Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2022

Degree Type

Capstone - Open Access


Melissa Nemon


The white savior narrative can be seen in a number of different places, including community- engaged learning courses at higher education institutions. We must address this issue because it prevents students and communities from attaining mutual benefits within these relationships, and the student’s perpetuation of saviorism can cause harm in the communities in which they work. In this study, a workshop titled “Interrupting White Saviorism in Community-Engaged Learning” was held for community engaged learning (CEL) instructors and associated faculty in collaboration with the Center for Community-Engaged Learning at the University of Minnesota. Participants were presented with information on white saviorism and completed activities that encouraged them to reflect on the prevalence of this narrative in society and its presentence in course objectives and student reflections. Using Harro’s Cycle of Liberation, participants learned ways to interrupt white saviorism in their courses through discussions, reflections, objectives, and class content. Participants gained an understanding of the concepts and benefited from an environment in which they could talk with other instructors about their experiences. The workshop was successful in increasing instructors’ knowledge of the prevalence of white saviorism in community-engaged learning and increasing their access to resources to address it with students.