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Tim Wise

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5 out of 5

Anti-Racist Essayist, Author & Educator; Expert on White Privilege & Advocate for Belonging

Tim Wise

Speaker RatingSpeaker RatingSpeaker RatingSpeaker RatingSpeaker Rating
5 out of 5

Anti-Racist Essayist, Author & Educator; Expert on White Privilege & Advocate for Belonging

Travels From Travels From:
Nashville, TN, USA
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Tim Wise Biography

Tim Wise is a leading anti-racist writer and educator in the United States, with over 25 years of experience speaking at various venues, including college and high school campuses, conferences, and community groups nationwide. He has provided anti-racism training to professionals in corporate, government, entertainment, media, law enforcement, military, and medical industries, both in the United States and internationally.

As the author of nine books, including "Dispatches from the Race War," Wise explores topics such as racial inequity, privilege, and the impact of racism on society. He has been recognized as one of "25 Visionaries Who are Changing Your World" by Utne Reader and has contributed to numerous books and journals. Wise's work is widely taught in colleges and universities across the nation.

Wise's involvement in social justice extends to his advisory role at the Fisk University Race Relations Institute and his past work with the Louisiana Coalition Against Racism and Nazism. He has also been featured in documentaries, including "White Like Me" and "The Great White Hoax," and has participated in public dialogues on issues of race, class, gender, and militarism.

Regularly appearing on CNN and MSNBC, Wise is a sought-after commentator on race-related issues. He graduated from Tulane University in 1990 and received antiracism training from the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond. Wise also hosts the podcast "Speak Out with Tim Wise."

Tim Wise Speaking Topics

  • In Defense of "Wokeness:" How to Fight Back Against the Right's War on Equity

    From state legislatures to school boards to corporate boardrooms, the right has launched a war on so-called "wokeness," by which they mean any policies intended to address (or even acknowledge) systemic racial inequalities. This war involves dishonest attacks on Critical Race Theory, the banning of books in schools, and the prohibition of diversity training in government agencies and businesses. How can people dedicated to equity and fairness fight back? This speech addresses this question and provides participants with the rhetorical ammunition they need to fight back.

    Among the issues examined:

    • Why is the right attacking wokeness now? What is the real agenda behind the assault?
    • How are they distorting Critical Race Theory, and why is CRT actually vital for understanding racism in America?
    • Why are they afraid of the concept of systemic racism? Why is that concept important for people committed to equity?
    • How can supporters of equity make the case in a way that minimizes defensiveness and backlash?

  • The Attack on Critical Race Theory — What’s It Really About?

    In this presentation, Wise examines the recent attacks on anti-racist education and the real motivations behind them. Although those leading the attack claim they are simply pushing back against “Critical Race Theory” — which they claim is anti-white and suggests America is an evil nation — CRT teaches no such things, and isn’t actually being taught in K-12 schools to begin with. When we examine what books and lessons the right is seeking to ban — including children’s books about Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks — it becomes clear: this isn’t about stopping “radical” ideas from being taught; it’s about whitewashing history. As Wise demonstrates, this assault on truth is about three things: seeking to stem support for the movement for racial justice and Black lives, seeking to blame the victims of racial injustice for their position in American society, and undermining support for public education itself.

  • Racial Justice on Campus in a Post-Affirmative Action World: What Colleges Can (and Must) Do Now

    With the Supreme Court poised to strike down affirmative action in admissions, colleges and universities will be faced with a dilemma: how to maintain and expand racial and ethnic diversity on campus absent the ability to explicitly consider race in the process of selecting students. In this presentation, Tim Wise explores the impact of the likely court ruling (due in June), and how colleges can and should respond. Although maintaining diversity and achieving equity will be more difficult in the absence of affirmative action as we’ve known it, the current moment also provides an opportunity for campuses to pivot and develop admissions policies that could, in the long run, facilitate even greater diversity and equity than had been previously achieved with the old policies. Why this matters, and how to make it work, is the subject of this timely new presentation.

  • What White Folks Should Do Now: Anti-Racist Solidarity in an Age of Backlash

    Since the racial justice uprising of 2020, right-wing backlash and stalled progress on issues of racial equity have left many frustrated and worried about the direction of the racial justice movement. Although people of color are used to the long-term nature of the work, many white folks who only came into the movement after the murder of George Floyd are showing signs of fatigue and uncertainty. How can white people engage in racial justice work responsibly, without losing steam? What is their role in the work? What does real solidarity look like? This talk will help focus white antiracist efforts by grounding them in a historical context, and examining what it means to be conscious, connected, and committed to justice in an unjust world. How do we retain hope in hard times? And most importantly, how do we remain accountable as we engage with persons of color who have the most to lose if racial justice efforts fail?

