Racial Equity Resources

To create an equitable society, we must commit to making unbiased choices and being antiracist in all aspects of our lives. Being antiracist is fighting against racism. Racism takes several forms and works most often in tandem with at least one other form to reinforce racist ideas, behavior, and policy. Here are some resources that might be helpful to anyone seeking more information about how to be antiracist.

Biased by Jennifer L. Ebernhardt, PhD 
Black Feminist Thought by Patricia Hill Collins 
Blindspot by Mahzarin R. Banaji
Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Dr. Brittney Cooper
Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
Racism Without Racists: Color-blind Racism And The Persistence Of Racial Inequality In America by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva
Redefining Realness by Janet Mock
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde
So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You by Ibram X. Kendi
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century by Grace Lee Boggs
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga
When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America by Ira Katznelson
White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo, PhD

ASIAN & PACIFIC ISLANDER STUDIES

Alien Nation: Chinese Migration In The Americas From The Coolie Era Through World War II by Elliott Young 

Asian American Dreams: The Emergence Of An American People by Helen Zia

On Gold Mountain by Lisa See

Strangers From A Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans by Ronald Takaki

The Good Immigrants: How The Yellow Peril Became The Model Minorities by Madeline H. Ysu

The Making Of Asian America by Erika Lee

The Myth Of The Model Minority: Asian Americans Facing Racism by Rosalind S. Chou & Joe R. Feagin 

They Called Us Enemy (Graphic Novel) by George Takei

Two Faces Of Exclusion: The Untold Story Of Anti-Asian Racism In The United States by Lon Kurashige

We Too Sing America: South Asian, Arab, Muslim, and Sikh Immigrants Shape Our Multiracial Future by Deepa Iyer

Yellow Peril!: An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear Edited by John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats (white author)

Yellow: Race In America Beyond Black And White by Frank H. Wu

BLACK STUDIES

40 Million Dollar Slaves: The Rise, Fall, And Redemption of The Black Athlete by William C. Rhoden

A Black Women’s History Of The United States by Daina Ramey Berry & Kali Nicole Gross

A More Beautiful And Terrible History: The Uses And Misuses Of Civil Rights History by Jeanne Theoharis

Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by Bell Hooks

Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness And Political Thought by Patricia Hill Collins

Black Stats: African Americans By The Numbers In The Twenty-First Century by Monique M. Morris

From #BlackLivesMatter To Black Liberation by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor

March Trilogy (Graphic Novels) by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell

North Of Slavery: The Negro In The Free States, 1780-1869 by Leon F. Litwack

Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools by Monique M. Morris

The Color Of Money: Black Banks And The Racial Wealth Gap by Mehrsa Baradaran

The Education Of Blacks In The South, 1860-1935 by James D. Anderson

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery And The Making Of American Capatalism by Edward E. Baptist

The Price For Their Pound Of Flesh: The Value Of The Enslaved, From Womb to Grave, In The Building Of A Nation by Daina Ramey Berry

The Underground Railroad (Historical Fiction) by Colson Whitehead

The Warmth of Other Son:The Epic Story Of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

CHICANX/LATINX STUDIES

Borderlands/La Frontera by Gloria Anzaldúa

De Colores Means All Of Us by Elizabeth Martinez

Inventing Latinos: A New Story of American Racism by Laura E. Gomez

Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of Pillage of A Continent by Eduardo Galeano

INDIGENOUS STUDIES

All Our Relations: Indigenous Trauma In The Shadow Of Colonialism by Tanya Talaga

An Indigenous People’s History Of The United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Braiding Sweetgrass: Idigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, And The Teaching Of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Everything You Wanted To Know About Indians But Were Afraid To Ask by Anton Treuer

Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, And The Pursuit Of Justice For Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by Jessica McDiarmid 

