Tim Wise examines what Barack Obama’s election means and doesn’t mean in terms of racism and white privilege/supremacy in the United States, and what remains to be done to turn individual accomplishment into systemic transformation.
Tim Wise is among the most prominent anti-racist writers and activists in the U.S., and has been called, “One of the most brilliant, articulate and courageous critics of white privilege in the nation,” by best-selling author and professor Michael Eric Dyson, of Georgetown University. Wise has spoken in 48 states, and on over 400 college campuses, including Harvard, Stanford, and the Law Schools at Yale and Columbia, and has spoken to community groups around the nation. Wise has provided anti-racism training to teachers nationwide, and has trained physicians and medical industry professionals on how to combat racial inequities in health care. He has also trained corporate, government, entertainment, military and law enforcement officials on methods for dismantling racism in their institutions, and has served as a consultant for plaintiff’s attorneys in federal discrimination cases in New York and Washington State.
Wise is the 2008 Oliver L. Brown Distinguished Visiting Scholar for Diversity Issues at Washburn University, in Topeka, Kansas: an honor named for the lead plaintiff in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. In 2005, Wise served as an adjunct faculty member at the Smith College School for Social Work, in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he co-taught a Master’s level class on Racism in the U.S. In 2001, Wise trained journalists to eliminate racial bias in reporting, as a visiting faculty-in-residence at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 2005 and 2006, Wise provided training on issues of racial privilege and institutional bias at the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute (DEOMI), at Patrick Air Force Base. From 1999-2003, Wise was an advisor to the Fisk University Race Relations Institute, in Nashville, and in the early ’90s was Associate Director of the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism: the largest of the many groups organized for the purpose of defeating neo-Nazi political candidate, David Duke.
Wise is the author of White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son, and Affirmative Action: Racial Preference in Black and White. A collection of his essays, Speaking Treason Fluently: Anti-Racist Reflections From an Angry White Male, will be published in the Fall of 2008, and his fourth book, Between Barack and a Hard Place: Race and Whiteness in the Age of Obama, will be released in Spring, 2009. He has contributed chapters or essays to 20 books, and is one of several persons featured in White Men Challenging Racism: Thirty-Five Personal Stories, from Duke University Press. He received the 2001 British Diversity Award for best essay on race issues, and his writings have appeared in dozens of popular, professional and scholarly journals. Wise has been a guest on hundreds of radio and television programs, worldwide.
Wise has a B.A. in Political Science from Tulane University, where his anti-apartheid work received global attention and the thanks of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He received training in methods for dismantling racism from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, in New Orleans. He and his wife Kristy are the proud parents of two daughters.