  • DEI or DOA? How To Move Beyond Window-Dressing to Achieve Institutional Equity

    In this presentation, Tim Wise examines DEI (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) efforts in the workplace, and how those efforts either support real change or perpetuate institutional inequity. As Wise explains, much of what gets done under the rubric of DEI doesn’t challenge fundamental cultural norms or practices that contribute to inequity, rendering DEI efforts DOA (dead on arrival), regardless of the good intentions of those charged with implementing them.

    Until those structural impediments to change are explored and altered, institutions are setting up their DEI officers for failure, letting down their employees of color, and doing real damage to the cause of equity. Wise will provide examples of structural changes and institutional norms that promote equity, so that participants can walk away with tangible ideas on how to move real DEI work forward.

  • Anti-Racism is Not a Self-Help Movement: Moving From Individual Analysis to Systemic Change

    In this presentation, Wise explores the trajectory of anti-racism analysis, activism, and "equity work" since the killing of George Floyd. From implicit bias training to workshops on white privilege and fragility, too much of the work has focused on white people as individuals — fixing their biases, checking their privileges, and challenging their fragility — rather than creating policies, practices, and procedures that will produce greater equity for all. While understanding implicit bias, privilege, and fragility can be helpful as a first step, it remains too easy to get stuck at that level, never moving on to explore systemic change. Even worse, a focus on individual privilege or bias engenders defensiveness among white employees that can torpedo the important work that needs to be done. In this speech, Wise discusses how to bring a systemic lens to our anti-racism, so as to avoid these pitfalls, reduce defensiveness and move our institutions in the direction of real change.

Tim Wise Videos

  • Anti-Racism Educator Tim Wise Deconstructs "Pandemic-ing While White"
    Nobody wants to be locked down and have their movements restricted by the stay at home orders issued to mitigate the risks of COVID-19. Well some...
  • Tim Wise: Higher Education's Urgent Imperative to Become Antiracist
    He has spent the past 25 years speaking to audiences in all 50 states, on over 1000 college and high school campuses, at hundreds of ...
  • Tim Wise - Checking White Privilege
    Tim Wise spoke in Davis on July 26. The author of "White Like Me" brought down the house with his criticism of white privilege and racism in America.

Tim Wise Books

  • Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America (City Lights Open Media)
    Under the Affluence: Shaming the Poor, Praising the Rich and Sacrificing the Future of America (City Lights Open Media)
  • Culture of Cruelty: How America's Elite Demonize the Poor, Valorize the Rich and Jeopardize the Future (City Lights Open Media)
    Culture of Cruelty: How America's Elite Demonize the Poor, Valorize the Rich and Jeopardize the Future (City Lights Open Media)
  • Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority (City Lights Open Media)
    Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority (City Lights Open Media)
  • White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
    White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son
  • Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity (City Lights Open Media)
    Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity (City Lights Open Media)
  • Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama
    Between Barack and a Hard Place: Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama

Speaker Lists Featuring Tim Wise

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  • What topics does Tim Wise speak about?

  • Where does Tim Wise travel from?

    Tim Wise generally travels from Nashville, TN, USA, but can be booked for private corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. For more details, please contact an AAE Booking agent.
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Tim Wise is a keynote speaker and industry expert who speaks on a wide range of topics such as In Defense of "Wokeness:" How to Fight Back Against the Right's War on Equity, The Attack on Critical Race Theory — What’s It Really About?, Racial Justice on Campus in a Post-Affirmative Action World: What Colleges Can (and Must) Do Now, What White Folks Should Do Now: Anti-Racist Solidarity in an Age of Backlash, DEI or DOA? How To Move Beyond Window-Dressing to Achieve Institutional Equity and Anti-Racism is Not a Self-Help Movement: Moving From Individual Analysis to Systemic Change. The estimated speaking fee range to book Tim Wise for your event is $10,000 - $20,000. Tim Wise generally travels from Nashville, TN, USA and can be booked for (private) corporate events, personal appearances, keynote speeches, or other performances. Similar motivational celebrity speakers are Nikki Giovanni, Angela Davis, Jane Elliott, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill and Ijeoma Oluo. Contact All American Speakers for ratings, reviews, videos and information on scheduling Tim Wise for an upcoming live or virtual event.

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