The Ethics of Empowerment Between Women's Studies Programs and Consciousness-Raising Groups Within the Politics of Race and Class
Nixon, Laura Pleasants
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This paper explores the ethics of empowerment of community based consciousness-raising programs connected to university women's studies programs. It briefly describes the positive influences a women's studies program has on its pupils and explores ways - such as consciousness-raising groups - to extend such programs to . the community, with an emphasis on women or color and/or working class women who cannot afford to access it at the university. At the same time, it probes how underlying themes in empowerment rhetoric and the demographics of group initiators and participants might reproduce hierarchies consciousness-raising groups seek to avoid. Finally, it encourages white women's studies students and professors to seriously reconsider their outreach efforts and continue to educate themselves on the way racism works in their lives.