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Anti-Racism Resources

The events of the last few months have once again brought to light the deep roots of  white supremacy and racism in this nation.

How should Christ-followers respond? The following resources are meant to help you gain understanding and to inspire informed conversations with others.

This list of resources is not exhaustive. If you have more resources to share, please send an email to imoffice@im.mennonite.net

You are invited to you participate in the upcoming webinar series, Built Together: A Foundation Series, featuring Nekeisha Alayna Alexis.

Each seminar will address different topics pertaining to intercultural competence including: Introducing Race; Understanding Whiteness; Introducing Intersectionality. Addressing Systemic Oppression; Building Intercultural Competence. Working for Change, Growing Towards Shalom. Developing our Congregations.

All are welcome to participate – the first webinar will be September 15 at 7pm. 

GETTING STARTED

Are you at the beginning of the journey to understanding white supremacy and racism? 

This section contains a few resources to get you started.

TO WATCH

Race in America, an 18 minute video summarizing the history of racism in America by Phil Vischer.

The Iceberg of Racism, as described in the Roots of Justice “Damascus Road Antiracism Analysis Training.”

FILMS

Click on the title to learn more about a resource.

Just Mercy
Just Mercy (2019)-Film (Amazon, Apple, VUDU, DirectTV, GooglePlay, YouTube) This thought provoking true-story follows a young lawyer as he takes on the case of Walter McMillian who is sentenced to die for the murder of an 18-year old girl, despite evidence proving his innocence.
Selma
Selma (2014)-Film (FXNow, Amazon, VUDU, GooglePlay, Redbox, Apple, DirectTV) In 1965, an Alabama city became the battleground in the fight for suffrage. Despite violent opposition, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers pressed forward on an epic march from Selma to Montgomery.
TO READ

Click on the title to learn more about a resource.

Mennonite Church USA Undoing Racism
  • Undoing racism and advancing intercultural transformation is a priority of Mennonite Church USA. Visit this MCUSA Resource Page.
Mennonite Church USA Statement on Racial Injustice
158 Resources for Understanding, Smithsonian

ENGAGING WITH YOUR CONGREGATION

TO WATCH

“Jesus Wasn’t White”, a video by Mennonite Mission Network

Cultural humility: from being right to being human,. A webinar by A​ndrea Sawyer-Kirksey, executive director for DOOR (Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection)

TO LISTEN
TO READ

Click on the title to learn more about a resource.

BOOKS

Weep with me: How Lament Opens a Door for Racial Reconciliation

ARTICLES/STATEMENTS

Prayers of lament: Responding to the Violence of Racism
The Mennonite Church, Racism and Whiteness: Two Reflections
Hashtags Hit Too Close to Home
  • Hashtags Hit Too Close to Home by Charlie B. Dobson: Charlie discusses her own experiences with loosing her brother to police violence, the need for love and the realities of white privilege. This article was published by Christianity Today on July 1, 2020.

ROOTS OF WHITE PRIVILEGE IN THE CHURCH

TO WATCH

 Race, Church and Change, Part 1

Race, Church and Change, Part 2

Iris de León-Hartshorn, associate director of MC USA, facilitates the conversation, which will explore the following topics: How racism is manifested in the church , The impact of culture on worship, leadership, and expectations in our congregations , Dismantling racism: What works and what does not

The panel includes Glen Guyton, Felipe Hinojosa, Sue Park-Hur, Erica Littlewolf and Tobin Miller Shearer.

TO READ

Click on the title to learn more about a resource.

ARTICLES

White Supremacist Ideas Have Historical Roots In U.S. Christianity

BOOKS

The Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism
  • The Trouble I’ve Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism by Drew Hart: “In this provocative book, theologian and blogger Drew G. I. Hart places police brutality, mass incarceration, anti-black stereotypes, poverty, and everyday acts of racism within the larger framework of white supremacy. He argues that white Christians have repeatedly gotten it wrong about race because dominant culture and white privilege have so thoroughly shaped their assumptions. He also challenges black Christians about neglecting the most vulnerable in their own communities. Leading readers toward Jesus, Hart offers concrete practices for churches that seek solidarity with the oppressed and are committed to racial justice.” Herald Press
The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church's Complicity in Racism
  • The Color of Compromise: the Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism, Jemar Tisby, Zondervan, 2019, 256 pages Martin Luther King: “It is appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is 11 o’clock on Sunday morning.”  In MLK’s “I have a dream” speech, King called on Americans to view others not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.  King’s call to action, issued more than fifty years ago, remains relevant. Yet churches remain racially segregated, largely ineffective in addressing complex racial challenges. Tisby takes readers to the root of this injustice. –summary by Ruben Chupp
The Cross and the Lynching Tree
  • The Cross and the Lynching Tree, James H. Cone, Orbis Books, 2013, 166 pages Garnering several awards, Cone explores the spirituality of African Americans, turning “his attention to two symbols that dominated not only the spiritual world but also the daily life of African-Americans in the twentieth century” (Henry Louis Gates, Jr). –summary by Ruben Chupp

THE HISTORY OF RACISM IN AMERICA

TO WATCH

Click on the title to learn more about a resource.

FILMS & DOCUMENTARIES

13th
  • 13th (2016)-Documentary (Netflix) Created by Ava DuVernay, this documentary analyzes the criminalization of the Black community and the U.S. prison boom using the voices of scholars, activists, and politicians.
The Central Park Five
  • The Central Park Five (2012)
    • Documentary (Amazon, hoopla, Apple) This film tells the story of five Black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were wrongly convicted of raping a white woman in New York’s City Central Park in 1989 from the perspective of the five teenagers who lives were upended. There is also a mini-series on Netflix called “When They See Us” about this story.
White Like Me
  • White Like Me (2013)
    • Documentary (kanopy – need library card) In this documentary, anti-racist educator Tim Wise explores race and racism in the U.S. through the lens of whiteness and white privilege. Offers a look back at the race-based white entitlement programs that built the American middle class and argues that our failure as a society to come to terms with this legacy of white privilege continues to perpetuate racial inequality and race-driven political resentments today.
TO LISTEN

Click on the title to learn more about a resource.

