Content Warning (CW):
The resources below are educational tools for everyone. However, many contain sensitive material that may be upsetting to individuals. This may include:
Transphobia, Biphobia, Sexism, Misogyny, Racism, Sexual Assault, Homophobia and other descriptions of rhetorical and physical violence.
Please practice self care when reviewing these materials.


Welcome to the ASUPS Expanding Consciousness page!

We know that it may be difficult and even daunting to think about enormous topics like racism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression and the ways that they are supported and created. But that doesn't make it any less important that we build the knowledge to understand them and begin to deconstruct them from our community. This page is designed to help you engage in contemporary and historical conversations surrounding important topics on social justice. These topics are often difficult, and at times it may be uncomfortable to engage with them. We have been taught ways of thinking that are oppressive but are no less deeply a part of who we are as a community, and it may be jarring to upend that thinking. This is completely okay and normal. We encourage you to push through, to reach out to friends and colleagues who can help you process, and to keep learning. 


The resources below were curated by students, faculty, and staff at Puget Sound and serve as a starting place for you to engage in these difficult conversations; no judgment, just learning. We encourage you to browse the following content and to be talking about them with your own communities, on or off campus. 


This page is a constant work in progress: If you have any article suggestions, specific questions, or you would like to report a concern about the


following content, please contact the ASUPS DSI ( or ASUPS DMO (

We are in the process of providing an anonymous method for submitting feedback.

In-Page Navigation

[Breaking Down Your Privilege]

What is privilege? Is it my fault that I have it? Why does it matter and how does it apply to my life?
The following articles get past popular conceptions of what privilege is and get at what it really means to have privilege.

Privilege 101: A Quick and Dirty Guide: Sian Ferguson provides a description of what privilege means. In addition to providing a straightforward definition, there are also helpful tips on how to contextualize this in relation to your own life. If you’re interested in learning about privilege and how it relates to oppression, then this article is a good place to start.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack: A simple list curiously of Peggy McIntosh about different ways white privilege is manifested in everyday life. This is a very useful tool to identify more covert aspects of white privilege.

More on White Privilege:

  • Baldwin, Janes. (1984). "On Being White...And Other Lies.:
  • Fields, Barbara. (1990). "Slavery, Race, and Ideology in the United States of America."
  • Fields, Karen & Fields, Barbara. (2012). Racecraft The Soul of Inequality in American Life.
  • Jacobson, Matthew. (1999). Whiteness of a Different Color: European Immigrants and the Alchemy of Race
  • Kelley, Robin. (2016). "Black Study, Black Struggle."
  • Lipsitz, George. (1998). "The Possessive Investment in Whiteness.
  • Morrison, Toni. (1993). Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination. 
  • Rankine, Claudia. (2015). Citizen: An American Lyric. 
  • Wise, Tim. (2008). White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son. 
  • Wray, Matt. (1006). Not Quite White: White Trash and the Boundaries of Whiteness. 

Often times political correctness is dismissed as being over polite or policing language, which is not what it is really about. It might be easier to think about it as inclusive language, rather than "PC Culture." Inclusive language is about focusing on being intentional with language, recognizing the diverse experiences of people's lives and what that brings to the table, and tailoring the words we choose to make sure everyone feels heard, supported, and included. It is an act of community, because it prioritizes the impact of our words rather than the intention. 

***CW: Articles may contain brief descriptions of sexual based violence

Inclusive Language: Read a simple explanation of what inclusive language is and why it is important to use it.

Inclusive Language Guidance: Here is one perspective of things to be mindful of when learning how to use inclusive language.

The Importance of Gender Neutral Language: Curious as to what gender neutral language is and why it is important? This awesome article will help you understand the power of our language choices and the future of an inclusivegender-neutral English language.

Why gender pronouns matter and exploring non-gendered language: This article outlines 5 reasons why using the correct pronouns is important. Not only is it an honest reflection of a person's gender but also helps legitimizes identity.

Trigger Warnings, Who are they for?: There is a lot of discussion within academic and public spaces about the use and effectiveness of trigger warnings. This article challenges opposition to trigger warnings by discussing PTSD and the very real impact it has on individuals. Trigger warnings are not about censorship but an intentional step towards compassion to those suffering from traumatic or stressful situations.

