Robin DiAngelo, an anti-racist author who wrote a NYT bestseller ‘White Fragility,’ makes an estimated $728,000 a year from speaking engagements, according to Reason.com
White anti-racist author Robin DiAngelo is making an estimated $728,000 a year from speaking engagements and workshops and is charging an average of $14,000 per speech, more than double what she charged in 2018.
DiAngelo, who has a PhD in Multicultural Education from the University of Washington and has written multiple books about confronting racism including New York Times bestseller ‘White Fragility’, is represented by Big Speak for speaking arrangements.
When ‘White Fragility’ debuted in 2018, her average speaking fees were $6,200, according to her website.
From there they steadily climbed to to $9,200 in 2019 and $14,000 by August 2020.
Now, she said her agency – Big Speak – negotiates her fees, which are listed on the the company’s website as $30,000 to $40,000. She also makes 7.5 percent in royalties from ‘White Fragility.’
Her main focus is ‘accountability within antiracist work is the understanding that what I profess to value must be demonstrated in action,’ according to her website.
In addition to being an author, DiAngelo is a tenured professor at Westfield State University in Massachusetts
DiAngelo is represented by the agency Big Speak, which lists her speaker fees as $30,000 to $40,000
DiAngelo’s ‘Confronting Racism’ LinkedIn presentation to Coca-Cola in February, which included slides that encouraging people to ‘try to be less white,’ was met with backlash.
The slides in question, which went viral on social media after they were revealed by a ‘whistleblower’ working for the soft drink giant in the US, told viewers that being ‘less white’ meant being ‘less oppressive’, ‘less arrogant’ and ‘less ignorant’.
After calls for boycotts and lawsuits against Coca-Cola, the firm said it merely provided access to the slides on the LinkedIn Learning site as part of its diversity training, rather than making them required viewing. They’ve since been taken down.
It’s unknown how much she was paid for the presentation.
Other speaking engagements included a $12,750 presentation at the University of Wisconsin in October 2020, which was reported by The Washington Free Beacon, a $12,000 two-hour lecture at the University of Kentucky, which was reported by The Daily Signal, and the Tulsa City-County Library paid her $15,000 for a 90-minute Zoom discussion, according to ocpathink.org.
All the outlets filed Freedom of Information requests to find out how much she was paid.
It’s unclear how much money she makes per year from her book, speaking arrangements and as a tenured professor at Westfield State University in Massachusetts and an Affiliate Associate Professor of Education at the University of Washington, Seattle.
But after George Floyd’s murder last May, anti-racism speeches and training have became a booming industry.
A July 1 story on Reason.com estimates she makes about $728,000 a year from speeches and workshops alone, with would put her in the top-earning 1 percent.
White Fragility debuted in 2018, but has become more popular as the country has become more keen on race-based issues
In her ‘accountability’ section on her website, DiAngelo defended her speaking fees, saying fees are rarely fixed and ‘rise and fall based on the type of organization and fluctuations in demand.’
‘My fee is on a sliding scale; I am paid more by corporate orgs, and much less by non-profits, particularly non-profits that are focused on anti-racist work and/or are BIPOC-led,’ she said on her website, adding that she does a lot of reduced-rate, pro bono and fundraising work.
‘This year thus far, with the popularity of my book and more work in the corporate sector, my fee has ranged from pro bono (zero) to upwards of $30,000, which is well within the standard range for a best-selling author who is in high demand,’ she says on her website.
Her listed speaking fee is at the top end of anti-racism speakers listed on allamericanspeakers.com, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter Dr. Bernice King, whose speaker fees are listed as $20,000 to $30,000.
But DiAngelo isn’t the only person who’s making money as the country has become more sensitive to race and race-based issues.
Anti-racism speeches, training sessions and books have become a booming industry after Floyd’s murder last May.
For example, Robette Ann Dias has been training people how not to be racist for nearly 20 years, but her organization – Crossroads Antiracism Organization and Training – would previously get about nine requests a month, according to a July 2020 Washington Post story.
Within two weeks of Floyd’s murder, her organization received 110 requests.
The organization charges $4,000 per day plus the expenses for trainers for introductory workshops, which run four to eight hours and includes 25 to 100 people.
For ‘in-depth workshops,’ the organization charges $9,000 per workshop plus the expenses for two trainers. Workshops typically run 2.5 days for a maximum of 45 participants.
The Washington Post story mentions DiAngelo’s book as one of four examples of anti-racism training books that have climbed the bestseller list as the country became more ‘woke’ and sensitive towards race.
