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"Are You Calling Me a Racist?" Book Launch and Conversation

To the left: Cover of the book, turquoise blue with title in yellow beige, "Are You Calling Me a Racist?" with three quotes to the right of the book praising the book

Join OCAD University and Another Story Bookshop for the launch of the new book, Are You Calling Me a Racist? by Dr. Sarita Srivastava, OCAD U’s Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science.

She’ll talk about her new book in a conversation with Dr. Rinaldo WalcottProfessor and Chair of Africana and American Studies at the University of Buffalo, moderated by Dr. Minelle Mahtani, Associate Professor at the Institute for Social Justice at the University of British Columbia.

Published by NYU Press, Are You Calling Me a Racist? disrupts the way we think about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) and anti-racism workshops and issues a call to rethink what author Dr. Sarita Srivastava calls the “feel-good politics of race.” 

The book launch and conversation takes place on Thursday, April 25, from 1 to 3 p.m. at Onsite Gallery, 199 Richmond St. W.

Copies of the book will be available for sale and there will be a book signing following the launch.


“Are You Calling Me a Racist? offers a penetrating analysis of ‘the feel-good politics of race’ and introduces novel elements into critical analyses of race and racism, as necessary in taking up antiracist activism as they are for research and teaching.”

—DAVID THEO GOLDBERG, author of The War on Critical Race Theory and Racist Culture

Decades of anti-racism workshops and diversity policies in corporations, schools and non-profit organizations, racial conflict and social inequality have only increased in recent years. Published by NYU Press, Are You Calling Me a Racist? reveals why these efforts have fallen short and offers new ways to create more equitable organizations.

Drawing from her own experience as an educator and activist, as well as extensive interviews and analyses of contemporary events, Dr. Srivastava shows that racial encounters among well-meaning people are ironically hindered by the emotional investment they have in being seen as good people.

Diversity workshops devote energy to defending, recuperating, educating, and inwardly reflecting, with limited results – and these exercises often make things worse. According to Dr. Srivastava, these “feel-good politics of race” train our focus on the therapeutic and educational, rather than on concrete practices that could move us towards greater equity. In these approaches to diversity training, people are often more concerned about being called a racist than they are about working for racial justice. 

Are You Calling Me a Racist? serves as a valuable resource for anyone dedicated to dismantling racism in their communities, educational institutions, public or private organizations, and social movements.

Interested in more?
Read an article written by Dr. Srivastava published recently in Fast Company.

About Dr. Sarita Srivastava
Dr. Sarita Srivastava is Professor of Sociology and Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science, and Director of the Global Centre for Climate Action at OCAD University. Her research areas include social movements, race, and emotion. In her prior position as Professor, Sociology and Gender Studies at Queen’s University, she spent many years teaching and supervising student work in the sociology of race and gender. In her work as an activist, she was director of a national environmental campaign for Greenpeace Canada, active in community radio and environmental education, and supported indigenous, labor, and feminist social movements.

About Dr. Rinaldo Walcott
Dr. Rinaldo Walcott is Professor and Chair of Africana and American Studies at the University of Buffalo, and previously Director of the Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of TorontoIn 2021, Walcott published The Long Emancipation: Moving Towards Freedom (Duke University Press) and On Property: Policing, Prisons, and the Call for Abolition (Biblioasis) which was nominated for the Heritage Toronto Book Award, longlisted for the Toronto Book Awards, a Globe and Mail Book of the Year, and listed in CBC Books Best Canadian Nonfiction. He is also the author of Black Like Who: Writing Black Canada (Insomniac Press, 1997).

About Dr. Minelle Mahtani
Dr. Minelle Mahtani is Associate Professor at the Institute for Social Justice at the Univresity of British Columbia where she held the position of Senior Advisor to the Provost on Racialized Faculty. She is also a former CBC national television news journalist and was previously a journalism and geography professor at the University of Toronto. She is the author of Mixed Race Amnesia: Resisting the Romanticization of Multiraciality with UBC Press, and May it Have A Happy Ending, forthcoming with Doubleday/Penguin Random House.