A note: One important distinction we would like to make is while this article references trigger warnings, everyday feminism uses content warning for a specific reason. Their explanation is that “as the word “trigger” relies on and evokes violent weaponry imagery. This could be re-traumatizing for folks who have suffered military, police, and other forms of violence”. While we encourage discussion about the use of 'trigger' warnings, ASUPS recognizes the importance of referring to these as 'content' warnings.

Engaging in discourse: why it’s okay to be wrong: Everyone struggles with the ability to admit they are wrong. Self reflection is not only an important skill in discourse but also everyday life. Personal growth starts with being able to learn from our mistakes.


Confused on the difference between equity and equality? Love simple illustrations
that demonstrate this distinction? Then look no further!

Box Illustration:This illustration refers to the difference between equality and equity. While equality means everyone is given the same opportunity, equity seeks to recognize that not everyone starts on the same playing field, and that some people might have different needs.


The following articles address common hesitations people have in engaging topics on racism. It is important
to recognize how these issues show up in everyday systems, and the ways in which the history of racism impacts present realities of racism we still struggle to confront.

***CW: The following content may contain physical and rhetorical descriptions of racial violence.



8 Facts About Race Every White Person Needs to Know to Help Fight Racism: To engage in conversations about race there are some things to keep in mind. Darnell Moore outlines eight facts about racism that are important for understanding how systemic racism.

What people of color feel when you say their anger isn't justified: Dominique Matti describes how dismissing lived experiences can be silencing. This narrative provides a reminder that racial discrimination can be traumatic and encourages the reader to practice compassion instead of commentary.

Intersectionality: A quick primer about intersectionality and what it means.

Why Intersectionality Can’t Wait: Kimberlé Crenshaw explains why it’s important to not just think about racism, or any other “ism” in a silo, but about the way different identities interact with one another in systems of oppression.

3 Reasons Why Being Anti-Racist Isn’t Code for Being Anti-White: This article challenges the notion that discussions on racism are themselves racist, or “Anti-White.” With stark language, Uwujaren describes that anti-racism movements aren’t against white people, but instead against discrimination, privilege, and the act of racism itself.

Holding the Tension: Whiteness vs. European Cultural Identity: This article is a historical reflection on how whiteness was constructed as a system of oppression known as white supremacy. Utt perfectly explains that while white people continue to benefit from systems of oppression, they can also act against white supremacy.

Here Are the Real Reasons Why We White People Struggle to Admit That Racism Still Exists: This article challenges white people to not only acknowledge that racism exists but also to engage in dismantling systems of oppression founded on white supremacy.

Being Anti-Racist as a White Person: This webinar will help you understandthe underlying reasons for the emotional resistance many white people have to addressing white supremacy and offers tools to begin releasing it.



The White Savior Industrial Complex: This is an explanation of the white savior industrial complex and the impact it has on social movements. This article does not discourage white people from challenging systems of oppression but gives a critical view into the true intentionality of movements to “liberate” countries/ groups of people.



BLM Policy Platform: If you have questions about the Black Lives Matter movement or their demands, this is the place. Learn more about the movement from the platform itself.

What a Black Lives Matter economic agenda looks like: The economic policy created by the black lives matter movement.

Black Lives Matter - Collins Memorial Library

Campus Activism - Black Lives Matter

The History of the National Anthem


Ableism discrimination in favor of abled bodied people. Ableism affects
people with physical disabilities and people with invisible disabilities

7 Crucial Ways My Nondisabled Friends Get It Right: This article explains some techniques on how able-bodied individuals can provide support without falling into ableist attitudes.

6 Forms of Ableism We Need to Retire Immediately: Here are six ways that ableism manifests itself.


How does the binary perpetuate discrimination? How does this discrimination affect people who identify as
transgender, gender nonconforming, genderqueer, non binary and female?

Gender Identity?This article addresses 9 questions about gender identity you might be too embarrassed to ask.


Breaking The Binary: Thispodcast challenges the genderbinary using neuroscience! See the complimentary article on how biological determinism is complicated by new research in the field of neurobiology.


A Culture of Misogny and Resisting This CultureThis article blantantly calls out how men perpetuate sexist attitudes mysogynisitc behavior. More importantly, the article addresses why it is important for people who identify as male to call out this behavior.

