Whiteness structures intimacy and belonging in institutional life. In this essay, we unpack how meritocracy relies on exclusionary networks of belonging structured by Whiteness. We argue that meritocracy can be displaced through a recentering of radical intimacy. Critical love and failure are crucial to building coalitions across difference that resist structural violence. We unpack the possibilities of radical intimacy by recalling our embodied experience in co-creating and maintaining our friendship in the context of a Predominantly White Institution.

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