In December, Calvin social work professor Joe Kuilema was added to Turning Point USA’s (a conservative youth group founded in 2012) Professor Watchlist because of an op-ed he wrote a year earlier for Calvin’s student newspaper addressing institutional racism and white privilege. His addition to the list garnered some national media attention.
History professor Bruce Berglund responded with an open letter to Turning Point USA that included signatures of more than 100 Calvin faculty requesting they too be added to the list.
The letter states: “Professor Kuilema is listed on the Watchlist because of his statements about systemic racism in the United States. If an aim of your site is to identify professors who maintain that racism remains a difficult problem in American society, then all of us need to be on the list.”
“There are differing approaches on how to best address issues surrounding racism in society in our respective disciplines and our respective courses,” said Berglund. “But in signing the letter, we recognize that Calvin has committed itself to this work and this goal, and we recognize Joe made a principled statement based on his experience in social work, his research and the scholarship of his discipline.”