Chloe Valdary: How Kendrick Lamar and The Lion King Can Help Close the Racial Divide

Forget Robin DiAngelo and White Fragility. Theory of Enchantment uses popular culture to make workplaces more inclusive and welcoming.


In a world where workplace diversity sessions increasingly resemble Maoist struggle sessions, Chloé Valdary's Theory of Enchantment seminars seek to bring people together using popular culture to explore our common humanity and generate empathy rather than division. 

The 28-year-old Valdary started a group to combat anti-semitism as an undergraduate at the University of New Oreans, and after a fellowship at the Wall Street Journal opinion page, she created Theory of Enchantment as an alternative to the antiracist programs of Ibram X. Kendi and Robin DiAngelo, which she believes deepen the very resentments they seek to alleviate. Her program employs materials as varied as Disney's Lion King, music from Kendrick Lamar, and writings by James Baldwin and Cheryl Strayed. 

Valdary spoke to Reason about how her life experiences inform Theory of Enchantment, why the demand for her program is growing, and why she's optimistic about the future of race relations and individualism.