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Waking Up White: Finding Myself in the Story of Race

  • Impact Hub Oakland 2323 Broadway Oakland, CA, 94612 United States (map)

Waking Up White: Finding Myself in the Story of Race

with Debby Irving

Thursday, February 12, 6:00-8:00PM

Impact Hub Oakland, 2323 Broadway, Oakland, 510-858-2323



Author Debby Irving Offers Firsthand Insight to the Everyday Perpetuation of Racial Inequality by Well-Intentioned White People.

Please join us for a community conversation and interview of author Debby Irving with Dia Penning.

Irving’s story provides a context that allows white people to quickly grasp modern racism’s inner workings and enter into conversations with new awareness and skill. It’s the book Irving wishes someone had handed her decades ago. “When I finally came to understand the way racism worked,” she explains, “I spent a lot of time thinking about what might have enlightened me earlier. I decided it wouldn’t have been an academic book, an essay, or a book from the perspective of a person of color - it would have been another white person describing their own awakening, with some humor, poignancy, and drama in the mix. What I needed was a memoir so irresistible that I would have read it even if racism weren’t on my mind.”

Interviewer Dia Penning is a connector - of ideas, people, feelings, and thoughts. She uses breath work, the arts, media literacy and small group work to get at the heart of assumptions and habitual behavior. Dia has designed curriculum for humans aged 3 to 91, at San Francisco Arts Commission, Columbia College, Department of Cultural Affairs in Chicago and so many other places. She believes that you use the form to teach the form. Meaning, if you want equity, strong community, and creative communication, Dia will present you with the best practices to support your development while you participate in this very behavior. Then, you get to talk about it, see your learning in action, and discuss why you might have had a breakthrough or why you didn’t. At organizations like the Ann Martin Center in Oakland, she works with teams over time to assuage their fear of change by building ideas, like blocks, and giving people time to reflect, respond, and question. Dia is an expert facilitator with 15+ years in the field, an open heart and a very sharp wit.