Debby Irving

Debby brings to racial justice the white liberal perspective of thinking herself “helpful” while not understanding racism as systemic or her own whiteness as an obstacle to grappling with it. For 25 years as a non-profit manager and classroom teacher, racial dynamics and outcomes stymied her. In 2009, a graduate school course gave her the answers she’d been looking for and motiviated her to awaken other white people. Debby now devotes herself to exploring the impact whiteness can have on perception and problem solving. Her book, Waking Up White, tells the story of how she went from well-meaning to well-doing.

Presentations from Facing Race 2018

Challenging White Supremacy 21 Days at a Time

Why do racial tensions drive our communities and families apart? How can they be used instead as community- and relationship- building moments? In the current, polarized political landscape, an opportunity exists to deepen understanding and spur action. This interactive session explores how today’s headline stories relate to the historic impacts power, privilege, and oppression have on everyday thoughts and behaviors. We’ll examine white supremacy as an embedded philosophy that permeates U.S. structures, systems, and narrative. Finally, we’ll introduce our 21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge, a tool designed to develop skills and insights for effective personal, community, and institutional transformation. Dr. Moore’s work to quickly and effectively explain white supremacy’s self-perpetuating abilities offers participants a power analysis model adaptable to any institution. Debby Irving’s personal storytelling through media and everyday images of whiteness offers participants insight to the complex mechanics of the human brain on white supremacy, illuminating the power of whiteness to distort narrative and reproduce dominant attitudes and behaviors. The combination of Dr. Moore’s white supremacist power analysis and Debby’s drama-free explanation of her “good person” white supremacist upbringing, invites participants to make powerful connections between his/her/their own internalized oppression/dominance with the larger systems, structures, and national beliefs that hold it all in place. The 21-Day tool offers participants an action plan that integrates knowledge building, self-awareness development, skill-building, community connections, and action aimed at outsmarting whiteness and disrupting the everyday consumption and performance of white supremacy at the personal, interpersonal, institutional, and ideological levels.

Speakers: Debby Irving, Dr. Eddie Moore Jr.