Summary of How White People Handle Diversity Training in the Workplace

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How White People Handle Diversity Training in the Workplace summary
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Rating

8 Overall

9 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


Recommendation

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.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why participants in diversity training workshops often deal with white people’s sensitivities rather than helping people of color,
  • Why “white fragility” sustains systemic racism, and
  • How whites can stop being defensive and start having productive conversations about race.
 

About the Author

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

 

Summary

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. 


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