Robin DiAngelo, Erin Trent Johnson + Aaron Morrison | White Fragility

Robin DiAngelo, author of the new book “White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism,” sits down with Community Equity Partners CEO Erin Trent Johnson and Mic Senior Writer Aaron Morrison to discuss one of the most daunting barriers to true racial equality.

In this groundbreaking and timely book, antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of "white fragility". Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

Robin DiAngelo received her PhD in Multicultural Education from the University of Washington in Seattle in 2004. She earned tenure at Westfield State University, where she has taught courses in Multicultural Teaching, Inter-group Dialogue Facilitation, Cultural Diversity & Social Justice, and Anti-Racist Education. Her work on White Fragility has been featured or cited in Salon, NPR, Slate, Alternet, the Atlantic, The New York Times, and The Seattle Times. For over 20 years, DiAngelo has been a consultant and trainer on issues of racial and social justice, working with a wide-range of organizations including private, non-profit, and governmental. She was recently appointed to co-design the City of Seattle’s Race and Social Justice Initiative Anti-Racism training (with Darlene Flynn).

Erin Trent Johnson is the CEO and principal coach, facilitator, and consultant for Community Equity Partners (CEP) and serves as the Senior Advisor for The Equity Lab. Erin works with organizations in the education, non-profit, government, and tech arenas that are committed to creating equitable and inclusive practices. Erin’s approach to coaching and leadership development helps organization leaders notice, name and disrupt systemic barriers to equity and inclusion within themselves and their organizations. As a coach and facilitator, Erin provides a dynamic learning experience for leaders that fosters personal and professional growth, transforms organizational culture and leads to community impact. Erin has nearly fifteen years of experience and leadership in education, community organizing and community development which has prepared her to support leaders in solving their own problems of equity and community building.