“Irving’s experience … will help white people, who haven’t noticed the role systemic privilege has played in their lives, start to see the world in a new way.” — Jodi Picoult, author, Small Great Things
Class : Debby Irving author of Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race
As a native of Winchester and a former elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Debby Irving struggled to make sense of racial tensions she could feel but could not explain. A graduate school course, Racial and Cultural Identities, gave her the answers she’d been looking for and launched her on a journey of discovery. Now, an author and speaker, she travels the country leading workshops that explore the impact white skin can have on perception, problem solving, and creating culturally inclusive communities. Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race sheds light on why our country’s racial divide continues to deepen. Irving tells the story of how she went from well-meaning to well-doing. By sharing her sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, she offers a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. As she unpacks her own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, she reveals how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated her ill-conceived ideas about race. She also explains why and how she’s changed the way she talks about racism, works in racially mixed groups, and understands the racial justice movement as a whole.
Hosted by Arlington Community Education