Day-to-Day SexismValenti discusses how sexism creates toxic environments for women in everday life. Living with sexism and misogyny on a daily basis can be exhausting and have repercussions on mental well-being.

Understanding Sexism for Women of ColorSexism can effect people in different ways. This is especially true for women of color who experience issues with both gender and racial inequality.


The following articles inform of discrimination based on sexual orientation. Despite the supreme court’s decision on
marriage equality, there continueto be systemic issues facing the LGBTQ community.

*** CW: The following articles may contain descriptions of transphobia, homophobia and biphobia

The Fight for LGBTQ Rights is Not Over: Hereare 10 LGBT issues that still are important to keep working on, beyond marriage equailty.

Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace: This article identifies how discrimination based on sexual orientation exists in the United States, specfically the work place.


Rape culture is manifested in society through derogatory comments, the prevalence of sexual assault, and victim blaming.

***CW: The following articles discuss sexual exploitation, assault and rape

Examples of Rape Culture:Here are 25 real life examples of how rape culture is perpetuated in today’s society. Note that these examples are extremely difficult to tackle with due to the content.

Responses to “rape culture hysteria”:Rape culture is very real and prevelant in our culture. This article is a good response to how sexual violence happens and how we ask society to respond.

Response from the sexual assault survivor in the Stanford Rape Case, 2016:Here is the powerful letter the stanford victim read aloud to her attacker.


How you can be an effective ally? How can you address these systemic issues? While addressing some of these systems of oppression and inequality it is important to recognize that there are things you can do. We believe that by reading theseresources, or simply by visiting this page you are on the right track to engaging in these difficult questions.

So You Call Yourself an Ally?:10 Things to be aware of if you actually want to be an ally.

Becoming Trustworthy White Allies: Morrison provides analysis on how to be a white ally beyond words. Being an ally isn’t something that you call yourself, it’s something put into practice.

4 Ways White People Can Process Their Emotions Without Bringing the White Tears: While recognizing whiteness as a system of oppression, often this can be emotional and difficult. It is okay to have these emotions, these conversations are not to make white individuals feel better about themselves. Instead here are four ways white individuals can process emotions without taking up space.

How to fight gender bias in conversastion: Amplification is a technique used by female identifying whitehouse staffers to avoid being talked over. This tool is a powerful example of how banning together can collectively subvert normal biases manifested in place ranging from the classroom to the board room.


Want to learn more about critical race theory and other theoretical work? The following resources provide pedagogical explorations of some of the topics discussed above.

Who Benefits?: A Critical Race Analysis of the (D) Evolving Language Of Inclusion in Higher Education by Jessica C. Harris, Ryan P. Barone, and Lori Patton Davis

Intersectionality, Critical Race Theory, and the Primacy of Racism by David Gillborn

Toward a new Vision by Patricia Hill Collins

An Open Letter to Mary Daly by Audre Lorde


Recommended literature by students and faculty at Puget Sound. 

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates| Review | Available at Collins Memorial Library | Purchase at Kings Books Tacoma

The New Jim Crow by Michelle AlexanderReview Available at Collins Memorial Library Purchase at Kings Books Tacoma

Why are all the black kids sitting together in the cafeteria by Beverly Daniel Tatum Review Available at Collins Memorial Library Purchase at Kings Books Tacoma

Racism without racists: color-blind racism and the persistence of racial inequality in the United States by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

On Intellectual Activism by Patricia Hill CollinsReview Available at Collins Memorial Library Purchase at Kings Books Tacoma

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More by Janet MockReview Available at Collins Memorial Library Purchase at Kings Books Tacoma

Sister Outsider by Audre LordeReview Available at Collins Memorial Library Purchase at Kings Books Tacoma

This Bridge Called My Back by Cherríe Moraga and Gloria E. AnzaldúaReview Available at Collins Memorial Library Purchase at Kings Books Tacoma

Democracy in Black by Eddie GlaudeReview Purchase at Kings Books Tacoma

Loving in the War Years by Cherríe MoragaReview Available at Collins Memorial Library Purchase at Kings Books Tacoma

The Color of Water: A Black Man's Tribute to His White Mother by James McBride | Review | Available at Collins Memorial Library | Purchase at Kings Books Tacoma



MTV Decoded(Video)