Portland State University Hosts ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ Symposium, Includes Race-Based Seating

A university in Portland, Oregon held a seminar on DEI recently, segregating attendees based on their race.

  • Portland State University (PSU) hosted a symposium on ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion’ recently, requiring attendees to sit at tables most related to their “identity.”
  • “Please sit at the tables that most align with your salient identities. You are also welcome to self-define multicultural and intersectional tables beyond single definitions e.g. Women of Color, QTPOC (Queer and Trans People of Color), folks with disabilities, Immigrant, refugee, etc,” the school said in its slideshow.
  • PSU Media Relations Manager Katy Swordfisk explained that the conference was “built on a series of affinity convenings that took place earlier in the year.”
  • “Participants were invited to sit at a table that resonated with their identity (including Black, Latinx, White, Native American and Multicultural, as a few examples) for the first part of the day, and shifted to tables by discussion topic later in the day,” Swordfisk said in an email.
  • PSU explained the goal of the summit was “to advance the insights from the BIPOC convenings and inspire collective action.”
  • The university claimed its responsibility was to join with “other critical stakeholders” and to “come alongside the BIPOC communities by honoring, affirming, and advancing the BIPOC communities prior work” and “identifying our highest shared aspirations and values.” 
  • Professor Bruce Gilley, president of the Oregon Association of Scholars, told The College Fix that the “use of ‘White’ tables at a university-run planning event is a gross affront not just to equality but to basic decency.”
  • “Portland State is taking the madness of the ‘diversity’ agenda to new heights by specifying a segregated place where a targeted group is to sit,” Gilley said. “Perhaps the university will roll out special arm-bands for white people on campus.”

PSU said it was “exploring and identifying the most critical levers for change to advance for the greatest impact, for both the BIPOC Communities and critical stakeholders with the intent to create momentum, accountability, and infrastructure for implementation,” the presentation’s slideshow read.

  • In December 2022, a math conference was held in Nashville, Tennessee, featuring a discussion emphasizing “Equity and Justice.”
  • Several of the educational papers in discussion included “Leveraging Equity and Civic Empathy through Community-Based Mathematical Modeling,” “Discourses of Justice,” “Equitable Teaching Practices: Developing Emergent Bilinguals’ Positive Mathematical Identities,” and “Whiteness in Fearmongering Towards Mathematics Education Reform.”
  • Scholars in attendance claimed current math practices created “toxic spaces for historically marginalized students and are violent toward them.”
  • Around the same time, House Republican Carl Tepper of Texas introduced a bill prohibiting diversity, equity, and inclusion in order to “foster a diversity of viewpoints.”
  • The bill, according to Tepper, prohibits “the funding, promotion, sponsorship, or support of” any means of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The text embraces the traditional, historical idea of equality, prohibiting “endorsement or dissuasion of, or interference with, any lifestyle, race, sex, religion, or culture.”
  • At University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business, students can now earn a major in Diversity, Equity And Inclusion.
  • Wharton faculty claimed that the decision to add the majors was a “response” to students’ interest in the subject area. Classes in the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion major reportedly will focus on “equality and discrimination” and the role diversity plays in the law.