Blog Posts

Hometown Q & A

By Debby Irving | February 1, 2016

Below is a recent hometown interview I did in Q & A format. It's a good snapshot of where I am in my onoing journey to understand racial issues and the language I'm using to convey those understandings. I look forward to continuing to learn and grow as I engage with a range of communities, … Read more

Dear White College Leadership

By Debby Irving | November 22, 2015

      Brace yourself.   Brace yourself for the impending student uprisings that are brewing on your campuses, that is, if they aren’t already in full swing. And when I say ‘brace yourself,’ you may be surprised by what I mean.   In my (dominant white) cultural upbringing, bracing myself meant steeling myself, hardening myself … Read more

Let’s Go There

By Debby Irving | June 19, 2015

I woke up yesterday to news of nine dead in Charleston. Black people dead at the hands of white. Not the other way around. There’s a pattern here, newly visible to some,  a 400-year unbroken chain to others. Just as I was making my way through the South Carolina shooting coverage, news of a second … Read more

Do Try This At Home

By Debby Irving | April 14, 2015

    One unintended consequence of video technology is the public unveiling of a phenomenon long unknown to many white Americans: The unjust treatment of African Americans at the hands of white authorities. Also made visible is bias in action.      These days, Americans of all colors are getting a front row seat in … Read more

Calling In Starbucks and USA Today

By Debby Irving | March 24, 2015

  A few weeks ago at the 16th annual White Privilege Conference, keynote speaker and human rights activist Loretta Ross used a phrase I can’t shake. “We need to stop calling people out,” she urged, “and start calling people in.” For those of you unfamiliar with the ‘call out’ culture, it refers to pointing out … Read more

The Lost Chapter: Don’t Touch Principles

By Debby Irving | January 21, 2015

Today marks the one year anniversary of Waking Up White. In celebration of the occasion, I'd like to share the below chapter — which ended up on the editing room floor. Enjoy!  Don’t Touch Principles Reconciling my financial ideals with my moral ideals.   Of all the social codes I have broken in challenging racism, none … Read more

Hello Bias My Old Friend

By Debby Irving | December 9, 2014

A few days ago, at my exhibit table at the annual METCO Director’s Conference, my bias showed up unexpectedly. As conference goers came and went, I sat, sipping my coffee, interacting in the friendly, unguarded way I love most. About thirty people had come and gone from my table when suddenly, I noticed I was … Read more

Tell Me What To Do!

By Debby Irving | December 3, 2014

These are the five words I most hear from white people. Once the embeddedness of racism is understood, a sense of urgency to DO something stirs anxiety for action. And then, a while later, the whole problem feels too big, leading to something like, "But really, what can one person do?"  Linked here is a TED … Read more

A Thanksgiving Truth Telling Challenge

By Debby Irving | November 20, 2014

For me, Thanksgiving has always been a day of family, food, and games in front of the fire. When I was younger, the holiday included colorful tales of the Pilgrim’s brave Atlantic crossing, brutal first winter, and harmonious celebratory feast with ‘The Indians.’ No one challenged the peaceful narrative in my segregated, comfortable, white world … Read more

White Privilege Explained In 3 Easy (ish) Steps

By Debby Irving | October 24, 2014

  Though people dumped on Bill O’Reilly for not understanding white privilege, the truth is most white people don’t understand it. I know I didn’t — until it was thoroughly explained to me in a full semester graduate school course. Here’s a short, info-packed explanation. 1) Examine The Word Privilege common misperception: privilege = rich … Read more

Overdue Update

By Debby Irving | October 15, 2014

Greetings from across the months!  I can’t believe my last post was May 18th. Actually, maybe I can. In contrast to the step-by-step marketing and blogging plan I’d expected to dutifully follow over the past months, a series of unexpected invitations have drawn me into new territory. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past … Read more

Upcoming Dates & Other Cool Stuff

By Debby Irving | May 18, 2014

Hoping to connect with you at one of these upcoming events! Thursday, May 22nd @ 6pm at Boston’s Wheelock College Hosted by the National Center for Race Amity, this is a gathering for people who've read the book and want to discuss it in a racially mixed group. For this event, I'll focus on the impact … Read more