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Is Everyone Really Equal? Book Discussion Series

Ozlem Sensoy & Robin DiAngelo's Is Everyone Really Equal - Fall 2018 Library DEI Committee Book Discussion

Guidelines for Learning

The authors offer the following Guidelines for maximizing your learning:

1. "Strive for intellectual humility."

2. "Recognize the difference between opinions and informed knowledge."

3. "Let go of personal anecdotal evidence and look at broader societal patterns."

4. "Notice your own defensive reactions and attempt to use these reactions as entry points for gaining deeper self-knowledge." In other words, resist getting angry or dismissing the content, using it as an exit point. Hang in there and seek to learn why certain content puts you on the defensive. Be aware of opinions, platitudes, and anecdotal evidence that may emerge as you grapple with this content.

5. "Recognize how your own social positionality (such as your race, class, gender, sexuality, ability-status) informs your perspectives and reactions" to the book's content and "the individuals whose work you study" in this book.

More books

The authors include quotes from the following books:


Chapter 1:  Engaging Constructively in Critical Social Justice Learning - Definitions & Readings


a·nec·do·tal  e·vi·dence (noun)

1. (of an account) not necessarily true or reliable, because based on personal accounts rather than facts or research

Example: My cousin didn't get a job because they had to hire a minority applicant to meet their quota. Now there is reverse racism.
See also:
o·pin·ion (noun)  1. a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge  2. in academia, the weakest form of intellectual engagement 
Sources:; Is Everyone Really Equal, p. 9
Example: "My opinion is that all people are treated the same at my workplace, thus there is no bias there, and that's that." 
pla·ti·tude (noun) 1.  a flat, dull, or trite remark, especially one uttered as if it were fresh or profound
Examples:  "I was taught to just be nice and treat everyone the same. Anyone can "make it" - you just need to work hard. It doesn't matter if you are purple or polka-dotted!"

Works cited in the book

Intellectual humility vs Willful ignorance:

Everyone has an opinion. Opinions are not the same as informed knowledge:

Moving beyond opinions and toward Developing quality questions:

The presentation of dominant knowledge as neutral and universal: