SURJ Workshop: Antidotes to White Fragility with Zara Zimbardo and Katherine Roubos

White Fragility is defined by Robin DiAngelo as “A state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include the outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation (2011).”

What skills, tools and approaches are useful in encouraging white people to sustain balanced engagement with anti-racism/racial justice education and work? How can we cultivate resilience (as opposed to white fragility) in ourselves, our communities, and our movements? Resilience is, in part, defined as:

  1. Staying with the conversation
  2. Giving and receiving information and feedback from facilitators and peers without becoming highly defensive, reactive, or shut down/dissociated for long periods of time
  3. Managing the guilt and shame that can arise in learning about the history and current reality of race and racism in the US.

This workshop will explore the role of the body, community, spirituality, intellectual knowledge and other themes that you bring from your experience. We will cover basic information about how the brain and body responds to perceived threats, and explore how to work with this toward greater resilience in moments of challenge.

About the workshop leaders: Zara Zimbardo is a co-founder of White Noise Collective, an anti-racist feminist training and resource organization and is faculty at the California Institute for Integral Studies. Katherine Roubos, MSW, completed their masters thesis "Cultivating Resilience: Antidotes to White Fragility in Racial Justice Education" in collaboration with the White Noise Collective in Oakland. They teach mindfulness at Kaiser and other locations and are dedicated to bringing embodied awareness into racial justice work.

Tickets are sliding scale $10 to $50. To purchase tickets please scroll down to the bottom of this page, indicate the number of tickets you wish to purchase, and click on the Purchase Tickets button (not the Donate button). No one turned away for lack of funds. Email with ticket requests or questions.

Accessibility: Oakstop is two blocks from 19th St. BART and other AC transit lines.  There is free parking on the street on Sundays, and there are public lots nearby. To enter the building, dial: 201 on the box to the left of the front door, and someone will buzz you in. There is no automatic door button. There is a working elevator just past the stairs in the main hallway. There are gender neutral and ADA accessible toilets on the ground floor, and ADA accessible stalls on the 2nd floor, where we’ll be meeting. The contractor at Oakstop does use chemical cleaner, but their policy is to use natural cleaners for a few days before an event, if requested to provided a scent-reduced space. There is quiet space just down the hall from where we’ll be meeting. We are not providing ASL interpretation.  We are not providing childcare. Please email Hattie at with any accessibility needs or concerns.


March 12, 2017 at 9:30am - 12:30pm
1721 Broadway 2nd floor
Oakland, CA 94612
United States
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