SLS PA: Dr. Robin DiAngelo- "Seeing the Racial Water"
By St. Luke's Parents' Association
On February 10, over 100 people came together in the Forese Fireplace Commons to share in the St. Luke’s journey of engaging in civil discourse and embracing the critical role it plays in education. Dr. Robin DiAngelo, Affiliate Associate Professor of Education at the University of Washington, engaged the community in a dialogue about the challenges of race and racism and the importance of talking about it. She began the lecture by presenting the audience with some staggering statistics highlighting the lack of diversity in groups that decide what news is reported, what books are published, what movies are produced, who owns MLB and NBA teams, and who is elected to political office. Through these statistics and much of her dialogue, Dr. DiAngelo helped the audience see that the information we receive from the world around us is very much shaped by the racial perspectives of the individuals making these decisions. She challenged members of the audience to look back on their own lives and determine how race has shaped their own experiences and views. She stood in front of us and stated that “if I can’t tell you what it means to be white, I can’t tell you what it means not to be white.”
Dr. DiAngelo helped us to see that the voice each of us carries brings a unique viewpoint to the table depending up our race, religion, ethnicity, socio economic background, etc. It is crucial that we recognize that our views and experiences are shaped by our social constructs. We must remember that as we move forward and continue on this journey our conversations may not be easy, but it is important that we listen to each other and respect that each of our experiences are influenced by those who determine what we hear and see.
St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.