatest frustrations is when people with good hearts and good minds see and hear things that are blatantly sexist, racist, or homophobic and say nothing.
“The best friend that hate has is silence,” he said.