September 2020 Member Meetups

In June 2020, URTA Committed to inform our members of resources that address anti-racism and bias for themselves as well as how to incorporate the topic of anti-racism into the profession. We committed to the continual discussion and education regarding anti-racism; the first book of the URTA Reading Club is White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo. We believe this book is a great starting point on the anti-racism journey to understand how we inadvertently have racism within ourselves as well as how to combat that racism and other biases on a professional level.

There are many ways to access White Fragility and we encourage you to check your local library for a no cost physical, e-book or audio version. This Member Meetup will happen Wednesday, September 9th, 2020 and Wednesday, September 23rd, 2020 at 11am. All URTA Members are encouraged to join, regardless of how much you have read of the book. If you are interested in participating but cannot attend the online meet-up, there will be discussion prompts sent out for you to write about your experience or discuss with your colleagues and friends.

White Fragility Discussion Questions

Discussion questions from the official White Fragility reading guide. Listed is one question from each chapter, if you want more discussion questions per chapter, refer to the reading guide. Also find the guide and other resources at-

  1. What are some constructive ways to use your emotional reactions when your opinions on racism are challenged?

  1. What does the author mean when she says that there is no such thing as reverse racism?

  1. What is color-blind racism and why is it problematic?

  1. What does the author mean when she says that white people are not, in fact, racially innocent? How can we know much about race if we have lived separately?

  1. What does it mean to say that racism is “a structure, not an event”?

  1. The author states that the film The Blind Side is “insidiously anti-black.” Using the framework of the book, explain how a viewer can not notice the anti-black messages yet still be shaped by them.

  1. Explain the triggers listed in chapter 7 in your own words and share examples of each in daily life.

  1. As a white colleague, how would you explain to Karen (p. 107) what is problematic about her response? If you are a person of color, what strategies could you use to address Karen’s white fragility?

  1. Discuss the claims on pp. 119-120. Have you ever made any of these claims yourself?

  1. The rules of engagement around white fragility have at least three parts: those giving feedback, those receiving feedback, and those witnessing these exchanges. Practice some language for each by preparing your own “sentence starters” such as the silence breakers above. How might you begin to give feedback? How might you respond to feedback given to you? What might you say as you witness an exchange of feedback?

  1. The author opens this chapter with the story of a woman of color in a multiracial group stating that she did not want to be subjected to white women’s tears. Why were white women asked not to cry in the group?

  1. If we accept that racism is always operating, the question becomes not “Is racism taking place?” but rather “How is racism taking place in this specific context?” How does awareness of that change how we think about our lives and our actions?