Cross Cultural Dialogue on White Cultural Identity, Power, and Privilege in a Graduate Course


  • Ruby Cain Ball State University
  • Kendra Lowery Ball State University


Adult Learning, White Privilege, Race, Racism, Social Justice


A graduate seminar in Adult and Community Education, addressing race, white privilege, and racism, taught annually for the last seven years, is the subject of this article. The history of the course and the community program from which it was constructed will be highlighted. This involves 20+ years of developing and administering community curricula for cross-cultural dialogues on race and racism. The article will describe the seminars impact on graduate students understanding of race, racism, power, and white privilege; increased cultural awareness, and expertise in community mobilization and social action/justice. The primary focus will be on the white students' outcomes in understanding white cultural identity, power, privilege, and social action. The secondary focus will be on the students of color and their outcomes. The mixed methods research study to assess these outcomes included survey results, interviews, classroom observations, and narratives. The findings and lessons learned will be presented.

Author Biographies

Ruby Cain, Ball State University

Associate Professor of Practice, Adult & Community Education Director, M.A. Degree Programs in Adult & Community Education Program and in Executive Development for Public Service Program Director, Graduate Certificates in Adult Education and in Community Education Director, It Is Well With My Soul (community program) Department of Educational Studies Teachers College

Kendra Lowery, Ball State University

Assistant Professor & EdS/EdD Program Director Department of Educational Leadership Teachers College