Racial Justice Educator, Author Irving Speaks at Shore
Monday, April 6, Debby Irving, the author of Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race, spoke to parents and guests in Shore's Theatre. The author’s visit was organized by Shore’s Community Connections, a parents’ group that fosters inclusion and supports diversity within the Shore community throughout the North Shore.
Sharing her personal journey and engaging the audience in a lively Q&A session, Irving used her own life to explore what she sees as the everyday systemic racism in the United States that goes largely unnoticed yet perpetuates long-held racialized belief systems. Waking Up White, she said, “functions as both a ‘Racism 101’ for white people and a rare exposé on whiteness for people of color.” By sharing her sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, Irving offered a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance.
A native of Winchester, Mass., and now a resident of Cambridge, Irving also explained why and how she’s changed the way she talks about racism, and she led audience members through exercises designed to help them quickly grasp modern racism’s inner workings and enter into conversations with new awareness and skill.