Resources on Race

Tools and resources, including books, articles, podcasts and more, addressing topics affecting African-Americans, from healthcare disparity to the housing industry

Books (1 CEU per 100 pages max 4 per book)

(Did you know VFC has a library with many of these titles available?)

  • The Conversation: How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations: This book by Robert Livingston addresses the need for organizations as well as individuals to be part of the solution to racial injustices. He speaks to the responsibility of everyone to be concerned about racism, offers possible solutions to eradicating racism and identifies specifically what racism is. By addressing racial divides and disparities that are often at odds with the belief that society is fair and just, Robert Livingston provides the reader an opportunity to become a part of the solution. Purchase here or watch an interview with the author.

  • Family Life: a novel: This novel by Akhil Sharma is based on the authors life experiences as his family moved from Delhi to life begin a new life America. It addresses the challenges the family faced as they realized the stark contrast to their life in India, the challenge of assimilating to a different culture and also the challenges faced when tragedy strikes. The Author transcends the immigration experience however by thinking broadly about “the totality of the experience that the novel provides”. Purchase here.

  • We Can't Talk About That at Work: How to Talk about Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics: As a thought leader in the field of diversity and inclusion, Mary-Frances Winters has been helping clients create inclusive environments for over three decades. In this concise and powerful book, she shows managers, HR departments, CEOs, and VPs how to lay the groundwork for having bold, inclusive conversations in the workplace. According to Winters, competence and preparation are key. Purchase Here or read a Preview.

  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. Purchase Here or Listen Online to the author at the Chicago Humanities Festival.

  • Just Mercy: Bryan Stevenson’s unforgettable true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to end mass incarceration in America — from one of the most inspiring lawyers of our time. This bestseller has also been made into a movie with Jamie Foxx. Bryan Stevenson has spoken at many conferences as well. You can watch his keynote at Stanford OpenXChange or his TedTalk.

  • The Bluest Eye: A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel, The Bluest Eye, asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing. Purchase Here *Note: Book includes violence.

  • How to Be an Antiracist: In his memoir, Ibram X. 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. He begins by helping us rethink our most deeply held, if implicit, beliefs and our most intimate personal relationships and reexamines the policies and larger social arrangements we support. How to Be an Antiracist promises to become an essential book for anyone who wants to go beyond an awareness of racism to the next step of contributing to the formation of a truly just and equitable society. Purchase Here.

  • Me and White Supremacy: Me and White Supremacy: A 28-Day Challenge to Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor leads readers through a journey of understanding their white privilege and participation in white supremacy, so that they can stop (often unconsciously) inflicting damage on black, indigenous and people of color, and in turn, help other white people do better, too. The book goes beyond the original workbook by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and including expanded definitions, examples, and further resources. Purchase Here.

  • Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America: Raising White Kids is a book for families, educators, and communities who want to equip their children to be active and able participants in a society that is becoming one of the most racially diverse in the world while remaining full of racial tensions. Purchase Here.

  • The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America: In this groundbreaking history of the modern American metropolis, Richard Rothstein, a leading authority on housing policy, explodes the myth that America’s cities came to be racially divided through de facto segregation— that is, through individual prejudices, income differences, or the actions of private institutions like banks and real estate agencies, unscrupulous real estate agents, unethical mortgage lenders, and exclusionary covenants working outside the law. This is what is commonly known as “de facto segregation,” practices that were the outcome of private activity, not law or explicit public policy. Yet, as Rothstein breaks down in case after case, private activity could not have imposed segregation without explicit government policies (de jure segregation) designed to ensure the separation of African Americans from whites. Purchase Here.

  • Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents: Isabel Wilkerson goes beyond race, class, or other factors, and shows there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. Purchase Here.

The following are books we are also aware of that discuss Social Injustice and promote Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. These books will challenge the reader to think outside their comfort zones and encourages the reader to face bias.

White Fragility – by Robin Deangelo

New Jim Crow – by Michelle Alexander

Between the World and Me – by TaNehisi Coates

The Person You Mean to Be – by Dolly Chugh

White Rage – by Carol Anderson

Inclusive Conversations - by Mary-Frances Winters

Articles ( 1 CEU each)

Podcasts (1 CEU each)

  • 1619: An audio series from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. Project creator and host Nikole Hannah-Jones was awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for the 1619 Project.

  • Momentum: A Race Forward: This series features movement voices, stories, and strategies for racial justice. Co-hosts Chevon and Hiba give their unique takes on race and pop culture, and uplift narratives of hope, struggle, and joy, as we continue to build the momentum needed to advance racial justice in our policies, institutions, and culture. Build on your racial justice lens and get inspired to drive action by learning from organizational leaders and community activists.

