Waking Up White - book group

with Susan Engel

October 17th—November 7th (2017)

Date details +
  • $10 Program price
  • $20 Patron price
Room: Main Shrine Room

The inspiration for this book study was an article in The Arrow, A Journal of Wakeful Society, Culture and Politics. This article explored how our Shambhala sangha can be an unwelcoming place for people of color, and one of the suggestions at the end was:

Understand that merely saying “I support diversity” is not enough. Encourage the deep and painful work of understanding white privilege. Promote participation in trainings such as the UNtraining or Shambhala Online diversity classes like Cultivating Dignity, and/or offer a study group where white members may read and discuss books examining the reality of white privilege. Waking Up White by Debby Irving is a good place to start.

Here is a short review of the book:

Waking Up White is the book Irving wishes someone had handed her decades ago. By sharing her sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, she offers a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. As Irving unpacks her own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, she reveals how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated her ill-conceived ideas about race. She also explains why and how she’s changed the way she talks about racism, works in racially mixed groups, and understands the antiracism movement as a whole. Exercises at the end of each chapter prompt readers to explore their own racialized ideas.

We will gather for four weeks for meditation practice, followed by discussion of the book.  All are welcome.  Please note that the class will be on Tuesday nights, except for the week of Halloween, when it will be on Thursday.

Susan Engel will facilitate the group.