Publicist Martha Kiley

woman holding a sign reading I #Disrupt Racism Educating through Media

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Print & Internet

What does it take to change our minds? Gail Musiavanhu and Debby share the significant moments in their lives that led to reconsidering early lessons about race they’d learned. They also explore the concept of privilege. What is it? What isn’t it? And how does it shape perception?

Voted one of the ten most read Yes! Magazine articles of 2018, 6 Tips for White People Who Want to Celebrate Black History was co-written with Shay Stewart-Bouley, a.k.a. Black Girl in Maine.

“Irving’s book is an immensely brave and important cultural memoir. It is, as she writes, “my story of racial ignorance.” It tells of her life-long journey from childhood ignorance and confusion, to a patronizing desire to “help fix” things, to a deep, personal exploration of her role and the dominant (read: white) culture’s role in sustaining and perpetuating systematic racism. Her journey has brought her to earnest, insightful engagement – and to the writing of her book.” Portland Press Herald

“At the Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, two white seniors started the Exploring Whiteness club in the fall, which now regularly attracts 15 students. They were inspired by reading Waking Up White, a memoir by Debby Irving, a self-proclaimed WASP from New England who discovered in her late 40s that many of the benefits her father had received in housing and education from the G.I. Bill had been denied to millions of African-American veterans. In the book, Ms. Irving writes about “stepping out of a dream” and realizing that the black people she knew lived in a more challenging world than she ever would face.” The New York Times

“Irving’s book is deeply personal and excruciatingly honest. It is not simply a memoir, but Irving uses the technique of memoir to achieve her ultimate goal: to communicate the devastating effects of structural racism on all Americans.” Biblophiliac

“…a remarkable and, at times, emotionally searing look at one white woman’s struggle to understand racism. It is part memoir and part guide to changing how we think about race…one of the most important books on race in recent memory.” Readers + Writers Journal

“There are really so many quotes I could pull from this book; I was dog-earing pages and highlighting passages from beginning to end.  Extremely well-written, thought-provoking, and eye-opening, I want all of my white friends to read it.” Turn The Page Lisa

“With eloquence and a sense of urgency, Irving takes us on a journey into the heart of what is arguably the American issue….Waking Up White is a provocative, persuasive call to action.  Readers may squirm at some of its arguments, but they will find themselves thinking hard about them.  And they will take them to heart. “ Kenyon College Alumni Bulletin

“One of the beauties of Irving’s book is that she shares her process of discovery so unselfconsciously that we can’t help but be disarmed: the ways she’d unknowingly been blind and racist; continued to benefit from privileges denied to others; had inadvertently made things worse when she’d hoped to make them better; and slowly learned to be an effective advocate for a more just and equitable society. Along the way, she says, all of her relationships improved—not just those with people of color.” The Moon Magazine

“She’s present in this book in such a refreshing way – you can’t help but feel embarrassed for her at times when you read about something she’s done or said that is cringe worthy. I found Irving to be authentic in her writing and really enjoyed getting to know her. ” A Bookish Way of Life

“Confession: I’m not finished with the book. But dammit I couldn’t wait to tell you about it. I have probably underlined more in this book than I have in my bible.” My Mamihood

“Experts at [a] Brown [University] conference call for broader discussion on race issues. Issues of race….often ignored in white homes. White Americans often grow up with a narrow view of American history, which makes it harder for them to understand minority viewpoints and concerns, they said. ” Providence Journal

“Since the book’s release in January, it continues to sell and recently hit the Boston Globe‘s best-seller list, which is based on sales at local bookstores. Irving also sells the book at conferences focused on topics related to social justice, and she has found success with large institutional sales.” Kirkus

“It left me with greater understanding and a renewed determination to be the type of person who builds bridges and grows relationships wherever I go.” Owlhaven