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Book Circles

Staff and Faculty Invited to Fall Semester Book Circle

“What Does it Mean to be White? Developing White Racial Literacy”
by Robin DiAngelo

The Gender Equity Center and the Center for Teaching and Learning invite staff and faculty to participate in a fall semester book circle. Complete the application form by September 4th! Full participation in this book circle counts for two opportunities toward the BUILD Certificate Program.

Why talk about whiteness?

This conversation on white privilege and what it means to be white is newer for our offices, so we are turning to a book called, “What Does it Mean to be White: Developing White Racial Literacy”, by Robin DiAngelo.  In this video, Ms. DiAngelo discusses topics addressed in the book can be accessed here.

books in a circle image

We, as staff at the Gender Equity Center and Center for Teaching and Learning, recognize this as an opportunity to take off our hats and leave our roles at the door, to be vulnerable and present with each other, and to be open and eager learners.  We want you to join us.

Who is this discussion group for?

The primary audience of this book people who are interested in unpacking white identity and how white folks distance themselves from conversations about race, as well as learning how to engage white folks in recognizing their privilege.  We will dig deep into ourselves to explore the ways in which we all, as individuals, sometimes unknowingly, support racism and white supremacy.

Folks of all racial identities, who are interested in exploring concepts in this book, are welcome to join this book circle.  

What will our gatherings be like?

Each week our groups will read the designated chapters and come together to talk the content and our personal reflections of our own lives in more detail. This is an opportunity for us to continue to grow and learn together. This book has discussion questions at the close of each chapter that serve as a foundation to focus our discussion in a productive manner.

More information about the breakdown of biweekly chapter discussions will be shared at our first gathering. Please make sure you can attend all (or the majority) of the group discussions, as we want to be building trust and growing knowledge together, as a group.

What is the book about?

What does it mean to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless yet is deeply divided by race? In the face of pervasive racial inequality and segregation, most whites cannot answer that question. Robin DiAngelo argues that a number of factors make this question difficult for whites: miseducation about what racism is; ideologies such as individualism and colorblindness; defensiveness; and a need to protect (rather than expand) our worldviews. These factors contribute to what she terms white racial illiteracy.

Speaking as a white person to other white people, Dr. DiAngelo clearly and compellingly takes readers through an analysis of white socialization. She describes how race shapes the lives of white people, explains what makes racism so hard for whites to see, identifies common white racial patterns, and speaks back to popular white narratives that work to deny racism. What Does It Mean To Be White? is written an accessible introduction to white identity from an anti-racist framework.

ISBN: 9781433131103 1433131102

Is there a cost?

Participants will need to access a copy of the book to participate in discussion sessions.  The book is available on Amazon and through Interlibrary loan.  The first six people to sign up will receive a free copy of the book (courtesy of the GEC and the CTL) and will be notified via email.

There are no additional costs associated with participating in the discussion.

Dates

We will have two different groups that gather on two different days. One group will gather every other Wednesday from 12 – 1:30 p.m. starting on Wednesday, September 12. The first seven meeting dates are: 9/12, 9/26, 10/10, 10/24, 11/7, 11/21, and 12/5. The second group will gather every other Tuesday from 3-430 p.m. starting on Tuesday, September 18. The first seven meeting dates are: 9/18, 10/2, 10/16, 10/30, 11/13, 11/27, and 12/11.

Participants should be able to attend at least five of the seven meetings. Locations are TBD.

How Do I sign up?

Find the application at this link. Apply by September 4th.
Thank you!  We are eager to join up and begin this book circle together.  If you have any questions, please contact Csea Leonard at csealeonard@boisestate.edu or 208-426-4259.