Native: Identity, Belonging, And Rediscovering God by Kaitlin Curtice

Rez Life: An Indian’s Journey Through Reservation Life by David Treuer

Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga

The Other Slavery by Andrés Reséndez

Why Indigenous Literatures Matter by Daniel Heath Justice

WHITE STUDIES

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin

The History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter

The Invention of The White Race: Volume 1: Racial Oppression and Social Control by Theodore W. Allen

The Invention of The White Race: Volume 2: The Origin of Racial Oppression in Anglo-America by Theodore W. Allen

Waking Up White by Deby Irving

What Does It Mean To Be White: Developing White Racial Literacy by Robin DiAngelo

White Kids: Growing Up With Privilege In A Racially Divided America by Margaret A. Hagerman

White Like Me: Reflections On Race From A Privileged Son byTim Wise

White Rage by Carol Anderson

Alligator and Other Stories by Dima Alzayat
Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay
Black Is The Body: Stories From My Grandmother’s Time, My Mother’s Time, And Mine by Emily Bernard
Freedom Is A Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, And The Foundations Of A Movement by Angela Y. Davis 
If They Come In The Morning...Voices Of The Resistance Edited by Angela Davis
Sister Outsider: Essays & Speeches by Audre Lorde
Some Of Us Are Very Hungry Now by Andre Perry
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race by Jesymn Ward
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
They Can’t Kill Us Until They Kill Us by Hanif Abdurraqib
This Bridge Called My Back: Writings By Radical Women Of Color Edited by Cherríe Moraga & Gloria Anzaldúa

Anti-Racism

Anti-Racism is defined as the work of actively opposing racism by advocating for changes in political, economic, and social life. Anti-racism tends to be an individualized approach, and set up in opposition to individual racist behaviors and impacts.

SOURCE: Race Forward

Critical Race Theory

The Critical Race Theory movement considers many of the same issues that conventional civil rights and ethnic studies take up, but places them in a broader perspective that includes economics, history, and even feelings and the unconscious. Unlike traditional civil rights, which embraces incrementalism and step by step progress, critical race theory questions the very foundations of the liberal order, including equality theory, legal reasoning, Enlightenment rationalism and principles of constitutional law.

SOURCE: Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic, Critical Race Theory: An Introduction, NYU Press, 2001.

Decolonization

Decolonization may be defined as the active resistance against colonial powers, and a shifting of power towards political, economic, educational, cultural, psychic independence and power that originate from a colonized nations’ own indigenous culture. This process occurs politically and also applies to personal and societal psychic, cultural, political, agricultural, and educational deconstruction of colonial oppression.

Per Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang: “Decolonization doesn’t have a synonym”; it is not a substitute for ‘human rights’ or ‘social justice’, though undoubtedly, they are connected in various ways. Decolonization demands an Indigenous framework and a centering of Indigenous land, Indigenous sovereignty, and Indigenous ways of thinking.

SOURCES: The Movement for Black Lives. Eric Ritskes, What Is Decolonization and Why Does It Matter?

Indigeneity

Indigenous populations are composed of the existing descendants of the peoples who inhabited the present territory of a country wholly or partially at the time when persons of a different culture or ethnic origin arrived there from other parts of the world, overcame them, by conquest, settlement or other means and reduced them to a non-dominant or colonial condition; who today live more in conformity with their particular social, economic and cultural customs and traditions than with the institutions of the country of which they now form part, under a state structure which incorporates mainly national, social and cultural characteristics of other segments of the population which are predominant.

(Examples: Maori in territory now defined as New Zealand; Mexicans in territory now defined as Texas, California, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma; Native American tribes in territory now defined as the United States.)

SOURCE: United Nations Working Group for Indigenous Peoples.

Internalized Racism

Internalized racism is the situation that occurs in a racist system when a racial group oppressed by racism supports the supremacy and dominance of the dominating group by maintaining or participating in the set of attitudes, behaviors, social structures and ideologies that undergird the dominating group's power. It involves four essential and interconnected elements:

Decision-making - Due to racism, people of color do not have the ultimate decision-making power over the decisions that control our lives and resources. As a result, on a personal level, we may think white people know more about what needs to be done for us than we do. On an interpersonal level, we may not support each other's authority and power - especially if it is in opposition to the dominating racial group. Structurally, there is a system in place that rewards people of color who support white supremacy and power and coerces or punishes those who do not.

