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Robin DiAngelo      

Academic & Author of "White Fragility"

Dr. DiAngelo is an Affiliate Associate Professor of Education at the University of Washington. In addition, she holds two Honorary Doctorates. She is a two-time winner of the Student’s Choice Award for Educator of the Year at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. She has numerous publications and books. In 2011 she coined the term White Fragility in an academic article which has influenced the international dialogue on race. Her book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism was released in June of 2018 and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List, where it has remained for over a year and is being translated into 5 languages. In addition to her academic work, Dr. DiAngelo has been a consultant and trainer for over 20 years on issues of racial and social justice.

Speech Topics


Seeing the Racial Water

What does it mean to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless yet is deeply divided by race? Dr. DiAngelo will describe the way race shapes the lives of White people, explain what makes racism so hard for White people to see, and identify common White racial patterns that prevent us from moving towards greater racial equity. Weaving information, analysis, stories, images, and familiar examples, she provides the framework needed to develop white racial literacy. Although the focus is on white racial identity development, people of color may also find the analysis valuable as it is one that is rarely affirmed or provided in mainstream society.

White Fragility

White people in the U.S. live in a racially insular social environment. This insulation builds our expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering our stamina for enduring racial stress. I term this lack of racial stamina “White Fragility.” White Fragility is a state in which even a minimal challenge to the white position becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves including: argumentation, invalidation, silence, withdrawal and claims of being attacked and misunderstood. These moves function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and maintain control. This talk will provide an overview of the socialization that inculcates white fragility and provide the perspectives and skills needed for white people to build their racial stamina and develop more equitable and just racial norms and practices.

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