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equity resources on understanding "race"ism

[LAST UPDATE: 22 Sept 2014]


There are two quotes that affirm the power of dialogue (the first step to healing the -isms of anything):

"You can't shake hands with a clenched fist," and, "It's impossible to hate someone who's story you know."

Awareness is a gift that continually gives. The potential of its positive effects continues to amaze me. When we are aware that we are a planet of stories - and there are at least 7 billion of them - we can begin to empathetically lean in to understanding how we can be in deep service to each other in a truthful and engaged way.

What's your story? And how has your own story shaped the world you/we live in? What story do you tell yourself? Your children? Your friends? Strangers?

As we work toward being well-rounded and well-adjusted social, practical, mental and spiritual healers - across all vocations, disciplines, professions and career paths - we're called to learn many languages of life, those we are born into and those of others, many of whom cross our paths seeking or bringing healing. As we become increasingly responsible and accountable human beings - to ourselves and to each other - so widens the circle of love, support, and peace. Living authentically can bring out authenticity in others. Authenticity with understanding and discernment can be a winning combination to transformative dialogue.

In order to move through and beyond the misinformation and malpractice of racism (i.e. racialization), we must first understand what it is and how it functions. Racism kills the spirit; it eats away at life. Period.

Listed below are some resources and tools to foster our conversations about "race". Notice "race" is in quotes because, while "races" of people is a socially constructed biological myth (e.g. different human races do not exist), the effects of this construct ("race"-ism) are very real, in the sense that entire societies are built on "race"-ist systems and structures, creating a host of intersected '-isms' (class, gender, ability, age, etc.). The only [biological] 'race' that exists is the human 'race' or 'species'. Dictionaries might state otherwise. Their authors, too, are recipients of evolution and awareness, albeit at a snail's pace...In this spirit, it is always wise to consider the source (i.e. worldview of a 'source'.

More specifically, "race" refers to phenotypical and physiological "identifiable" "markers" that can be used to single out or discriminate against/have deference toward a person or people. In light (no pun intended) of this, 'colorism' and 'pigmentism' stand to be more accurate terms. Even 'racialization' serves as a more realistic term to describe 'race' being put onto people and situations. The term "race" is so mis-used and is a constant source of confusion in terms of ethnic, cultural, and national affiliation and identification. Clarity arises, then, when we can see the structural, institutional, and personal effects of colorism and phenotype-ism. That they exist cannot be denied. A simplified terminology might be helpful, and of course, context is everything, but basically, what is meant by...

..."race"(mostly) suggests skin color
... ethnicity can be analogous to culture, or how we "do"or "are" our heritage and geography.
... nation(ality) relates to the corner of the world where one is from.

And, still, many of the resources below, use terminology (above) that can be confusing and overlap in meaning. Often (and mostly) the point of the information is deeper than its terminology, so keep reading and viewing the material. If we're not all on the same page with terminology, at least we can agree that no one person of one color is better than another person of another color. It's about dissolving the -isms.

Our charge is to understand how those -isms came to be so that we can then stop that -ism bus and create a vibrant world where compassion, empathy, understanding, trust, and love are our guiding principles. This is where knowledge can meet wisdom, and the superficial slogan of 'Love is all you need' gets some grounded roots: Everything is contextual, and there is knowledge and understanding behind choices and decisions that are propelled by love. Keep in mind that no matter how good one's intention is it doesn't always land or have impact the way we intended. But as humans who have relationships, we knew that, right? :)

Resources on this page include a variety of media/genres to encourage personal knowledge expansion, which often leads to heart and love expansion - one conversation at a time. Some material might be alarming and threaten your comfort zone. Good. Baby chicks emerge from a cracked egg.
Another favorite quote, "The truth will set you free, but first it might piss you off ."

Be brave and go easy. Forward widely and feel welcome to add your suggestions. Thank you for visiting!

