The Hard Truth: Moving the Community Toward Change

 Registration is closed for this event

Since racism taps into our deepest fears and longings, understanding how it works is the key to breaking down barriers that interfere with best intentions. Though the focus of this workshop is awakening white community members, all are welcome and voices and perspectives of people of color are encouraged and honored.

The planners of this event aim to explore the impact white skin can have on perception, problem solving, and engaging in racial justice work. In her book Waking Up White, Debby Irving tells the story of how she went from well-meaning to well-doing. She unpacked her own long held beliefs about color blindness, being a good person and wanting to help people of color. Each of these well-intentioned mindsets perpetuated her ill-conceived ideas. The aim of the event is to increase community consciousness while simultaneously shifting the conversation of race from blame, shame and denial to humility.

*Friday, January 31, 2020 (6:30 pm – 8:30 pm)
I’m a Good Person! Isn’t That Enough?
Using historical and media images, Debby examines how she used her white-skewed belief system to interpret the world around her. Socialized on a narrow worldview, Debby explores how she spent decades silently reaffirmingharmful, archaic racial patterns instead of questioning the racial disparities and tensions she could see and feel. This workshop is designed to support white people in
making the paradigm shift from ‘fixing’ and ‘helping’ those believed to be inferior, to focusing on internalized white superiority and its role in perpetuating racism at the individual, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural levels. This presentation includes pauses for reflection, dialogue, Q&A

*Saturday, February 1, 2020 (10 am-3 pm)

Workshop 1 (10-Noon)
Leveling thePlaying Field: Interrupting Patterns of Power and Privilege 

Alternate title: How to Explain White Privilege to a Skeptic Using a series of pointed questions, Debby works with participants to build a graphic map of the groups people belong, and have belonged to, because of social locations and roles throughout U.S. history. Participants will think together about how various groups have and have not had access to rights, resources, representation, and respect, ultimately revealing the social positioning and impacts of white privilege and dispelling illusions of a level playing field. Once the graphic has been created, Debby then leads participants in an exploration of social dynamics and dominant cultural attitudes and behaviors that perpetuate power and privilege patterns, even when best intentions are in play. Ultimately this workshop explores how we can begin to level the playing field by interrupting common patterns of power and privilege. Participants will leave with two powerful tools to analyze power dynamics and cultivate transformative cultures in their circles of influence.

LUNCH (12:00 Noon - 1:00 pm)

Workshop 2 (1 pm - 3 pm)
Courageous Conversations: What Do They Look Like and Why Do They Matter?

Debby starts with a brainstorming session about what courageous conversations are and how they differ from “regular” conversations. Groups ultimately discover that leaning into conversation, despite fear of a negative outcomes, defines courageous conversations. Participants create a list of fears, some shared by all, some specific to one identity group or another. Once the group has opened up to
the concept that unaddressed fear drives communities and relationships apart, Debby introduces a set of conversational approaches designed to deepen understanding in the name of relationship building and collective goal attainment. This workshop has two objectives: to increase awareness and vulnerability around the presence of fear in ALL of our lives; and to develop skills to engage effectively
in moments when fear threatens to shut us down and divide us, wreaking havoc on our relationships and our communities.


January 31st, 2020 6:30 PM through February 1st, 2020 3:00 PM
723 St Marys Street
Raleigh, NC 28605
Event Fee(s)
Waking Up White Book $10.00
Saturday Event $25.00
Student Rate $12.00