The writer who coined the phrase “white fragility” will speak to viewers Thursday night as part of Purdue’s ongoing “Pursuing Racial Justice Together” series.
Robin DiAngelo, author of “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,” will participate in a discussion moderated by Megha Anwer, the director of diversity, inclusion and equity for the Honors College.
DiAngelo was chosen for this series because her anti-racist theory preceded the events of last summer, Anwer said, when Black Lives Matter protests erupted around the nation and became a focal point of the year.
Anwer said DiAngelo’s talk “will propel and encourage the conversation of being anti-racist.”
“Her book is one of the very few written by a white person (regarding this topic) and it is being read by everyone and has generated a lot of conversation, both productive and negative,” Anwer said.
DiAngelo’s work has been controversial because people who do anti-racist work think her framework for white fragility is not rigorous enough to lead to systemic transformation, Anwer said. Some white people, on the other hand, take offense to DiAngelo’s criticisms of white privilege.
DiAngelo will take questions from Anwer and the audience. Viewers can expect to learn more about DiAngelo’s work, the criticisms she faces, white fragility and how viewers can apply anti-racist theory, the moderator said.
“This is the moment where people are taking notice, although it should have been noticed a long time ago. People of color have always known the need for creating solidarity and anti-racism, but now new people are waking up to this and there is a new energy around it.”
This event will be held fully online and free of charge at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Individuals interested in tuning in must RSVP by Thursday 3 p.m here.