March 29, 2010

Author-activist Tim Wise to speak at SIUC

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Author-activist Tim Wise, who calls himself “an angry white male,” has spoken across the country and through his books about ending racism in the U.S.

Wise brings his message to Southern Illinois University Carbondale at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 6, in the Student Center Auditorium. In “Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equality,” Wise will present his ideas about challenging power, making a difference and other related concerns. The Social Justice Leadership Institute is sponsoring the event, which is free and open to the public.

Wise’s newest book is “Between Barack and a Hard Place: Challenging Racism, Privilege and Denial in the Age of Obama,” and it explores the issue of racism in the context of Obama’s presidency. Wise also wrote “White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son,” “Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White,” and a collection of essays titled “Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections from an Angry White Male.”

Wise holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Tulane University in New Orleans, where he gained the attention and thanks of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu for his anti-apartheid work. He also completed anti-racism training at the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond in New Orleans. Wise received the 2002 National Youth Advocacy Coalition’s Social Justice Impact Award and the 2001 British Diversity Award, the latter for a feature column on race and diversity issues.

A popular speaker, Wise has taken his message to more than 400 universities in 48 states and also provides anti-racism training to teachers. The Social Justice Leadership Institute’s free Wise presentation is open to the community. A question and answer session and book signing will follow the lecture.

Additional sponsors include Recreational Sports and Services, University Housing, Student Affairs, Saluki First Year Experience, Student Development, University Honors Program, Interfraternity Council, Department of Speech Communication and Women’s Studies.

For more information, contact Student Development at 618/453-5714 or look online at