Resources - Resources, broadly defined (e.g. money, time, etc), are unequally in the hands and under the control of white people. Internalized racism is the system in place that makes it difficult for people of color to get access to resources for our own communities and to control the resources of our community. We learn to believe that serving and using resources for ourselves and our particular community is not serving “everybody.”

Standards - With internalized racism, the standards for what is appropriate or “normal” that people of color accept are white people's or Eurocentric standards. We have difficulty naming, communicating and living up to our deepest standards and values, and holding ourselves and each other accountable to them.

Naming the problem - There is a system in place that misnames the problem of racism as a problem of or caused by people of color and blames the disease - emotional, economic, political, etc. - on people of color. With internalized racism, people of color might, for example, believe we are more violent than white people and not consider state-sanctioned political violence or the hidden or privatized violence of white people and the systems they put in place and support.

SOURCE: Donna Bivens, Internalized Racism: A Definition,  Women’s Theological Center, 1995.

Intersectionality 

1. Exposing [one’s] multiple identities can help clarify the ways in which a person can simultaneously experience privilege and oppression. For example, a Black woman in America does not experience gender inequalities in exactly the same way as a white woman, nor racial oppression identical to that experienced by a Black man. Each race and gender intersection produces a qualitatively distinct life.

2. Per Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw, “Intersectionality is simply a prism to see the interactive effects of various forms of discrimination and disempowerment. It looks at the way that racism, many times, interacts with patriarchy, heterosexism, classism, xenophobia — seeing that the overlapping vulnerabilities created by these systems actually create specific kinds of challenges. “Intersectionality 102,” then, is to say that these distinct problems create challenges for movements that are only organized around these problems as separate and individual. So when racial justice doesn’t have a critique of patriarchy and homophobia, the particular way that racism is experienced and exacerbated by heterosexism, classism etc., falls outside of our political organizing. It means that significant numbers of people in our communities aren’t being served by social justice frames because they don’t address the particular ways that they’re experiencing discrimination.”

SOURCES: (1) Intergroup Resources, 2012. (2) Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw.

Racial Equity 

1. Racial equity is the condition that would be achieved if one's racial identity no longer predicted, in a statistical sense, how one fares. When we use the term, we are thinking about racial equity as one part of racial justice, and thus we also include work to address root causes of inequities, not just their manifestation. This includes elimination of policies, practices, attitudes, and cultural messages that reinforce differential outcomes by race or that fail to eliminate them.

2. “A mindset and method for solving problems that have endured for generations, seem intractable, harm people and communities of color most acutely, and ultimately affect people of all races. This will require seeing differently, thinking differently, and doing the work differently. Racial equity is about results that make a difference and last.”

SOURCES: (1) Center for Assessment and Policy Development (2) OpenSource Leadership Strategies

Racial Identity Development Theory

Racial Identity Development Theory discusses how people in various racial groups and with multiracial identities form their particular self-concept. It also describes some typical phases in remaking that identity based on learning and awareness of systems of privilege and structural racism, cultural, and historical meanings attached to racial categories, and factors operating in the larger socio-historical level (e.g. globalization, technology, immigration, and increasing multiracial population).

SOURCE: New Perspectives on Racial Identity Development: Integrating Emerging Frameworks, edited by Charmaine L. Wijeyesinghe and Bailey W. Jackson, NYU Press, 2012.

Racial Justice

1. The systematic fair treatment of people of all races, resulting in equitable opportunities and outcomes for all. Racial justice—or racial equity—goes beyond “anti-racism.” It is not just the absence of discrimination and inequities, but also the presence of deliberate systems and supports to achieve and sustain racial equity through proactive and preventative measures.

