About Debby

About Debby

I’m a white woman, raised in Winchester, Massachusetts during the socially turbulent 1960s and ‘70s. After a blissfully sheltered, upper-middle-class suburban childhood, I found myself simultaneously intrigued and horrified by the racial divide I observed in Boston. From 1984 to 2009 my work in urban neighborhoods and schools left me feeling helpless. Why did people live so differently along racial lines? Why were student outcomes so divergent? Why did I get so jumpy when talking to a person of color? Where did the fear of saying something stupid or offensive come from, and why couldn’t I make it go away? The more I tried to understand racial dynamics, the more confused...


Media Inquiries, contact Martha Kiley marthakiley1@gmail.com
Engagement Inquiries, contact Michelle Chalmers, michelle@debbyirving.com

Waking Up White

"One of the most important books on race in recent…" READ MORE

TED Talk

Individual and institutional racism and how they connect. READ MORE

YW Interview

Why did Debby write the book? READ MORE