Recommended Resources for Learning

“Learning is the process whereby knowledge is created through the transformation of experience.”
-     David A. Kolb

If you’re new to thinking about race or have already been working on anti-racism for a while, here are some resources we recommend to begin or continue your work. Together these materials begin to explain both personal and systemic racism, and what actions we as individuals and communities can take to make a difference.

We’ve tried to balance not overloading you with too many options while still giving you a range of places to dive in. You’ll see a section where we expand the resources by listing some additional DSR member recommended favorites. Let us know when you find your own and maybe we’ll start a list of Langley and South Whidbey recommended favorites!

Videos

Stand up comic Trevor Noah (who is also the host of The Daily Show), discusses his book, Born A Crime. While speaking about growing up in apartheid South Africa, he clearly and directly also speaks to racism in the United States. He has an amazing capacity to address difficult topics with both humor and an open heart. 91 minutes.

Author Ijeoma Oluo discusses her book, So You Want To Talk About Race. She recognizes that many find it difficult to talk about race, acknowledges that she herself hates to talk about race, and emphasizes that it’s necessary for all of us to learn to do so no matter how uncomfortable we might at first find such conversations. 52 minutes.

Author Ibram X Kendi discusses his book, How To Be an Anti-Racist. He emphasizes that “not being racist” assumes that racism is an individual action by a bad person, and that this bad/good person binary is both false and indeed dangerous. He invites us all to instead become actively anti-racist. 18 minutes (relevant content begins at 3.52mins).

Author Resmaa Menakem discusses his book, My Grandmother’s Hands. He makes clear that racism is a trauma involving all people of all races, white people included, and that it is encoded in our bodies. He challenges the idea of racism as only “episodic” (individual events involving individual people) and invites us to take on the work of what he calls somatic abolitionism. 95 minutes.

Author Layla Saad discussed her book, Me & White Supremacy. She invites us to consider the ways we, unintentionally and unwillingly, are complicit in white supremacy culture and the self-reflective work that can liberate us from this deep conditioning. Her book offers 28 lessons, each reflecting one way that we are conditioned into white supremacy. 26 minutes.

Websites

Calling itself a “home for white people working for justice”, this website is a source of resources directed to both learning and action. Local chapters exist across the US and around the world.

This website is an updated and expanded documentation of the characteristics of white supremacy culture as originally captured in a powerful 1999 article. It is full of links to other sites and resources. Most importantly, it offers nine characteristics of white supremacy culture and the “antidotes” that will help us transform our cultural conditioning into behavioral choice.

A national research and action institute advancing racial and economic equity by Lifting Up What Works®. They focus on an equitable economy, healthy communities, and a just society. They provide several resources including publications, webinars, and toolkits (policing, policy, equitable development, etc.)

Articles

One of the first articles written by and for white people about race, it was an eye-opener for many. The most powerful aspect is a long listing of invisible privileges white people have, not through any conscious choice or personal merit but simply by virtue of having white (or white-passing) skin in a white supremacist cultural context.

This now classic article summarizes some of the history of chattel slavery in the United States, a history not yet taught in most public school contexts even though we all live with the legacy of it today. It is worth reading and re-reading.

It helps to have a common understanding of what we’re talking about when we’re talking about racism. This article defines and clearly explains such terms as “structural racism”, “systemic racism” and “institutional racism”.

Podcasts

Be Antiracist imagines what an antiracist society might look like and how we all can play an active role in building one. In this podcast, Dr. Kendi guides listeners on how to identify and reject the racist systems hiding behind racial inequity and injustice.

Racism relies on a perceived continuum from “black” to “white” and focuses on one end of the continuum while leaving the other end - whiteness - largely unexamined. In this series, John Biewen and Chenjerai Kumanyika, do just that - examine whiteness - from both the historical and the personal perspective. The season provides an engaging and accessible onboarding to contemporary conversations regarding race in America.

How often have we been admonished to “be civil” as we engage in public discourse? As we examine and begin to address systemic racism, it’s important to recognize that civility is not a neutral concept. Learn more in this brief and thoughtful piece from NPR’s CodeSwitch.

Discuss big issues like inequality, racism, housing insecurity, and more. This podcast focuses on radical solutions to society’s most pressing problems. It provides stories and solutions that are fueling change and features conversations with thinkers and changemakers from multiple fields working to deliver equity wins.

Social Media

Founder and Radical Officer of The Body is Not an Apology, a digital media education company promoting radical self-love and body empowerment as the foundational tool for social justice and global transformation. Taylor uses her platform to talk about her experiences with racism, fatphobia, sexism, and more along with lessons and ways to take action when faced with these experiences.

Ibram X. Kendi is one of the United States’ foremost historians in race and discriminatory policy and a leading anti-racist scholar. In July 2020, he assumed the position of director of the Center for Antiracist Research at Boston University and was included in Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People of 2020. He argues that policy outcomes are central in measuring and effecting racial equity.

Rachel Cargle’s activist and academic work are rooted in providing intellectual discourse, tools, and resources that explore the intersection of race and womanhood. She uses her platform to guide conversations, encourage critical thinking, and nurture meaningful engagement with people all over the world.

Diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer in May 2014 at the age of 28, Ericka Hart realized that neither her identity as a queer black femme, nor her sex life as a survivor, was featured prominently in her treatment. She decided to do something about it: going topless (and viral) in public, bearing her double mastectomy scars to end the lack of black, brown LGBTQIA+ representations and visibility in breast cancer awareness.

Rachel Ricketts is a spiritual activist and mystic disruptor seeking liberation for Black and Indigenous women, femmes, and non-binary folx. She educates on dismantling white supremacy, helping white folx address white supremacy, BIPOC healing from internalized oppression, and offers spiritual tools for all to commit to the solution.

Brittany Packnett Cunningham is an award-winning educator, organizer, writer, and leader in social change, justice, and empowerment work. She plays many roles, all focused on freedom. In the past, Brittany held top roles at Teach For America, was a Congressional policy advisor, co-founded Campaign Zero, leveraging her management, communications, policy and equity skillset on broad justice issues from public education to criminal justice.

She was also a member of President Obama's Task Force on 21st Century Policing and the Ferguson Commission, helping lead the country and her community through change during times of tumult.

Imani Barbarin writes from the perspective of a black woman with Cerebral Palsy. She writes about white supremacy and the disability community, internalized ableism, racism and ableism in the healthcare system, and inherited culture. She is a disability rights and inclusion activist who has created over a dozen trending hashtags that have allowed folx the opportunity to have their perspectives heard while forcing the world to take notice.

Books

The DSR is working with the Langley Library to develop a collection of books focused on anti-racism, equity, and justice. Many of them will be by authors referenced here for their video interviews, podcasts, articles, and social media platforms. We encourage you to visit the Library and check out the collection.

Training

There are numerous very good workshops and seminars through which to learn from experts, both in-person and online. Community groups on South Whidbey sometimes bring such experts here, and local experts sometimes offer public events. Look below for a list of upcoming local opportunities, or register here if you would like to be notified by email when something is scheduled.

Other Favorites Recommended by DSR Members