2. Operationalizing racial justice means reimagining and co-creating a just and liberated world and includes:

  • understanding the history of racism and the system of white supremacy and addressing past harms

  • working in right relationship and accountability in an ecosystem (an issue, sector, or community ecosystem) for collective change

  • implementing interventions that use an intersectional analysis and that impact multiple systems,

  • centering Blackness and building community, cultural, economic, and political power of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC), and

  • applying the practice of love along with disruption and resistance to the status quo.

SOURCES: (1) Race Forward, Race Reporting Guide. (2) Operationalizing Racial Justice in Non-Profit Organizations, Maggie Potapchuk, MP Associates. This definition is based on and expanded from the one described in Rinku Sen and Lori Villarosa, Grantmaking with a Racial Justice Lens: A Practical Guide (Philanthropic Initiative for Racial Equity, 2019).

Settler Colonialism

Settler colonialism refers to colonization in which colonizing powers create permanent or long-term settlement on land owned and/or occupied by other peoples, often by force. This contrasts with colonialism where colonizer’s focus only on extracting resources back to their countries of origin, for example. Settler Colonialism typically includes oppressive governance, dismantling of indigenous cultural forms, and enforcement of codes of superiority (such as white supremacy). Examples include white European occupations of land in what is now the United States, Spain’s settlements throughout Latin America, and the Apartheid government established by White Europeans in South Africa.

Per Dina Gillio-Whitaker, “Settler Colonialism may be said to be a structure, not an historic event, whose endgame is always the elimination of the Natives in order to acquire their land, which it does in countless seen and unseen ways. These techniques are woven throughout the US’s national discourse at all levels of society. Manifest Destiny—that is, the US’s divinely sanctioned inevitability—is like a computer program always operating unnoticeably in the background. In this program, genocide and land dispossession are continually both justified and denied.”

SOURCE: Dina Gilio-Whitaker, “Settler Fragility: Why Settler Privilege Is So Hard to Talk About.”

Systems of Oppression

The term "systems of oppression" helps us better identify inequity by calling attention to the historical and organized patterns of mistreatment. In the United States, systems of oppression (like systemic racism) are woven into the very foundation of American culture, society, and laws. Other examples of systems of oppression are sexism, heterosexism, ableism, classism, ageism, and anti-Semitism. Society's institutions, such as government, education, and culture, all contribute or reinforce the oppression of marginalized social groups while elevating dominant social groups.

SOURCE: Talking about Race, National Museum of African American History and Culture

Targeted Universalism 

Targeted universalism means setting universal goals pursued by targeted processes to achieve those goals. Within a targeted universalism framework, universal goals are established for all groups concerned. The strategies developed to achieve those goals are targeted, based upon how different groups are situated within structures, culture, and across geographies to obtain the universal goal. Targeted universalism is goal oriented, and the processes are directed in service of the explicit, universal goal.

SOURCE: Targeted Universalism: Policy & Practice (A Primer), by john a. powell, Stephen Menendian, and Wendy Ake, 2019.

White Privilege

1. Refers to the unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed on people solely because they are white. Generally white people who experience such privilege do so without being conscious of it.

2. Structural White Privilege: A system of white domination that creates and maintains belief systems that make current racial advantages and disadvantages seem normal. The system includes powerful incentives for maintaining white privilege and its consequences, and powerful negative consequences for trying to interrupt white privilege or reduce its consequences in meaningful ways. The system includes internal and external manifestations at the individual, interpersonal, cultural and institutional levels.

  • The accumulated and interrelated advantages and disadvantages of white privilege that are reflected in racial/ethnic inequities in life-expectancy and other health outcomes, income and wealth and other outcomes, in part through different access to opportunities and resources. These differences are maintained in part by denying that these advantages and disadvantages exist at the structural, institutional, cultural, interpersonal and individual levels and by refusing to redress them or eliminate the systems, policies, practices, cultural norms and other behaviors and assumptions that maintain them.

  • Interpersonal White Privilege: Behavior between people that consciously or unconsciously reflects white superiority or entitlement.