She and several other anti-racist authors and civil rights activists have been paid tens of thousands of dollars by higher learning institutions for lectures, fireside chats or keynote addresses.
Boston University professor and author Ibram Kendi, who wrote the NYT’s bestseller ‘How to be an Antiracist’ among other books, was payed more $300,000 over the past few years to deliver speeches, mainly in universities, according to reporting by The Fix.
The outlet reported all the contracts with Kendi were worth at least $10,000 since 2019, and payments jumped after Floyd’s death.
Kendi received $12,500 to $24,000 from five schools for anti-rasist lectures, most of which were 45 minutes plus a 15-minute Q&A section, between August and November 2020, The Fix reported.
What is critical race theory? The concept dividing the nation which asserts that US institutions are inherently racist
The fight over critical race theory in schools has escalated in the United States over the last year.
The theory has sparked a fierce nationwide debate in the wake of the Black Lives Matter protests around the country over the last year and the introduction of the 1619 Project.
The 1619 Project, which was published by the New York Times in 2019 to mark 400 years since the first enslaved Africans arrived on American shores, reframes American history by ‘placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of the US narrative’.
The debate surrounding critical race theory regards concerns that some children are being indoctrinated into thinking that white people are inherently racist or sexist.
Those against critical race theory have argued it reduces people to the categories of ‘privileged’ or ‘oppressed’ based on their skin color.
Supporters, however, say the theory is vital to eliminating racism because it examines the ways in which race influence American politics, culture and the law.
The outlet is still waiting on multiple Freedom of Information requests for other public speaking engagements.
One of Kendi’s most recent speeches was a $25,000 endeavor paid for by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, which angered two top North Carolina Republicans.
Republican Senate Leader Phil Berger and Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson issued a joint press release on June 23 condemning presentation while admitting they didn’t watch it or read his book.
‘The state’s second-largest school district paid $25,000 to leading Critical Race Theory proponent Ibram X. Kendi for an event just last week,’ Berger said in a statement.
‘This is clear and direct evidence that Critical Race Theory is being pushed in North Carolina. The fact that a public school district would pay someone who chooses to teach others that “the only remedy to past discrimination is present discrimination” is unimaginable, Robinson said.
Another high profile speaker is Nikole Hannah-Jones, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and lead author of the New York Times ‘1619 Project.’
She was paid $50,000 by the Oregon State Education Department for two seminars and $25,000 for an online Zoom lecture given to the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.
Both were revealed through Freedom of Information requests. She’s represented by the Lavin Agency, but her speaking fees aren’t listed.
Other antiracist speakers paid thousands of dollars for lectures or talks are Tim Wise, who was paid $10,000 by the University of Michigan for Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, and Dena Simmons, who was paid by the Naperville, Illinois school district in February for a 60-minute presentation.
Critical race theory and anti-racist literature have been polarizing topics, with some admonishing the idea, claiming it divides people of different races.
Nikole Hannah-Jones (left) – author of the controversial New York Times 1619 Project (right) – was paid $50,000 by the Oregon Education Department for two seminars where she reportedly told children: ‘What we call American history is really white history’
DiAngelo’s work is no exception.
On her website, she said, ‘We work towards creating a culture in which not engaging in antiracist practices within a racist society is what is actually uncomfortable.’
Critics, like Steve QJ, a black writer whose story titled ‘Robin DiAngelo Is The “Vanilla Ice” Of Anti-Racism’ was published by Illuminated-Curated, flat out called DiAngelo a ‘racist.’
‘Robin DiAngelo’s “White Fragility” has singlehandedly confused millions of people about race. It manages to talk down to black people and white people, all whilst offering nothing in the way of solutions,’ he wrote.
‘The most valuable contribution most people can make is to change their world. To stop treating black people as a field of study and start treating us like ordinary human beings.’
Anti-racism speakers are making tens of thousands of dollars for one- or two-hour seminars
Cornel West: A professor of the practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard, West has written 20 books, including ‘Race Matters’ and ‘Democracy Matters’ has speaking fees of $50,000 to $100,000.
Shaun King: A writer who TIME named as a top 25 most influential people in the world on the internet charges $20,000 to $30,000 for speaking arrangements.
Dr. Bernice King: Minister, lawyer, author and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter charges $20,000 to $30,000 per speech.
Kimberle Crenshaw: A civil rights advocate and leading scholar in critical race theory has a speaking fee of $30,000 to $50,000.
Brittany Packnett Cunningham: An activist and MSNBC contributor and host of UNDISTRACTED, an intersectional news and social justice podcast has speaking fees of $50,000 to $100,000.
All speaking fees listed on allamericanspeakers.com.