"Seeing White", podcast series
  • Seeing White” from Scene on Radio: this 14-part podcast documentary takes a deep dive into the history of Whiteness in America. What is it? What is it for? Host and producer John Biewen along with a number of scholars seek to answer these questions. 
"The Land That Never Has Been Yet", podcast series
  • The Land That Never Has Been Yet from Scene on Radio: John Biewen and Chenjerai Kumanyika, journalism and media studies professor at Rutgers University, explore voter suppression and gerrymandering; concerns about foreign intervention, election security, and the role of money in politics. This twelve-part  series on democracy addresses these concerns but will go much deeper, effectively retelling the story of the United States from its beginnings up to the present as we complicate, maybe upend, listeners’ understanding of American history. 
"1619", podcast series
  • 1619” a project by the New York Times: “In August of 1619, a ship carrying more than 20 enslaved Africans arrived in the English colony of Virginia. America was not yet America, but this was the moment it began. No aspect of the country that would be formed here has been untouched by the 250 years of slavery that followed. “1619,” an audio series hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, tells this story.”
"Generational racism: using the Genogram to see and slay it", podcast episode
  • Generational racism: using the Genogram to see and slay it“In the wake of George Floyd’s death, Americans and people around the globe are expressing outrage and grief on a level I’ve never seem in my lifetime. It appears to be a moment in which God is doing something significant in the world and the church.” Podcast episode by Pete Scazzero
"Race in America - The History of Post-Civil War Racism", podcast episode
TO READ

Click on the title to learn more about a resource.

BOOKS

Between the World and Me
  • Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Spiegel & Grau, 2015, 152 pages. Americans have built an empire on the idea of race that falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men–bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it?  Coates attempts to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. –summary by Ruben Chupp
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness
  • The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness, Michelle Alexander, New Press, 2010, 312 pages. Alexander confronts readers with the uncomfortable truth, that our nation has been reluctant to face: the way things are now for African-Americans in the US, noting the rebirth of a caste system that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars, upon release relegated to a permanent defective, flawed status.  The author places mass incarceration at the forefront of racial injustice in America. –summary by Ruben Chupp
The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America's Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality
  • The Bone and Sinew of the Land: America’s Forgotten Black Pioneers and the Struggle for Equality, Anna-Lisa Cox, PublicAffairs, 2018, 304 pages. Named one of Smithsonian’s Best History Books of 2018, Cox recounts black pioneers taking a stand for freedom in the Northwest Territory, confronted with racial backlash, armed battles and lynching.  Still these pioneers believed that humans were created equal in the sight of God. –summary by Ruben Chupp
White Trash: the 400-Year History of Class in America
  • White Trash: the 400-Year History of Class in America, Nancy Isenberg, Viking, 2016, 446 pages.In the course of US history, whites, according to Isenberg, have been labeled: offscourings, lubbers, bog-trotters, rascals, rubbish, squatters, crackers, clay-eaters, tackies, mudsills, scalawag, briar-hoppers, hillbillies, low-downers, degenerates, white trash, red necks, trailer trash, swamp people.  But at least they weren’t black.  Historically politicians have posed the US as a domain of equality.  But some have always been more “equal” than others, with blacks clutching the bottom rung of the ladder.  Includes 125 pages of notes. –summary by Ruben

NEXT STEPS

TO WATCH

Rev. Dr. Otis Moss III, The Cross and the Lynching Tree: A Requiem for Ahmaud Arbery

N.T. Wright’s talk titled: Undermining Racism

TO READ

Click on the title to learn more about a resource.

BOOKS

Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You
  • Stamped: Racism, Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds, Ibram X. Kendi (2020) An adaptation of Kendi’s Stamped from the Beginning targeted at young adults, this collaboration between the original author and children’s writer Jason Reynolds seeks to explain why young people are growing up in a world of racism and what they can do about it.
Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice
  • Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Pual Kivel (2017) This accessible, personal, and supportive guide is ideal for students, community activists, teachers, youth workers, and anyone interested in issues of diversity, multiculturalism, and social justice. Provides practical tools and advice on how white people can work as allies for racial justice. Includes information about specific cultural groups such as Muslims, Native Americans, recent immigrants, Latinos, and Asian Americans.

ARTICLES

Cultural Humility: From Being Right to Being Human
  • Cultural humility: from being right to being human by Laurie Oswald Robinson, Mennonite Mission Network: This contains “excerpts from a recent Mennonite Mission Network-sponsored webinar presented by Andrea Sawyer-Kirksey. She is executive director for DOOR (Discovering Opportunities for Outreach and Reflection). This Mission Network agency partner is based in Atlanta, Chicago and Denver and provides middle- and high-schoolers with experiential service-learning focused on justice for marginalized people and the dismantling of systemic racism.” The full video of this webinar is found at the top of this webpage.
For Our White Friends Desiring to be Allies
  • For Our White Friends Desiring to be Allies by Courtney Ariel at Sojourners magazine.  This article offers helpful insight and information on how white individuals can be helpful and humble allies for people of color.
97 Things White People Can do for Racial Justice

ORGANIZATIONS

Below is a short list of anti-racism organizations or projects battling the evils of racism.