The Color of Drinking: How Alcohol Culture Affects College Students of Color


The Great Lakes PTTC offers this session for behavioral health professionals and prevention practitioners in HHS Region 5: IL, IN, MI, MN, OH, and WI. This training is offered in response to a need identified by Region 5 stakeholders.


Alcohol prevention efforts often focus on reducing high-risk drinking among high-risk drinking population. For years, this was true at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. After surveying students and finding that students of color are some of the lowest-risk drinkers, University staff wanted to investigate the impact alcohol culture has on students of color. To that end, they created the Color of Drinking survey, and used it along with an analysis of social media to gain better perspective on this question.

Knowing this, UW–Madison decided to investigate the impact of its alcohol culture on students of color through the Color of Drinking Survey in 2015 and 2017. Findings from both surveys will be discussed in this session.

This webinar will examine the intersection of alcohol prevention and social justice and strategies implemented with UW–Madison campus partners to create a more inclusive environment and present key findings from this exploratory study.


Learning Objectives

Through this session, participants will:

  1. Gain knowledge about a mixed methods approach for evaluating the experiences of students of color;
  2. Be able to identify one strategy to engage campus partners around alcohol and social justice issues;  and
  3. Gain an understanding of how alcohol can impact climate issues.


Speaker: Reonda Washington, MPH, CHES Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist


Reonda Washington is a Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her work involves helping students to make healthy choices around alcohol, researching the UW-Madison alcohol culture, collaborating with campus partners to build capacity, implementing alcohol prevention programs, and data analysis. 


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