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NY Post
New York Post
25 Mar 2023

NextImg:NYC teachers union hosting  seminar on ‘harmful effects of whiteness’

The New York City teachers union is sponsoring a virtual workshop on fighting back against the “harmful effects of whiteness in our lives.”

The United Federation of Teachers’ online seminar, dubbed “Holding the Weight on Whiteness,” is scheduled for Monday, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., and will be hosted by Queens-based psychotherapy consultant and self-proclaimed “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leader” Erica Sandoval.


UFT members who are licensed mental health professionals can earn two hours of credit toward their continuing education credentials, which can eventually result in a higher salary.

The workshop costs $25 to attend and will focus on “key cultural themes … related to the Latinx/e communities,” including “internalized racism, privilege, [and] white identity,” according to the union’s website and an Instagram post.

“Participants will leave the workshop with a better understanding of how to center ourselves as a form of resistance against the harmful effects of whiteness in our lives, the organizations we work for or direct, and the communities in which we serve,” the post says.

Psychotherapist Erica Sandoval is hosting the $25 session.


News of the event has some seething — including Council Minority Leader Joe Borelli, who said he was contacted by many fuming teachers and parents wondering why fighting so-called “toxic whiteness” has become a top priority for a lefty union representing a school system plagued by poor performance in the classroom.

“Why is it important for employees of the New York City Department of Education to serve as a form of resistance against the effects of whiteness in their lives, the Department of Education, and the diverse communities in which they serve, which may consist of white students and families?” wrote Borelli (R-Staten Island) in a letter Friday to Tina Puccio, director of the UFT’s Member Assistance Program.

“To be clear, I don’t actually care what your speakers tell your members in an optional and private seminar.

Erica Priscilla Sandoval

Sandoval is a self-proclaimed “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Leader.”
LinkedIn Erica Priscilla Sandoval


“I care how members will implement the ‘resistance’ against these ‘harmful effects of whiteness’ when dealing with students and parents as part of their employment with the department.”

About 150,000 students — or 14.7% percent of the overall school population — are white, according to the DOE.

In recent years, the DOE itself has come under attack from critics for openly pushing an anti-white agenda that included distributing a book to students as young as 2 claiming the concept of race was created by white people who thought they were “better, smarter, [and] prettier” than others.

The promotional material for the whiteness workshop.

One critic called the workshop “racist.”


Maud Maron, a public school parent activist, said the workshop isn’t just “unnecessary,” it’s also “racist and bad for students whose education and well-being should be top of mind for everyone, including the teachers’ union.”

“There is nothing wrong with being white, and the sleight of hand of talking about whiteness is not even a fig’s leaf worth of cover,” she added. 

“My kids have a white mom and Latino dad. This training says there is something wrong with mom and absurdly calls dad ‘Latinx’ — a word he would never use.”

When asked about the outrage, UFT spokeswoman Alison Gendar said the union “offers professional development on a range of issues” but didn’t offer additional comment.