NotARacist-TwFb-01On a previous episode, we explored mistakes that well-intended white student affairs educators made while trying to be allies to colleagues and communities of color on their campuses. These mistakes often highlight the need for whites to engage in more self-work and skill development around dismantling institutionalized racism. Many student affairs educators see potential in organizing and supporting self-work in order to be more active and effective change agents for racial justice on campus. Through engaging stories and concrete examples and tools, Dr. Kathy Obear shares her own personal struggles and the common challenges and obstacles many white people face as they work to create more equitable, inclusive organizations in her new book …But I’m Not Racist! Tools for Well-Meaning White People.

On this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Heather Shea speaks with Dr. Obear about the critical need for whites to recognize how often they unintentionally react out of racist beliefs and learn to change their behaviors and attitudes. We will also explore how to develop approaches and tools to speak up with greater courage to interrupt racist dynamics, respond effectively when colleagues call you racist or criticize your efforts, and develop powerful partnerships to create meaningful change and racial justice on your campus.

Watch the free webcast live on Wednesday, February 8 at 1 p.m. ET at and participate in the backchannel conversation on Twitter at #higheredlive. Or return to this page after the episode airs to view the archived video.

Have a question for Dr. Obear? Submit them in advance to or tweet @higheredlive during the episode.


Episode Host

Heather Shea

Heather Shea

Heather Shea's career in student affairs spans nearly two decades and five different campuses, and involves experience in many different functional areas including residence life, multicultural affairs, women’s centers, student activities, leadership development, and commuter/nontraditional student services–she identifies as a student affairs generalist. Heather is currently serving as the director of Women*s Student Services in the Division of Student Affairs at Michigan State University having just completed her Ph.D. in MSU's HALE (Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education) Program. She completed her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Colorado State University in 2000. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heather_shea_


Dr. Kathy Obear

Dr. Kathy Obear, President, Alliance for Change Consulting and Coaching, has worked with staff, students, and leaders at hundreds of colleges and universities to create more equitable and inclusive organizations, including addressing microaggressions and dismantling institutional racism. Dr. Obear is a Co-Founder of the Social Justice Training Institute ( and has trained staff and faculty to design and facilitate powerful workshops and weekend retreats for white students exploring whiteness, white privilege, racism, and creating greater racial justice. She is regarded as an expert at training leaders and facilitators to navigate difficult dialogues and triggering events. Follow her on Twitter ‪@KathyObear