PSEG True Diversity Film Series – White Fragility – A Conversation of Allyship

August 24, 2020 @ 7:00 pm


In partnership with PSEG, NJPAC will continue its True Diversity Film Series, screening issues-based films followed by engaging panel discussions.  This season, the films we present will focus on social and racial justice, in response to the uprisings against systemic racism that have spread around the globe in 2020.

To continue this series safely during the pandemic, we have redesigned this screening series to work a little like a book club does: We’ll all watch the selected films at our homes on our own timeline, and then come together on a video conference to discuss the film, with help from a panel and a moderator who can offer context and insight.

Our next film this season will be White Fragility, a discussion of the book of the same name, by its author Robin DiAngelo. We encourage everyone to view this film of DiAngelo reading from her book and discussing the reaction to it, taped at the Seattle Central Library.

Published in 2018, DiAngelo’s book, White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, examines why white people — even those who identify as liberal or progressive — become defensive when challenged to confront their own racism. What white people need to understand is that “racism is “a system, not an event,” DiAngelo explains — and “none of us are exempt from its force.”

So how can white people be allies, co-conspirators or partners of people of color in fighting racial injustice? An all-white panel of activists and academics will have a candid and courageous conversation about their own path to understanding white privilege and embracing the work of anti-racism, and the useful and effective ways they’ve found they can be allies to communities of color.

The virtual panel discussion will be moderated by Richard Cammarieri, Director of Community Engagement at the New Community Corporation and a lifelong Newarker and community organizer. Among many other positions, Richard currently serves as an Executive Committee member of the Newark Branch NAACP.

Our panel will feature guests who will discuss their role in advancing social justice. They include:

  • Tobie Stein, a two-time Fulbright Specialist and a member of the Diversity Scholars Network at the National Center for Institutional Diversity, University of Michigan, and a member of the American Sociological Association.
  • Becca Zimmerman, a rising senior at Pitzer College, where she is majoring in Political Studies and Economics. Becca has been politically involved for several years, having previously interned on congressional and presidential campaigns, and spending this past fall semester in Washington, DC, interning on the Hill full-time for Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA).
  • Mark Katz is John P. Barker Distinguished Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Founding Director of the hip hop cultural diplomacy program, Next Level. His books include Build: The Power of Hip Hop Diplomacy in a Divided World.