RACIALLY COLORBLIND IDEOLOGY ON THE WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY VANCOUVER CAMPUS
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Our world is colored with diversity. To be blind to that diversity is to be blind to some of the most beautiful things this universe has to offer. Racially colorblind ideology, or the concept of “seeing no race” when looking at two strikingly different individuals, has traditionally been viewed in modern day society as a good thing. This idea is misunderstood. To claim to “see no color” when talking with or teaching students of color completely strips them of their identity, history, and lived experiences. The goal of this research is to understand racially colorblind ideology faced by students of color on the WSU Vancouver campus, and how this ideology affects these students’ educational experiences. The purpose of this research is to use the data collected to present suggestions to the WSU Vancouver community on ways to make the campus more equitable for all students. With my research I ask, how does the presence of racially colorblind ideology on the WSU Vancouver campus affect how students of color perceive their educational experience? To do this research I conducted a qualitative study utilizing surveys and interviews of WSU Vancouver students. My data show that both students of color and white students prefer professors who actively address their race over professors who practice racially colorblind ideology. A majority of respondents agree that professors at WSU Vancouver could improve their approach to acknowledging race amongst students. Findings from the analysis of this data suggest that racially colorblind ideology needs to be interrogated and dismantled on the WSU Vancouver campus. This research is significant in that it unearths the need for training to be made available to faculty and staff in order to move the campus towards a more equitable future.