Breaking White Silence Project

About the Project

Breaking White Silence is a project of the Phinney Neighborhood Association. The primary purpose is to educate white people on the structures and patterns of racism, by forming free, facilitated study groups focused on reading and discussing Robin DiAngelo’s What Does It Mean to Be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy (Revised Edition)

The broader intention of these groups is to build a community of racially literate white people who can support each other’s ongoing learning and action toward the advancement of racial justice.

All Breaking White Silence groups are run with no charge to participants.  We have 50 copies of What Does It Mean to Be White? available to be borrowed from the PNA by study group participants for the duration of their group.


Upcoming Online Study Groups

Every other Wednesday, 7-8:30 pm. Zoom
Sept 23, Oct 7 & 21, Nov 4 & 18, Dec 2
Facilitator: Jenny Gardon
To register: Email [email protected]

Every other Sunday, 1-3 pm. Zoom
Oct. 11 & 25, Nov 8 & 22, Dec 6 & 20
Facilitators: Julie Gilmour and Suzanne Engelberg
To register: Email [email protected]

Email Cecily at [email protected] to get notified when a new group is starting.

Using Dr. Robin DiAngelo’s book What Does It Mean to Be White?: Developing White Racial Literacy to encourage personal reflection and conversation, this study group is a first step to open up conversations about whiteness, white privilege, and racism.

Dr. DiAngelo is a race and social justice educator and author of the 2018 New York Times best-selling book White Fragility. Her work has been featured at the Seattle Public Library and in NPR, Slate, and The New Yorker. To learn more about the book, visit

The study groups are geared to adults of all ages. Middle school and high school students are also welcome. We especially encourage men to join this group, since so far they have been underrepresented in Breaking White Silence study groups. Although all are encouraged to purchase the book, there are some available to borrow.


Further Resources


Community Events

Stay tuned! Have an event to recommend? Please email [email protected].

Facilitator Toolkit

Interested in becoming a facilitator? Explore the toolkit to learn more.


About the Breaking White Silence Affinity Group

The BWS Affinity Group serves as the steering committee for the Breaking White Silence project. This group is made up of eight community members, including one PNA staff person, who work to educate themselves and do the work of interrupting racism through Breaking White Silence group and other activism in the community.

To reach out to the committee or to find out more about  please contact Cecily Kaplan at [email protected]