Women’s Weekend Retreat

Join us at Camp Hochelaga for an intentional weekend will include workshops that focus on self-care, empowerment, building connections, and discovering new interests, as well as conversations with Keynote Speaker Debby Irving!

Friday, August 25th-Sunday August 27th 2017

This weekend will be hosted at Camp Hochelaga, 30 gorgeous acres right on Lake Champlain in South Hero, Vermont (25 minutes from downtown Burlington).

Register Online Today to reserve your spot and request to share lodging with friends if you choose.

Registration fee: $275.00

Do you have a friend in mind who would like to join you for the retreat? Just let us know once you have both registered and you will each receive a $25.00 discount!

 

Keynote Speaker and Dialogue Facilitator

Debby Irving

About the Auther: Debby Irving is a racial justice educator and author.  A community organizer and classroom teacher for 25 years, Debby Irving grappled with racial injustice without understanding racism as a systemic issue or her own whiteness as an obstacle to it.

As general manager of Boston’s Dance Umbrella and First Night, and later as an elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, she struggled to make sense of tensions in racially mixed settings she could feel but could not explain. In 2009, Debby took a graduate school course, Racial and Cultural Identities, which gave her the answers she’d been looking for and helped launch her on a journey of discovery. Now, leading workshops and presentations around the country, Debby devotes herself to exploring the impact white skin can have on perception and how individuals can help themselves and others change misconceptions and attitudes. A graduate of the Winsor School in Boston, she holds a BA from Kenyon College and an MBA from Simmons College. Her first book, Waking Up White, tells the story of how she went from well-meaning to well-doing.

 

Waking Up White is the book Debby 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.

More Discussion of the Importance of Irving’s Work in the Present Context

Boston, MA, March 1, 2017 — The last few years have provoked outrage and confusion about America’s ongoing racial tensions. Consider:

  • Inflammatory words by Paula Deen, Ronald Sterling, and Cliven Bundy stirred debate about what makes for a racist.
  • Videotaped injustices from Eric Garner to Sandra Bland made visible ongoing racial trauma formerly unknown to most white Americans.
  • Black Lives Matter flags have been hung and torn down across the country.
  • The massacre of a bible study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal
  • Church in Charleston, SC revealed the ongoing power of America’s white supremacist roots.
  • College campuses are grappling daily with how to address landmarks named for legacies whose wealth and power were built on the backs of enslaved labor.
  • A new presidential administration committed to “Making America Great Again” has left the United States at a fraught crossroad, divided by differential understandings of the slogan’s implications.Unfortunately, attempts to make sense of racial events and rhetoric too often lead to increased misunderstanding. While mainstream media often brings a good/bad, black/white version of events involving individual actions, racial justice author and educator Debby Irving encourages people to bring more nuance, historical knowledge, and personal reflection to the issue.Irving uses her own life to explore the everyday systemic racism that goes largely unnoticed yet perpetuates long-held racialized belief systems. Waking Up White functions as both a “Racism 101” for white people and a rare exposé on whiteness for people of color. 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. For white readers wanting to further their own awakening, Irving includes short prompts and exercises at the end of each chapter.Irving’s story provides a context that allows white people to quickly grasp modern racism’s inner workings and enter into conversations with new awareness and skill. It’s the book Irving wishes someone had handed her decades ago. “When I finally came to understand the way racism worked,” she explains, “I spent a lot of time thinking about what might have enlightened me earlier. I decided it wouldn’t have been an academic book, an essay, or a book from the perspective of a person of color — it would have been another white person describing their own awakening, with some humor, poignancy, and drama in the mix. What I needed was a memoir so irresistible that I would have read it even if racism weren’t on my mind.