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New Antiracist Organization for Grad Students


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First National Organizational Meeting

WATER:  White Antiracists Together Eviscerating Racism

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

6PM Pacific/9 PM Eastern



WATER is an organization for graduate students interested in undertaking the effort to build an antiracist culture and society. At this time, we are open to current students in PhD and similar academic programs in the United States. All academic disciplines are welcome, and you do not need to have a research interest in antiracism. You do NOT need to be White to join WATER; however, WATER is intended as a space where time can be devoted to doing the “White people work” of antiracism, including rebuilding our own cultures to be antiracist cultures.

We have drawn inspiration from the practices of other antiracist organizations, but WATER is fully independent to allow for true leadership opportunities for our student members. WATER will seek to partner with Black-led organizations and other kindred organizations on our common causes, but our decisions will always rest with our own leadership.


In our inaugural national meetings, our initial work areas will be up for discussion. However, the following organizing principles have been proposed:

  1. Our primary purpose will be eviscerating racism.
  2. We will address both individual and institutional racism.
  3. Everyone’s perspectives can contribute.
  4. As White people, we aim to develop cultural competence. We aim to be able to positively articulate our own cultures’ perspectives within our national discourse.
  5. Our events are intended to be fun. We will forge human connections with each other and those we partner with as whole people. We also aim to live antiracism within our interpersonal relationships outside the organization.
  6. We envision a broad societal consensus against racism. For this reason, we seek to promote antiracist principles that can be unifying for Americans. We have no political or religious affiliation.
  7. We affirm freedom of speech and inquiry. All ideas are subject to critical evaluation.

Join us for our first organizing meeting! We will discuss:

  • What brings us to WATER
  • Priority work areas. For example:
    • Sharing resources
    • Dialogue and collaboration opportunities
    • Deep discussion
    • Identifying research areas (for example, what works to encourage desegregation?)
    • Addressing racism as it occurs (calls to action)
  • Identifying additional committed leaders
  • Publicizing our organization
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15 hours ago, W.A.T.E.R said:

WATER will seek to partner with Black-led organizations and other kindred organizations on our common causes, but our decisions will always rest with our own leadership.

Please make sure that the organizations you seek to partner and their members know that this is how your group will make decisions. Don't be surprised if you receive various forms of pushback when you do. 

In your opening meeting, please address the privilege that is impeded in your organizing principles. While BIPOCs have to deal with the myriad cascading impacts of white supremacy on a daily basis, you want "to be fun." Just how does that principle communicate anything resembling a serious approach to those whose asses are on the line the moment they walk out their front doors? 


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Thank you. I greatly appreciate this feedback. I am the author of the statement in the principles involving "fun", and I am going to reflect on how I could better convey what I intended to about the spirit of our events because I feel your point. I can add that as an agenda item to discuss during the meeting.

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