Resources for Combating Racism

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“The time for justice is always right now.” -Henrietta Bell Wells

(Introduction by leea allen, Minister of Faith and Justice at Virginia Highland Church in Atlanta)

Recently we’ve witnessed multiple acts of violence and injustice. For many Black, Indigenous, and/or People of Color (BIPOC) in our community, the emotions laid bare by the vigilante killing of Ahmaud Arbery in Brunswick, GA and the police killings of Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Tony McDade in Tallahassee, George Floyd in Minneapolis, and Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta have been compounded by the grief of the COVID-19 pandemic that rapidly and disproportionately impacts already marginalized populations (including Black and Native/Indigenous people, people experiencing homelessness, and people living behind prison walls).

To make matters infinitely worse, we are witnessing hateful rhetoric employed by some government officials to incite violence. Watching in real-time a militarized use of force against citizens across the nation in cities where these injustices have gone unresolved for too long.

If you are a Black or person of color, please be gentle with yourself. Take time to truly feel your emotions — all of them. Listen to your heart and to your body. Take breaks from the news and social media, and rest when you need to. Do not feel obligated to respond to racist commentary or to educate white people on what they should do. Hold your loved ones close. Most important, lean into your resources and reach out to your support system, including spiritual, mental, and emotional health providers.

If you are white, today is a good day to check on the Black people in your network — your friends, family, and others who you have genuine relationships with. Find out how they are feeling without being presumptive or pushy. Ask what they might need with no strings attached. Listen. Learn. Share the resources provided below with others in your network and educate one another. Talk to your children about antiracism and have meaningful conversations. Take action. Donate time and resources to support localized efforts for change. Additionally, be wary of what you share online. During an already sensitive time, graphic images and videos of violence can cause further harm and pain; be sure to critically examine your intent and reason for re-posting.

Some Suggested Resources About Racism

The resources below have been suggested by individuals in our churches as a way for individuals and churches to engage in learning about racism.  Several have been used for adult study groups. Additional suggestions will be added.

Resources from the UCC

Books

Movies/Documentaries

  • 13th, a Netflix documentary exposing racial inequality within the criminal justice system
  • Just Mercy, a film based on civil rights lawyer Bryan Stevenson’s work on death row in Alabama
  • Twelve Years a Slave, 2013 biographical period-drama and adaptation of the 1858 slave memoir by Solomon Northrup, a born free African-American man, kidnapped and sold into slavery.

Resources for BIPOC

Counseling

Spiritual/Soul Care

Resources for white people

Support Community Organizers

Other Resources