In service to truth, justice, liberation, and love,
Barbie-Danielle DeCarlo

***indicates a place to start if you're new to the conversation.


beverly naidus - arts for change
racism & cultural identity

carrie mae weems

climbing poeTree

fanshen cox DiGiovanni - mixed roots stories

favianna rodriguez

"Haribo told to stop selling 'racist' sweets which 'depict primitive African, Asian or Native American art' by customers in Scandinavia"

kara walker (some good offerings in the 'comments', too)

kip fulbeck

laura kina

lemn sissay

marc bamuthi joseph

northwest african american museum

only skin deep: changing visions of the american self (photography)

playback theater is "...a form of personal improvisational theatre, valuing story, ritual, and community" and
can be used to address various forms of oppression

"The 'racist chair' is not shocking but a cruel reminder of the art world's views"

theaster gates

tim stensland - "Katrina" series

wing luke museum of the asian pacific experience



1ne Drop

"11 Facts About Environmental Racism"

"12 Things White People Can Do Now Because Ferguson" (New!)
RIP Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, John T. Williams, et al...

BitterSweet - Linked Through Slavery (New!)

Blogs of Canadians of Colour and Racialized Canadians - "..The voices of Canadians of colour and racialized Canadians are often drowned out by white and American proclamations about the issue of race..."

"Can a Racist Grandpa Raise a Biracial Kid?"

Change From Within

Colorblind - 23 Quotes That Perfectly Explain Racism (To People Who "Don’t See Color”)


The Color of Food

"A Community of Contrasts - Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in the United States."

Coming To The Table - provides leadership, resources and a supportive environment for all who wish to acknowledge and heal wounds from racism that is rooted in the United States’ history of slavery. (New!)

Communities of Color Coalition of Everett, WA (C3)

Cross Cultural Connections***

Derald Wing Sue Looks at Racism in America

EdChange - Critical Multicultural Pavillion

"Explaining White Privilege To A Broke White Person…"

Heidi W. Durrow - The Mixed Experience

"How to Raise Racist Kids" by Jonathan Liu

If We Knew Our History (New!)

"I'm her mom, not the nanny!" by Rose Arce

"Is This Reality TV Show as Racist as It Sounds?" - A critical look at TLC's series,"Escaping Alaska". (New!)

"Life at the Intersectionality of Race, Class and Gender"

On 'microaggressions' - This blog seeks to provide a visual representation of the everyday of “microaggressions.”

Our Black Ancestry - a comprehensive genealogy website by Sharon Leslie Morgan (New!)

RACE: Are We So Different? - A project of the American Anthropological Association
(to hear exhibit responses, scroll down to Color Commentary radio episodes)

The Race Card Project*** (beautiful interview w/project director Michele Norris)

Racialicious - The Intersection of Race & Pop Culture

Ron Takaki – A Different Mirror (chapter 1 here; the entire book is rich!)

Spiritual Bypassing - (for "spiritual" people who think they don't or have never acted in 'racist' ways) (New!)

Stuff White People Like*** (without humor, we wither away)

Tim Wise - "This is Your Nation on White Privilege" (updated)

Undoing Racism: The People's Institute for Survival and Beyond

W. Kamau Bell (humor heals!)

Where White Privilege Came From***

"White people think that people of colour have more culture."

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack***

Whiteness & Racism: Colorblindness

World Trust Learning Modules (New!)



Decolonizing Yoga

"The Dialogue Moves Forward - At a Harvard seminar, three of the NFL’s brightest and most engaged stars—Larry Fitzgerald, Arian Foster and Richard Sherman—continued the discussion on race in sports sparked by THAT interview in January"

"White Quarterback I: Tim Tebow, Alex Smith, and The Freedom to Fail"
by Chuck Modiano

Myron Rolle on Student Athletics and Academics (New!)

"Yoga and Diversity" - A Documentary
Part 1: Introduction

Part 2: Gender and Sexual Identity

Part 3: Shape, Size and Body Image

Part 4: People of Color



1ne Drop

African Americans in Hawai`i: A Search For Identity by Dr. Ayin Adams - introduction by Kathryn Waddell Takara, PhD

All About Love by bell hooks

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (New!)

