Seattle City Gov Sponsoring ‘White Fragility’ Workshops

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The City of Seattle is sponsoring two taxpayer-funded workshops on “white fragility” as part of a series of “racial equity” workshops put on by the city’s Office of Arts and Culture throughout August and September.

The two “white fragility” workshops will take place on August 17 and September 7, running four hours each. The workshops will focus on “the specific way that racism manifests through White Fragility.” (The city website defines “white fragility” as “the inability for white people to tolerate racial stress.”) Each workshop also “provides the perspectives and skills needed for white people to have more constructive cross-racial interactions.”

Robin DiAngelo, a former associate professor at the University of Washington, will lead the “white fragility” workshops. DiAngelo was appointed to “co-design the City of Seattle’s Race & Social Justice Initiative,” according to a city spokesperson.

The city will also offer workshops focusing titled “Implicit Bias” and “Leading with Racial Equity for Structural Transformation.” The latter workshop will be lead by Scott Winn, co-founder of Seattle’s Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites, which is described as “a grassroots organization working to eliminate structural racism by educating and organizing white people to support people of color-led organizations working for social and economic change.”

“We are offering these workshops because our office in partnership with the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), is committed to addressing and increasing community-wide awareness about existing inequities so that we, along with our cultural and community partners, can most effectively work together toward a vision of racial equity,” said Erika Lindsay, communications manager for the city’s Office of Arts and Culture. Lindsay confirmed that the workshops are taxpayer-funded.

“Changing the power dynamic in our society and addressing persistent race and social justice inequities is a fundamental pillar of the work of the City of Seattle and the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS). Art allows us to express ourselves and see other people’s realities in ways that can break down barriers and lead to change within ourselves and our institutions,” the city website states. “As one tool to address these inequities, ARTS is offering a series of workshops addressing racial equity, implicit bias and white fragility in August and September.”

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