Debby Irving is a white woman, raised in Winchester, Massachusetts during the socially turbulent 1960s and ‘70s. After a blissfully sheltered, upper-middle-class suburban childhood, she found myself simultaneously intrigued and horrified by the racial divide she observed in Boston. From 1984 to 2009 her work in urban neighborhoods and schools left her feeling helpless. Why did people live so differently along racial lines? Why were student outcomes so divergent? Why did she get so jumpy when talking to a person of color? Where did the fear of saying something stupid or offensive come from, and why couldn’t she make it go away? The more Debby tried to understand racial dynamics, the more confused she became. She knew there was an elephant in the room, she just didn’t know it was her!
In her book, Waking Up White, the story of her two-steps-forward-one-step back journey away from racial ignorance. She continues to study racism and strategies for its undoing while working to educate other white people confused and frustrated by racism. She remembers these feelings all too well and is passionate about transforming anxiety and inaction into empowerment and action, be it for an individual or an organization.
For more on Debby visit www.debbyirving.com
WAKING UP WHITE
50% of profits will go to charities addressing issues of racial inequity.
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