The Anti-Racist Cookbook: A Recipe Guide for Conversations About Race That Goes Beyond Covered Dishes and “Kum-Bah-Ya” by Robin Parker and Pamela Smith Chambers***

Beyond Fear: Twelve Spiritual Keys to Racial Healing by Aeeshah Ababio-Clottey & Kokomon Clottey***

Courageous Conversations About Race by Glenn Singleton and Curtis Linton***

Custer Died For Your Sins by Vine Deloria, Jr.

Decolonizing Methodologies: Research and Indigenous Peoples by Linda Tuhiwai Smith
(2nd edition, 2012)

Dharma, Color and Culture: New Voices in Western Buddhism

Gather at the Table by Tom DeWolf and Sharon Leslie Morgan

The Great White Elephant: A Workbook on Racial Privilege For White Anti-Racists***
by Robin Parker and Pamela Smith Chambers

The Heart of Whiteness: Confronting Race, Racism and White Privilege by Robert Jensen***
" . . . a good beginning primer by a white person about confronting racism within and without. . . " - Amanda Davidson -- Modern Times Bookstore Newsletter, San Francisco, January 2006
(listen to an interview w/Robert Jensen):

Inheriting the Trade by Tom DeWolf

Killing Rage: Ending Racism by bell hooks

Native American Testimony: A Chronicle of Indian-White Relations from Prophecy to the Present, 1492-2000 by Peter Nabokov

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

Obamistan! Land Without Racism: Your Guide to the New America by Damali Ayo

The Only Black Student by Lull Mengesha***

The People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire

Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Dr. Joy Angela DeGruy

Power, Privilege, and Difference by Allan Johnson***

Recovering the Sacred: the Power of Naming and Claiming by Winona LaDuke

Talking About Race: A Workbook About White People Fostering Racial Equality in Their Lives by Kaolin***

Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel***

The Warmth of Other Suns - The Epic Story of America's Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson

We Call Our Daddy Mister: In Defiance of Convention, Life and Times at the Rose Hill Plantation by James E. Schell

“Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?”: And Other Conversations About Race***
by Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D.



Alex Landau: “I was just another black face in the streets.” How a traffic stop and a severe beating changed how a white mother understood race

Black Man, White City: 'It's Unnecessarily Stressful'

Color Commentary Radio - selected episodes (5-minute full pieces) on KSER 90.7 FM/KXIR 89.9 FM -

-- Guest Andy Demos, age 96, reflects on the Chicago Race Riots, meeting Angela Davis, and treatment of Southern Europeans:

-- On the importance of the film Cracking the Codes:
Guests: Dan Mahle, Whidbey Institute & Aric Ho, Bainbridge Graduate Institute:
Guests: Washington State University students, Angela Greenhagen, Cheyenne Eady, & Justin Oba:

-- Practicing Equity Through Compassion (New!):
Guest: Paula Clements - advocate, educator, & artist:

--Reflections on the exhibit, RACE: Are We So Different?
Guest: Dr. Ann Holmes Redding:
Guest: Elly DeWolfe Hale and Laura Bowers Foreman:

--Women of Color in Leadership (1-hour special):
Guests: Deborah Parker, Tulalip Tribes; Janice Greene, President, NAACP Snohomish Chapter, & Dr. Jean Hernandez, President, Edmonds Community College:

WPC - Reflections (New!):
Guest: Dan Green:
Guest: Eduardo Williams:

The Color of Fear; Last Chance for Eden; On Stolen Ground
all directed by Lee Mun-Wah

Courageous Conversations About Race by Glenn Singleton

Cracking the Codes: A System of Inequity by Dr. Shakti Butler***
Listen to why this film is important here:

Crash - directed by Paul Haggis

"Crash Course: Reflections on the Film Crash for Critical Dialogues About Race, Power and Privilege" by Michael Benitez, Jr.

Cultural Criticism and Transformation with bell hooks (also available on DVD)
Part 1 (of 8):

Cultural Humility by Vivian Chavez

Dark Girls - "Documentary exploring the deep-seated biases and attitudes about skin color particularly dark skinned women, outside of and within the Black American culture."

