Summary of How White People Handle Diversity Training in the Workplace

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Consultant Robin DiAngelo runs diversity training workshops and sees many participants get defensive. She’s trying to help people see that their actions may be racist even without malicious intent – that they may harbor biases even if their “best friend is black.” DiAngelo pleads for an open mind in assessing one’s own biases and humility in understanding other people’s perspectives. getAbstract recommends DiAngelo’s thought-provoking essay to white people who strongly feel they’re not racist and to HR managers who are organizing diversity trainings.

About the Author

Academic Robin DiAngelo wrote White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism.



Most white people are unprepared to talk about race and shut down when they’re told their behaviors are racially insensitive. Thanks to this “white fragility,” facilitator Robin DiAngelo spends a lot of time trying to reason with hostile, defensive participants at her diversity training workshops. The drama distracts from constructive conversations about making workplaces more inclusive of people of color. 

In one seminar, a white woman claimed she had no racist ideas because she grew up in Germany knowing no black people. DiAngelo suggested that she may have been...

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