Diversity: Waking Up White Campaign

Waking up White is a regional learning collaborative to create a healthier multicultural community. It has three components:

  1. Training a diverse group of local facilitators (completed)
  2. Holding two public lectures by humanities experts (completed) and facilitating four small group dialogues
  3. Bringing about a true change in the status quo by supporting community members as they learn to think differently about difference – more inclusively and less judgementally

A key strength of this project is creating a venue for small group dialogue (Deep Dives), facilitated by locally trained community members under the supervision of humanities experts Reggie Jackson and Dr. Fran Kaplan.

The groups’s goals are:

EDUCATE: This project’s intent is to facilitate White Racial Literacy. Robin Diangelo, author of White Fragility, states that “Ignorance of Whiteness is not neutral or benign – but has profound implications for our self-identity and how we White people relate to People of Color and our society”. 

CREATE SPACES FOR COMMUNITY DIALOGUE through “Deep Dives” — facilitated conversations on race and related topics in small groups of diverse community members — and through community readings and discussions of the book Waking Up White by Debby Irving. 

STRENGTHEN OUR COMMUNITY’S NETWORK by creating connections to individuals, organizations and resources committed to justice and equity.

DEVELOP A FOLLOW-UP PLAN of action that moves our community beyond “Diversity and Inclusion” and towards a more comprehensive understanding of, and challenge to, white supremacy, white privilege and other race-based forms of oppression.

How Businesses Can Engage

with many thanks to Stacey Everson with the School District of La Crosse for being a strong volunteer on our behalf and keeping the Chamber aware of the groups’ happenings.

  • Now: Contact the group expressing your company or you want to engage
    here >>
  • Summer 2020: Participate in the Waking Up White Regional Read
    More Info
  • Be part of a Multicultural Community Project
    More Info
  • October 16-17, 2020: Participate in a 1.5 day symposium
    More Info