Fruitvale Station - The story of Oscar Grant

Healing Together - Exploring Enslavement in Our Families' Histories on All Sides by New Legacy Puget Sound
(link coming soon)

How Internalized Oppression Works (against): Lupita Nyong’o's Inspirational Speech About Beauty

"How To Tell Someone They Sound Racist" by Jay Smooth

In Conversation with Melissa Harris-Perry and Michaela angela Davis

Indian Country Today Media Network

Jon Stewart's clever *and* relevant observation on the obfuscation of racism into denial and victimhood by whites (New!):

Last Real Indians - "..Creating the New Indigenous Millennium."

Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible***
directed by Dr. Shakti Butler

Native Voice One
Indigenous Radio News & Public Affairs

Navigating Courageous Conversations

Neil Degrasse Tyson on Intersectionality

Race: The Power of An Illusion

Radio in Black and White
RIP Rick Wilson (March 5, 2014)

Radio Lab - "Race"

Traces of the Trade by Katrina Browne

Two Rivers
by Rodney Mitchell (Director) and Diana Rico (Co-Author)

Vision Test by Wes Kim

The Wellbriety Journey to Forgiveness
Documentary on the abuses of the Indian Boarding Schools. Discusses the intergenerational trauma in native communities. Email for free DVD, include mailing address.

World Trust - Social Impact Through Film & Dialogue by Dr. Shakti Butler



Ayya Sancitta - "Never Turn Away" (New!)

Bonnie Duran - "Dukkha: Focus On People Of Color"
This talk is about Dukkha and the end of Dukkha. It address colonization and racism as types
of Dukkha experienced by POC

Center for Justice and Peacebuilding @ Eastern Mennonite University

Crossroads Antiracism Organizing & Training (formerly Crossroads Ministry)

Dharma, Color and Culture: New Voices in Western Buddhism

East Bay Meditation Center

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Healing Racial Division - Ruth King discusses why sanghas are so racially divided(New!)

Larry Yang

"Making the Invisible Visible"- stories and life experiences of practitioners of color

Ruth King - Mindful of Race RetreatNew!)

Spring Washam - co-founder of East Bay Meditation Center

United Church of Christ - Racial Justice Resources

United Methodist Women in Action

Venerable Pannavati - equality in Buddhism

"Why Is American Buddhism So White?"



Black America: A State-by-State Historical Encyclopedia

Build Your Own Resource Guide!

Critical Mixed Race Studies - 3rd biennial conference: NOV. 13-15, 2014 - DePaul University, Chicago, IL

Facing Race - next conference: NOV 13-15, 2014, Dallas, TX

The Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

Mixed Race Studies -

NAME - National Association for Multicultural Education

National Center for Race Amity

NCORE - National Conference for Race and Ethnicity - next conference: MAY 26-30, 2015, Washington, D.C.

Project Implicit - check where you might have implicit bias!

Race Forward - Racial Justice Through Media, Research, and Activism (formerly Applied Research Center)

Race and Pedagogy National Conference (every 4 years) - next conference: SEPT 23-25, 2014, Tacoma, WA

Racial Equity Tools

WPC - White Privilege Conference - next conference: MAR 11-14, 2014 - Louisville, KY
(to hear some participants' experiences, scroll up to Color Commentary radio episodes)



msbriceno's picture

This is fantasitic

I am leader of the Diversity Inclusion group of my organization and this sounds really fantastic. Thank you so much!


Melissa Stevens-Briceño- Santa Fe, New Mexico USA

bd's picture


Hola, Melissa!

Thank you for checking it out! I love to share resources - there's so much info out there for healing!

I like poetry, too. Have you watched Mirrors of Privilege? I love how the documentary is infused with poetry, dance, and performance art, all while talking about issues of substance.

Let me know if you want to share some of your experiences about the Diversity Inclusion group. I also have some materials that help assess how multicultural an organization is. I'll dig that one up....

I'm so happy we connected!


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