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Talking About Cancel Culture
Talking About Cancel Culture

Talking About Cancel Culture

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Time & Location

Sep 19, 2023, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EDT


About the event

Why is this important: The phrase cancel culture was coined back in 2018 as a joke circulated on Black Twitter. Throw a milkshake at service worker because it wasn’t made the way you like it, and you just may end up going viral on TikTok and find yourself out of your six-figure finance job. Sell patches with 14 words or 88 on them and find yourself in the middle of a boycott of your store. As social media has become part of everyday lives, the impact and consequences of our behavior and opinions has been under increased scrutiny. Understanding the arguments for and against cancel culture will help faculty, staff, and human resource professionals better manage and facilitate the conversation.

Program overview: This program will draw from the book, How to Engage in Difficult Conversations on Identity, Race, and Politics in Higher Education, to better prepare faculty and staff to engage in these difficult conversations. Our presenters will help explain what cancel culture is and why it is a topic we should be thinking about. Some questions we will discuss include: Do everyday people have a right to call out those in power for making statements that are inflammatory? Is cancel culture an artifact of an echo chamber? How does social media impact the rise of cancel culture and critical thinking about the issues of our times? Should people who have one bad day be held responsible for the rest of their lives?

In the discussion of cancel culture, the issue of what makes a good apology for bad behavior typically arises. The presenters will engage the audience around this concept and provide an outline exploring the characteristics of a good apology and examples of both good and poor apologies from public figures that have been called out for their actions.

Group exercises, case examples and sample discussion questions will be provided to further the conversation. Discussion questions are divided into categories of basic knowledge, exploration, and future application. Some examples of these are:

BASIC: Discuss your thoughts on cancel culture being a natural consequence of negative speech. Do you find it an effective deterrent and/or punishment? It is a good way for everyday citizens to be able to engage in dialogue about comments or actions committed by influential people?

EXPLORATION: If someone engages in speech or behavior that becomes “canceled,” what kind of path should be provided for those to return to good standing? Consider the cases of Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey.

FUTURE APPLICATION: Should the media and other vetted sources be the only ones to decide if/when something should be said about an action or comment that could be inflammatory towards certain groups in America?

Participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the importance of cancel culture as a tool for social justice and some of the limitations of addressing behavior through this approach.
  • Be able to identify some specific examples of cancel culture and review how cancel culture intersects with free speech.
  • Review the importance of avoiding shame, blame, forced change, demanded acceptance, or agreement when approaching a discussion of cancel culture.

Program includes:

  • Online access to the live 90-minute program.
  • A recorded version* of the program on along with test questions and a compliance report for the administrator of a department, college, or university.
  • Three interactive sample exercises to encourage discussion of cancel culture.
  • A checklist for discussing the pro/con elements of cancel culture.
  • Discussion questions for group discussion to continue after the live program.

* Access for one year after the date of the live program. Additional year(s) access available for 20% purchase price.


  • Individual

    For group pricing or to purchase the full series, contact

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