Debby Irving: Waking Up White

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This episode is a recording of a talk held on September 10th, 2014 at the Portland Public Library as part of their Brown Bag Lecture Series. We join Debbie Irving as she discusses her book, Waking Up White.

Debby Irving, Racial Justice Educator and Writer, and Shay Stewart-Bouley, Executive Director of Community Change, Inc., author of the blog Black Girl in Maine, and past Think & Drink speaker, led a program at the Portland Public Library on the night preceding this talk. About 150 people came to the library for “Tell Me the Truth: Exploring the Heart of Cross-Racial Conversations.” This podcast builds on that discussion, while taking a closer look at Irving’s book.

“Most people confuse racism with prejudice,” Irving explains. “Prejudice is equal opportunity. Anybody in this room and I—no matter what color or class or age—we could have all kinds of assumptions about one another. That’s prejudice. We could pre-judge each other. But that’s not going to impact whether or not you get a job, that’s not going to impact whether you get stopped by the police on the way home, this is just an interpersonal thing. When I talk about racism I’m talking about the structures in our country, the systems.”