There is just so much information and so many people writing, reporting, creating, and talking about race in this country, some of it spurred by the killing of George Floyd in May of 2020. But where to start? The Beloved Community Communications Team wants to help. We try to keep abreast of resources that can help us individually and collectively raise awareness of antiracism, provide support for a variety of people, and deepen our thinking as we work toward equity for all. Here are a few that have come across our desk recently and are worth your time.
The BIPOC Project
An organization dedicated to building “authentic and lasting solidarity among Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC)” through support, resources, and workshops in order to advance racial justice.
Growing Up on the Block Where George Floyd Was Killed: A Family Reckons with Police Violence by Ed Ou, Daniella Silva, Will N. Miller, and Niram Hasty. NBC News, March 4, 2021.
This very emotional 32-minute film starts with the point of view of an 11-year-old boy who lives across the street from Cup Foods and his father who tries to help him come to terms with not only what happened last May but the legacy of police violence against Black men in Minnesota; one of their family members is a Minneapolis Police officer. The film also showcases Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence, a local support group for family survivors.
Mapping George Floyd & Anti-Racist Street Art
A crowdsourced national database project including tags, graffiti, murals, stickers, and installations on walls, pavement, and signs, created by the Urban Art Mapping Research Project at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. Street art is often ephemeral but has the potential to respond to crisis and start a dialogue in public spaces, reaching a large audience, and definitely worth viewing and appreciating. “Black Trans Lives Shine” (above) was created by Koffee_Creative.
The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee. One World, 2021.
A much anticipated and well-received work looking at the racial divide and racial inequality in the U.S. that is based on a zero-sum game fallacy and that impedes our economic growth. That divide includes the prevalent white belief that when things get better for Black people, it is at the expense of white people (zero sum) while Black people tend to think the opposite (not zero sum). McGhee explains how we got here, the historical hierarchy that America was built upon, and then shows the cost of that hierarchy today. Solidarity is the answer; we all do better when we all do better, or we prosper by the sum of all of us.
Nice White Parents. 2020. Produced by the New York Times and Serial, podcast
Chana Joffe-Walt (producer for “This American Life”) reports on the past 60 years of white parents and public schools, which can be characterized as separate and unequal. What’s wrong with our public schools, despite de-segregation and school reform that focused on the Black and brown kids that the schools were failing, is what the series argues is the most powerful force in public schools: white parents. Five parts. Joffe-Walt’s reading list and a series discussion guide are available on the New York Times website.
Mediocre: The Dangerous Legacy of White Male America by Ijeoma Oluo. Seal Press, 2020.
From the author of the widely praised examination of race in America, So You Want to Talk About Race. In Mediocre, Oluo continues an examination of racial oppression in the United States, created and sustained by white, male mediocrity; white men who assume that they are innately superior by virtue of being white. We continue to support the assumption of superiority that forces women, people of color, the disabled, and sexual minorities to work much harder than white men to be successful. We will be able to change only when we see that this system is built on our own complicity. We need a different template for navigating the world, one that does not ask us to automatically accept the superiority of white men.
Thank you to Louise Merriam and Ron Prieve of Unity’s Library-Bookstall Team for contributing to this article.
Find more resources in Unity’s Justice Database. If you are interested in delving deeper, consider the Antiracism Literacy Partner program on April 21.
Beloved Community Resources
Next Right Actions
Unity Justice Database
Team Dynamics House of Intersectionality
Anti-Racism Resources in the Unity Libraries Collection
Creative Writers of Color in Unity Libraries
The History of Race Relations and Unity Church, 1850-2005
Beloved Community Staff Team
The Beloved Community Staff Team (BCST) strengthens and coordinates Unity’s antiracism and multicultural work, and provides opportunities for congregants and the church to grow into greater intercultural competency. We help the congregation ground itself in the understanding of antiracism and multiculturalism as a core part of faith formation. We support Unity’s efforts to expand our collective capacity to imagine and build the Beloved Community. Here, we share the stories of this journey — the struggles, the questions, and the collaborations — both at Unity and in the wider world.
The current members of the Beloved Community Staff Team include Rev. Kathleen Rolenz, Rev. KP Hong, Barbara Hubbard, Drew Danielson, Laura Park, Rev. Karen Gustafson, Angela Wilcox, Pauline Eichten, and Erika Sanders.