For over 40 years, the Interfaith Outreach community – our staff, clients, volunteers, partners and donors – have been working to build a vibrant community where everyone counts. As racism continues to show up in various forms of community life, we commit to expanding our anti-racist learning, reflection and action in recognition of the fact that the community we envision cannot come into being while systemic racism remains in place.
In this post, we offer a few resources for continued learning and engagement. And, if you are interested in attending Interfaith Outreach’s volunteer training called One Community, Working Across Difference, you can sign up here. Please stay with us as we learn and grow from the relationships we are vulnerably building together. We can and must become a stronger, more just and equitable community that stands behind and acts upon its shared values. If you have any questions about this important work, please email Katie Shepherd, Associate Program Director, Diversity and Inclusion Group Chair at Interfaith Outreach.
(Please note these descriptions were taken directly from the website of the authors. Also, Hennepin County Library is currently offering the first four titles listed below as free e-books with no holds.)
The New Jim Crow a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement. Since its publication in 2010, the book has appeared on the New York Times bestseller list for more than a year; been dubbed the “secular bible of a new social movement” by numerous commentators, including Cornel West; and has led to consciousness-raising efforts in universities, churches, community centers, re-entry centers, and prisons nationwide. The New Jim Crow tells a truth our nation has been reluctant to face.
White people in North America live in a social environment that protects and insulates them from race-based stress. This insulated environment of racial protection builds white expectations for racial comfort while at the same time lowering the ability to tolerate racial stress. Although white racial insulation is somewhat mediated by social class (with poor and working class urban whites being generally less racially insulated than suburban or rural whites), the larger social environment insulates and protects whites as a group through institutions, cultural representations, media, school textbooks, movies, advertising, and dominant discourses. Racial stress results from an interruption to what is racially familiar. In turn, whites are often at a loss for how to respond in constructive ways, as we have not had to build the cognitive or affective skills or develop the stamina that that would allow for constructive engagement across racial divides. Leading to what I refer to as White Fragility.
Ibram X. Kendi’s concept of antiracism reenergizes and reshapes the conversation about racial justice in America–but even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. Instead of working with the policies and system we have in place, Kendi asks us to think about what an antiracist society might look like, and how we can play an active role in building it.
In his memoir, Kendi weaves together an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science–including the story of his own awakening to antiracism–bringing it all together in a cogent, accessible form.
Thousands of people from around the world were galvanized by the #meandwhitesupremacy challenge, examining and owning responsibility for the ways in which they uphold white supremacy. Over 80,000 people downloaded her guide to the movement, Me and White Supremacy Workbook in the space of just six months. And now, that guide is a published book.
Essays that challenge, discomfort, disorient, galvanize, and inspire all of us to evolve now, for our shared future.
From the author: Waking Up White is the book I wish someone had handed me decades ago. My hope is that by sharing my sometimes cringe-worthy struggle to understand racism and racial tensions, I offer a fresh perspective on bias, stereotypes, manners, and tolerance. As I unpack my own long-held beliefs about colorblindness, being a good person, and wanting to help people of color, I reveal how each of these well-intentioned mindsets actually perpetuated my ill-conceived ideas about race. I also explain why and how I’ve changed the way I talk about racism, work in racially mixed groups, and understand the racial justice movement as a whole. Exercises at the end of each chapter prompt readers to explore their own racialized ideas. Waking Up White‘s personal narrative is designed to work well as a rapid read, a book group book, or support reading for courses exploring racial and cultural issues.
- Code Switch Podcast
What’s CODE SWITCH? It’s the fearless conversations about race that you’ve been waiting for! Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes ALL OF US part of the conversation — because we’re all part of the story.
- Jim Crow of the North (60-minute PBS documentary)
Why does Minnesota suffer through some of the worst racial disparities in the nation? One answer is the spread of racist, restrictive real estate covenants in the early 20th century. Jim Crow of the North charts the progression of racist policies and practices from the advent of restrictive covenants after the turn of the last century to their final elimination in the late 1960s.
- 13th (Netflix)
Filmmaker Ava DuVernay explores the history of racial inequality in the United States, focusing on the fact that the nation’s prisons are disproportionately filled with African-Americans.