August 20, 2012

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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Robin DiAngelo, professor of education at Westfield State University, will give the talk, "What Does it Mean to be White? Developing White Racial Literacy," Thursday, Aug. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Forum of the Elaine Langone Center at Bucknell University.

The talk, which is fee and open to the public, is sponsored by Bucknell's Teaching and Learning Center.

In her talk, DiAngelo asks, "What does it mean to be white in a society that proclaims race meaningless, yet is deeply divided by race?"

She argues that a number of factors make this question difficult for whites: "Miseducation about what racism is; ideologies such as individualism and colorblindness; taboos on talking about race; and the tendency to protect (rather than expand) our worldviews. These factors contribute to white racial illiteracy," she said.

DiAngelo will describe how race shapes the lives of white people, explain what makes racism so hard for whites to see, and identify common white racial patterns. Weaving information, analysis, stories, images, and familiar examples, she provides the framework needed to develop white racial literacy.

As professor of education, DiAngelo teaches courses in Multicultural Teaching, Inter-group Dialogue Facilitation, Cultural Diversity and Social Justice, and Anti-Racist Education. Her area of research is in Whiteness Studies and Critical Discourse Analysis, explicating how Whiteness is reproduced in everyday discourse.

DiAngelo is particularly concerned with the challenges of an increasingly white teaching force and an increasingly diverse student population. For the past 15 years, she has been providing workplace training and consulting on issues of cultural diversity and social justice, with a special focus on race relations.

Contact: Division of Communications

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