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An anti-racist author Robin DiAngelo makes ‘$728K a year’ in speaking engagements


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 charges up to $40,000 per speech.   

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

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 is represented by the agency Big Speak, which lists her speaker fees as $30,000 to $40,000

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 at workplaces and corporations became a booming industry. 

A July 1 story on Reason.com estimates she makes about $728,000 a year from speeches and workshops alone. 

White Fragility debuted in 2018, but has become more popular as the country has become more keen on race-based issues

White Fragility debuted in 2018, but has become more popular as the country has become more keen on race-based issues

‘By most every yardstick, DiAngelo has achieved runaway success, lodging herself firmly in the top-earning 1 percent of the world’s richest country,’ Reason.com reported. 

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.  

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 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. 

Some have expressed love and support for her writings and talks. 

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.’

Others, 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 

Nikole Hannah-Jones: Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and lead author of the New York Times ‘1619 Project,’ 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. She’s represented by the Lavin Agency, but her speaking fees aren’t listed. 

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, except Hannah Jones. 


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