  • Seeing White: This series by Scene on Radio host and producer John Biewen took a deep dive into the concept of “Whiteness,” along with an array of leading scholars and regular guest Dr. Chenjerai Kumanyika, in this Peabody award winning fourteen part documentary.

  • Who Belongs?: This series was launched in fall 2018 as the Othering & Belonging Institute's official podcast. The question of who belongs in our societies, whether local, national, or global, is one of the central drivers that underpin how people are othered, or how the conditions of belonging are created. This podcast addresses this foundational question to open pathways to explore a range of policies, movements, scholarship, and narratives that get us closer to the goal we seek, which is to advance a society where all belong.

  • Caught: In this series, hear from children and youth about the moment they collided with law enforcement and how that changed them forever.

  • The Stakes: This series looks at what's not working in our society, and why we have to do better by sharing intimate social justice stories.

Ted Talks (1 CEU each)

Documentaries, Films, and Movies (1 CEU each)

  • Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools: Monique W. Morris chronicles the experiences of black girls across the country whose intricate lives are misunderstood, highly judged—by teachers, administrators, and the justice system—and degraded by the very institutions charged with helping them flourish. Called “compelling” and “thought-provoking” by Kirkus Reviews, Pushout exposes a world of confined potential and supports the rising movement to challenge the policies, practices, and cultural illiteracy that push countless students out of school and into unhealthy, unstable, and often unsafe futures.

  • Race – The Power of an Illusion: This is a three-part documentary series that asks a question so basic it’s rarely raised: What is this thing called “race?” What we discovered was that many of our conventional assumptions about race—for instance, that the world's peoples can be divided biologically along racial lines—are wrong. Yet the costs of racism are very real, and can even have biological consequences. Website includes links to resources, discussion guides and videos. This series also has an accompanying interactive website

  • Eyes on the Prize: Narrated by political and civil rights leader Julian Bond, the 14-hour series combines historical footage and contemporary interviews with key figures of the period. Not only does this series serve as a comprehensive resource in this extensive history, it acts to preserve their testimonials for future generations.

  • 13th: 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.

  • I Am Not Your Negro: To compose his stunning documentary film I Am Not Your Negro, acclaimed filmmaker Raoul Peck mined James Baldwin’s published and unpublished work, selecting passages from his books, essays, letters, notes, and interviews that are every bit as incisive and pertinent now as they have ever been. Weaving these texts together, Peck brilliantly imagines the book that Baldwin never wrote. In his final years, Baldwin had envisioned a book about his three assassinated friends, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King. His deeply personal notes for the project have never been published before. Peck’s film uses them to jump through time, juxtaposing Baldwin’s private words with his public statements, in a blazing examination of the tragic history of race in America.

Organizations with additional resources (1 CEU each)

  • Race Equity Institute – is an organization that provides virtual training options to organizations and individuals and has a variety of resources addressing bias and racism.

  • National Museum of African American History – is an organization helps people explore issues of race, racism and racial identity.

  • Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) – is a national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and to work toward racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves white people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability

  • Harvard University Project Implicit –is a non-profit organization and international collaboration between researchers who are interested in implicit social cognition – thoughts and feelings outside of conscious awareness and control. The goal of the organization is to educate the public about hidden biases and to provide a “virtual laboratory” for collecting data on the Internet. The website features several Implicit Association Tests, which measure the strength of associations between concepts (e.g., black people, gay people) and evaluations (e.g., good, bad) or stereotypes (e.g., athletic, clumsy).

  • Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity – is an interdisciplinary engaged research institute at Ohio State University, established in May 2003. The Kirwan Institute works to create a just and inclusive society where all people and communities have the opportunity to succeed. This mission is achieved through educating the public, building the capacity of allied social justice organizations, and investing in efforts that support equity and inclusion. This

  • Racial Equity Tools - is designed to support individuals and groups working to achieve racial equity. The site offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large. The Racial Equity Library on the site contains more than 2,000 tools

  • The Devaluation of Assets in Black Neighborhoods – takes a look at devaluation of housing in predominantly black neighborhoods.

Children’s Resources (1 CEU each)

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"As a CASA, you make a meaningful difference in a child's life - a child that doesn't have many people looking out for them."

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"Every child deserves a safe environment to grow up in, including a roof over their head, nutritious food in the belly, and an opportunity for education. I'm happy to be a part of the process by being a caring adult who can help a child receive those things."

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"There is nothing like the feeling of earning a hug from a child who is generally suspicious of everybody. It's amazing what your calm, regular, and reliable presence can do for a child in need. This is one of the most rewarding volunteer opportunities out there!"

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