Over the past few weeks, the Greater Cleveland community – together with communities across the country and the world – has engaged in challenging and necessary reflections, conversations and actions around the painful and fundamental reality of systemic racism in America. While many residents and organizations in our community have been living, studying and fighting systems of oppression long before this most recent movement, others are just now starting to fully realize the magnitude and urgency of the issue. For those seeking to learn more about the history, current reality and implications of systemic racism, here are some resources that may be helpful:
- The 1619 Project – An ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative.
- 21 Day Racial Equity and Social Justice Challenge – A challenge designed to create dedicated time and space to build more effective social justice habits, particularly those dealing with issues of race, power, privilege and leadership. YWCA Greater Cleveland is hosting the challenge locally.
- The Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards canon – For 85 years, the distinguished books earning Anisfield-Wolf prizes have made important contributions to our understanding of racism and human diversity.
- Anti-Racist Resources for White People – The Hive Fund for Climate and Gender Justice has compiled this robust list of resources specifically curated for white people who wish to learn more and take action for racial justice.
- Campaign Zero – A comprehensive platform of research-based policy solutions to end police brutality in America.
- The Continuum on Becoming an Anti-Racist Multicultural Organization – A resource from Crossroads Ministry in Chicago.
- Racial Disparities in Cleveland – The Center for Community Solutions has compiled infographics and data on racial disparities in Cleveland that illustrate the effects of systemic racism locally.
- The Racial Equity Institute – A Black-owned business comprised of a multiracial team of organizers and trainers who are committed to the work of anti-racism transformation. Locally, Thirdspace Action Lab is offering a series of REI’s workshops now through the end of the year. Explore the workshop offerings and register here.
- Showing Up for Racial Justice – A national network of groups and individuals working to undermine white supremacy and work toward racial justice. SURJ outlines the characteristics of white supremacy culture in organizations here.
- Stamped from the Beginning – In this book, winner of the 2016 National Book Award for Nonfiction, Ibram X. Kendi chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history. You can find Kendi’s curated Anti-Racist Reading List here.
- Talking About Race – The National Museum of African American History and Culture offers tools and guidance to empower your anti-racist journey and constructively talk about race.
- What is Systemic Racism? – An 8-part video series from Race Forward that shows how racism shows up in our lives across institutions and society.
- White Fragility – In this book, anti-racist educator Robin DiAngelo explores the counterproductive reactions that white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality. DiAngelo was recently interviewed on NPR here.
This list is far from complete, and we invite you to share additional resources and links in the comment section of this blog.