POSTPONED: A Conversation with Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility

Event with streaming
Mar 13, 2020
Event Location


This event has been postponed until further notice.

The School of Education is a proud co-sponsor of The Nancy Cantor Distinguished Lectureship on Intellectual Diversity: A Conversation with Robin DiAngelo, author of White Fragility, moderated by Dr. Elizabeth Birr Moje, Dean, School of Education.

The Nancy Cantor Distinguished Lectureship on Intellectual Diversity honors Cantor, former U-M provost, for her outstanding contributions to the University community and unwavering commitment to diversity.

Robin DiAngelo on White Fragility
White people in the U.S. live in a racially insular social environment. This insulation builds our expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering our stamina for enduring racial stress. I term this lack of racial stamina “White Fragility.” White Fragility is a state in which even a minimal challenge to the white position becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves including: argumentation, invalidation, silence, withdrawal, and claims of being attacked and misunderstood. These moves function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and maintain white control. Those who see themselves as “the choir” can be particularly challenging, for we tend to focus on “evidence of our advancement” rather than reach for humility and continually grapple with how to engage in intentional action. This talk will provide an overview of the socialization that inculcates white fragility and provide the perspectives and skills needed for white people to build their racial stamina and develop more equitable and just racial norms and practices.

About Dr. DiAngelo
Dr. DiAngelo is Affiliate Associate Professor of Education at the University of Washington. In addition, she holds two Honorary Doctorates. She is a two-time winner of the Student’s Choice Award for Educator of the Year at the University of Washington’s School of Social Work. She has numerous publications and books. In 2011 she coined the term “white fragility” in an academic article which has influenced the international dialogue on race. Her book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard For White People To Talk About Racism was released in June of 2018 and debuted on the New York Times Bestseller List. In addition to her academic work, Dr. DiAngelo has been a consultant and trainer for over 20 years on issues of racial and social justice.

Reception to follow.

Sponsored by: Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, School of Education, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, the University of Michigan Office for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the CEW+ Frances and Sydney Lewis Visiting Leaders Fund.