  • Cultural White Privilege: A set of dominant cultural assumptions about what is good, normal or appropriate that reflects Western European white world views and dismisses or demonizes other world views.

  • Institutional White Privilege: Policies, practices and behaviors of institutions—such as schools, banks, non-profits or the Supreme Court—that have the effect of maintaining or increasing accumulated advantages for those groups currently defined as white, and maintaining or increasing disadvantages for those racial or ethnic groups not defined as white. The ability of institutions to survive and thrive even when their policies, practices and behaviors maintain, expand or fail to redress accumulated disadvantages and/or inequitable outcomes for people of color.

SOURCES: (1) White Privilege and Male Privilege: A Personal Account of Coming to See Correspondences Through Work in Women Studies. Peggy McIntosh. 1988. (2) Transforming White Privilege: A 21st Century Leadership Capacity, CAPD, MP Associates, World Trust Educational Services, 2012.

Accounts to Follow:

Center for Antiracist Research
Check Your Privilege
Ethel’s Club
Equality Labs
From Privilege To Progress
No White Saviors
R29 Unbothered
Race Forward
Showing Up for Racial Justice 
Strong Black Lead
Survived and Punished
The Conscious Kid

People to Follow:

Ally Henny
Andre Henry
Austin Channing Brown
Bernice King
Blair Imani
Bree Newsome Bass
Britt Hawthorne
Brittany Packnett Cunningham
Christina Xu
Clint Smith
DeRay Mckesson
Ebony Janice
Ericka Hart
Elwing Suong Gonzalez
Ibram X. Kendi
Ijeoma Oluo
Jelani Cobb
Jenny Yang
Kelly Hayes
Latasha Morrison
Layla F. Saad
Mari Copeny
Myisha T. Hill
Rachel Cargle
Rachel Ricketts
Rainer Maningding
S. Lee Merritt, Esq.
Sam Sinyangwe
Sybrina Fulton
Tori Williams Douglass

HEALTH AND MEDICINE

Flatlining: Race, Work, And Healthcare In The New Economy by Adia Harvey Wingfield

Just Medicine: A Cure For Racial Inequality In The American Health Care System by Dayna Bowen Matthew

Medical Apartheid: The Dark History Of Medical Experimentation On Black Americans From Colonial Times To The Present by Harriet A. Washington

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

IMMIGRATION

Call Me American by Abdi Nor Iftir

Create Dangerously:The Immigrant Artist At Work by Edwidge Danticat

Enrique’s Journey by Sonia Nazario

My Family Divided by Diane Guerrero

Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay In Forty Questions by Valeria Luiselli

The Devil’s Highway: A True Story by Luis Alberto Urrea

The Undocumented Americans by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio

LAND AND HOUSING

Evicted: Poverty And Profit In The American City by Matthew Desmond 

The Color of Law: A Forgotten History on How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein 

MASS INCARCERATION

An American Marriage (Fiction) by Tayari Jones

Are Prisons Obsolete? by Angela Y. Davis

Choke Hold: Policing Black Men by Paul Butler

From The War On Poverty To The War On Crime: The Making Of Mass Incarceration In America by Elizabeth Hinton

Just Mercy: A Story Of Justice And Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Slavery By Another Name: The Re-enslavement Of Black Americans From The Civil War To World War II by Douglass A. Blackmon

Solitary: Unbroken By Four Decades In Solitary Confinement My Story of Transformation And Hope by Albert Woodfox

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

The Nickel Boys (Historical Fiction) by Colson Whitehead

VOTING

Give Us The Vote: The Modern Struggle For Voting Rights In America by Ari Berman

One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy by Carol Anderson

13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix 
American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix
Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent
Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Available to rent
Dear White People (Justin Simien) — Netflix
Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent
I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Available to rent or on Kanopy
If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu
Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent
King In The Wilderness — HBO
See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix
Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Available to rent
The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax
When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

We would like to thank and acknowledge the following individuals and organizations whose work has help curate this page.