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Fall Semester Book Circle: ‘Developing White Racial Literacy’

book illustration

The Gender Equity Center and the Center for Teaching and Learning invite staff and faculty to participate in a fall semester book circle for a conversation on “What Does it Mean to be White? Developing White Racial Literacy,” a book by Robin DiAngelo.

The primary audience of this book, say Book Circle hosts, “are those 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.”

All readers are welcome to join the circle.

The Book Circle will offer two groups meeting on two different days. Locations are TBD. One group will meet every other Wednesday from 12-1:30 p.m. starting on Wednesday, Sept. 12. The first seven meeting dates are Sept. 12 and 26, Oct. 10 and 24, Nov. 7 and 21, and Dec. 5. The second group will gather every other Tuesday from 3-4:30 p.m. starting on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The first seven meeting dates are Sept. 18, Oct. 2, 16 and 30, Nov. 13 and 27, and Dec. 11.

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

Participants will need to get a copy of the book. It’s available through Amazon and through Interlibrary loan.

More about the book:

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) worldviews. These factors contribute to what she terms white racial illiteracy.

Speaking as a white person to other white people, DiAngelo 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.

Contact Csea Leonard for more information at or 208-426-4259.

Full participation in this book circle counts for two opportunities toward the BUILD Certificate Program.