Some of the most interesting and successful work being done on diversity and multiculturalism at Oberlin College, especially around questioning and challenging privilege, is being done by students.
We would like to highlight some of the most notable. If you would like to become involved with any of these opportunities or if you would like your work to be recognized here, please contact the MRC .
Committee on Privilege and Oppression (COPAO)
The Committee on Privilege and Oppression (COPAO) is a coalition of Oberlin Cooperative Student Association or OSCA members united to challenge issues of oppression and privilege within the OSCA community. By facilitating dialogue and encouraging collective self-education, we hope to promote a more open, respectful, and critically aware community—a community more capable of living out the ideals of the co-operative movement.
Experimental College (ExCo) Course: Antiracist Organizing and White Privilege
Many of us have seen and been part of predominantly white activist organizations on campus that are struggling to analyze the different ways power functions, figure out what it means to do anti-racist/multi-issue organizing, and change our work to reflect anti-racist priorities. This course is intended to fill some of those needs. This course aims to build participants' analysis skills and pass on histories of organizing and coalition-building on campus. We hope participants can support each other in thinking critically about activism, and hold each other accountable to making their work more just and productive. Meetings will be based on readings and discussions. This course is designed for white-privileged folks, but is open to anyone.
This ExCo course was first developed and offered as a private reading in spring 2005. Over the past three semesters, more than 40 students have participated.
Oberlin Coalition for Im/migrant Rights
The Oberlin Coalition for Im/migrant Rights (OCIR) is a student and community coalition committed to working in solidarity with the millions of protesters across the nation demanding justice for documented and undocumented im/migrants. We oppose racist and xenophobic legislation, which criminalizes im/migrants and their allies, denying them of their basic civil, labor, and human rights. We join with activists in this growing national movement in calling on the U.S. Senate to pass just im/migration reform that includes a pathway to legalization, family reunification, and stronger labor protections for all workers regardless of legal status.
In May 2006, OCIR held a faculty panel (Pam Brooks, Africana studies; Pablo Mitchell, history and comparative American studies; and Ari Sammartino, history) on immigration as well as a highly successful student walk out and rally to raise awareness and educate around im/migrant rights.