UWS Backs Out of Anti-Racism Campaign

By KBJR News 1

April 8, 2013 Updated Apr 8, 2013 at 6:34 PM CST

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.COM)

UWS has chosen to withdraw its support from the creative and controversial, Unfair Campaign.

The Campaign began in 2011 as a way to create awareness of "white privilege" and consequently reduce racism.

Shortly after its launch, those opposed to the campaign, including a white supremacist group called "Supreme White Alliance"... began protesting, saying the campaign sends a message of "reverse racism" against whites.

"It's not unfair to be white. We're born who we are," says Ed Heisler Exec. DIrector of Men as Peacemakers, a sponsor of the Unfair Campaign.

Heisler says the message instead is that it is "unfair" for whites to ignore racial disparities.

UWS says their decision to withdraw from the Unfair Campaign was not motivated by the surrounding controversy.

"We've received a lot of feedback both ways positive and negative so I don't know that that really swayed our decision," says Lynne Williams Director of Marketing and Communication at UWS.

Williams says UWS would rather focus on internal programs to alleviate racism.

"This is something we made a commitment to and it kind of ran its course. It expired."

There are 17 remaining sponsors of the Unfair Campaign. They are not deterred by UWS's decision to pull out.

"We remain committed to addressing racial disparities in this community creating a community that is free from racism eventually and part of that is educating about white privilege and what we can do as a 90 – percent white population," Heisler adds.

The Unfair Campaign has recently entered phase II, which involves employing action teams throughout the community to address racial disparities.

Lake Superior College is the Unfair Campaign's remaining educational sponsor.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware
gware@kbjr.com