Equity Book Club

Waking up White by Debbie Irving

Book Club Details

Dear ISD 194 Staff,

Welcome to the New Year! The Equity Department would like to start a book club for any staff that wishes to participate. The first two staff members from each building that are interested and fill out the google form below will receive a free book paid through the Equity Dept.

Our first book will be Waking Up White and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debbie Irving. Debbie Irving will be presenting to Lakeville on February 18th, 2019 so our goal is to have the book completed by then. Included in the invite is a TED talk by Debbie Irving, an excerpt from the beginning of her book, and educator reviews.

We will meet twice face to face and have a continuous online forum on Schoology. We will begin our discussion online on January 14th and end on February 22nd. Face to face meetings will take place on January 22nd and February 12th from 4:15-5:30pm at the Community Education Building. Dinner to conclude after each in-person session (optional)!

If you are interested in joining us please reply by January 7th in the google form below so the Equity Department can order the book for you.

If you have any questions about the Book Club please email: Lydia Lindsoe lydia.lindsoe@isd194.or or Kaetchen Haugen kaetchen.haugen@isd194.org

Book Club Face to Face Meeting Location

Tuesday, Jan. 22nd, 4:15pm to Tuesday, Feb. 12th, 4:15pm

17685 Juniper Path

Lakeville, MN

In person meetings:

1/22/19 - 4:15-5:30

2/12/19 - 4:15-5:30

Optional dinner to follow both in person session


Equity will provide CEU's. Please complete the Google Form below by Monday, January 7.

Brief Book Synopsis

For twenty-five years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships. As a colleague and neighbor, she worried about offending people she dearly wanted to befriend. As an arts administrator, she didn't understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction. As a teacher, she found her best efforts to reach out to students and families of color left her wondering what she was missing. Then, in 2009, one "aha!" moment launched an adventure of discovery and insight that drastically shifted her worldview and upended her life plan. In Waking Up White, Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story with such openness that readers will turn every page rooting for her-and ultimately for all of us.


Educator Reviews

Educator Reviews:

“Debby is a dynamic speaker and educator who engages large audiences and small groups. She is an expert of placing personal storytelling at the forefront of discussions, moving beyond the head to the heart in how we learn about and discuss race, racism and anti-racism. Debby, along with colleagues Norma Johnson and Lace Campbell, performed at a school-wide assembly, facilitated small-group discussions with students and led our faculty in dialogue about race.”

Emily Schorr Lesnick, Upper School Diversity Coordinator, Riverdale Country School

"Waking Up White is the text I've been waiting for, looking for. I've taught 'multicultural texts' for years and prodded students to identify, describe, and understand different viewpoints in their reading; we also try to identify and examine the lenses each of us brings to the table. Irving's book helps them more naturally carry this academic learning into their own lives. An engaging personal memoir, it invites students to identify with the author. It gives them a model for interior awareness as well as a lens to begin looking at the acculturation of white people and of dominant groups: they begin to "get it" at a deeper level. White students, students of color, American-born, and international students begin Finding THEMSELVES in the Story of Race." See letter from Lark.

Ms. Lark Hammond, Lamont Professor of English Emerita & Exeter Diversity Institute for Teachers, co-director, Phillips Exeter Academy

"As [Irving] notes, it is disappointing that white voices are needed to validate the experiences of people of color, but the fact that Irving consistently echoes the findings of the academic writers in this column is important. So is her ability to capture the issues in pithy language that defies her childhood training to avoid all controversial subjects. I will not soon forget her description of white skin as "an epidermal gold card." In fact, one comment of hers will serve as my prime takeaway from this quarter's reading: "Wanting is not enough. Intent and skill are our swords and shields in the war to dismantle a system with a life of its own."

Richard Barbieri, Independent School Magazine