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Community is Invited to 30th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation

December 11, 2015
Otterbein University

Westerville, OH—Otterbein University will hosts its 30th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, featuring author Debby Irving, at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20, in the Fritsche Theatre at Cowan Hall, 30 S. Grove St.  The event is free and open to the public.  For more information call 614-823-1312.

Irving is the author of Waking Up White, and will speak at Otterbein in conjunction with Leadership Westerville’s 11th annual MLK Breakfast.

Waking Up White is the book Irving wishes someone had handed her decades ago. By sharing her sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, she offers a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners and tolerance. As she unpacks her own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person and wanting to help people of color, she reveals how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated her ill-conceived ideas about race. She also explains why and how she’s changed the way she talks about racism, works in racially mixed groups and understands the racial justice movement as a whole. Exercises at the end of each chapter prompt readers to explore their own racialized ideas. Waking Up White’s personal narrative is designed to work well as a rapid read, a book group book or support reading for courses exploring racial and cultural issues. 

Irving was a community organizer and classroom teacher for 25 years without understanding racism as a systemic issue or her own whiteness as an obstacle to grappling with it. As general manager of Boston’s Dance Umbrella and First Night, and later as a classroom teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she struggled to make sense of tensions she could feel but not explain in racially mixed settings. In 2009, a graduate school course, Racial and Cultural Identities, gave her the answers she’d been looking for and launched her on a journey of discovery. Irving now devotes herself to working with white people exploring the impact white skin can have on perception, problem solving and engaging in racial justice work.

/ Office of Marketing and Communications

The Office of Marketing and Communications is located at 141 W. Park St.

Office Hours
M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

p/ 614.823.1600
f/ 614.823.1360

Media Inquiries
Jenny Hill
Director of Marketing and Communications
p/ 614.823.1284
e/ jhill@otterbein.edu

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