Dear New Prov Family,
More and more, our world is torn apart along racial lines. We fashion God in our own image, and then wrongly assume that God loves people only like us. But over and over, scripture records the sentiment Paul expresses clearly in Galatians 3: “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Paul staked his life and ministry on the fact that the church of Jesus Christ is “better together.”
We believe that too, and yet inequities and injustice persist, often along racial lines. And so the Adult Education team, with the enthusiastic support of your pastors, is encouraging our congregation to listen to and grow from the experiences of people of other races or cultures. We are “Better Together.”
For 21 days, we encourage you to participate in this challenge. In doing so you will be exposed to voices and perspectives different from your own through articles, videos, and podcasts. The process is adapted from Eddie Moore’s 21 day challenge. Each day you will choose one means of engagement and be invited to track your progress and reflect briefly.
You hear me say it often: it’s time for us to bridge racial divides and listen to one another. This is the best way I know, and I invite you to join the challenge.
We are “Better Together.”
JOIN the challenge – sign-up here!
DOWNLOAD the Planning Tool to write down your choices and track your progress.
LIKE our Facebook page and share your 21-Day experience with our NPPC Community.
Pray for your learning, for places you may be challenged, and for those with different lives than yours.
For 21 days, do one action to further your understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity.
Categories have suggestions for readings, podcasts, videos, observations, and ways to form and deepen community connections.
Explore one category for the whole 21 days, or select from several. We look forward to hearing about what you’ve learned!
You can do this individually or with friends and family.
How White People Got Made, by Quinn Norton, exploring where the term “white people” comes from and which ethnic groups have and have not been able to become “white” through US history.
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack and other essays, Groundbreaking 1989 essay by Peggy McIntosh who lists the ways she’s beginning to recognize the way white privilege operates in her life.
Explaining White Privilege to a Broke White Person, Gina Crosley-Corcoran, raised “the kind of poor that people don’t want to believe still exists in this country,” explores where race and class do and don’t intersect and how she’s come to understand her own white privilege.
The Injustice of This Moment Is not an ‘Aberration,’ Michelle Alexander contextualizes the US’s 2020 state of racism/white supremacy as an inevitable outcome of a collective narrative steeped in denial.
White Fragility, Groundbreaking 2011 article by Robin DiAngelo, which led to a 2018 book of the same title, exploring why it can be so hard for white people to talk about race, and how the resulting silence and defensiveness functions to hold racial dynamics and racial oppression in place.
Understanding the Racial Wealth Gap, 2017 study by Amy Traub, Laura Sullivan, Tatjana Mescheded, & Tom Shapiro analyzing the racial wealth gap that exists between white, black, and Latino households.
White mom to racists: ‘Don’t use my child to further your hate-filled ignorance,’ Rev. Edith Love models allyship in an article written in response to online racial abuse arising from her white teen son’s recent attack by a group of young teens who are black.
White Fragility in Students, A call to action by Teaching While White founders Jenna Chandler-Ward and Elizabeth Denevi who share their experience in school after school where white students and adults lack the knowledge or skill to navigate racism and conversations about it and how that white deficit impacts students of color.
21 Racial Microaggressions You Hear on a Daily Basis, Using a series of photographs by photographer Kiyum Kim, Heben Nigatu, elaborates on the term “microagression.” Note that Ibram X. Kendi, in his recent book How To Be An Anti Racist, calls us to consider using the term “racist abuse” as a more descriptive alternative.
Guide to Allyship, Created by Amélie Lamont this site strives to be an ever-evolving and growing open source guide meant to provide you with the resources for becoming a more effective ally.
From Alt-Right to Groyper, White Nationalists Rebrand For 2020 And Beyond, Report authored by the Institute For Research And Education On Human Rights (IREHR) on white nationalist marketing strategy known as “groyper.”
People of colour have to ‘code-switch’ to fit in with white norms, from a longer series taking an in-depth look at racism in the UK in 2020 this article focuses on the double bind of code-switching. What is it? What toll does it take? What is the cost of not code-switching?
And a few books recommended by our own Cynthia Freeman:
Homegoing, by Yaa Gyasi. This sweeping family saga encompasses seven generations of descendants of a Fante and his captured Asante house slave. Winner of the NBCC’s John Leonard First Book Prize; A New York Times 2016 Notable Book; One of Oprah’s 10 Favorite Books of 2016; NPR’s Debut Novel of the Year; One of Buzzfeed’s Best Fiction Books Of 2016.
Blood Done Sign My Name: A True Story, by Timothy Tyson. The “riveting”* true story of the fiery summer of 1970, which would forever transform the town of Oxford, North Carolina—a classic portrait of the fight for civil rights.
Five Days, by Wes Moore. Moore captures the fear, anger, uncertainty, and hope of locals who saw their city fall apart and struggle to come back together…Moore provides important context in the history of Baltimore’s racial and income inequality and the emergence of the Black Lives Matter movement. Readers will be enthralled by this propulsive account.—Publishers Weekly
Teaching While White, hosted by longitme educators Jenna Chandler-Ward and Elizabeth Denevi, TWW’s podcast focuses on how whiteness shows up in the education sector and what anti-racist educators are doing to challenge that. Episodes feature different ntaionally renowned anti-racist educator guests. (any episode – times vary)
All My Relations, hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation) this podcast “explores indigeneity in all its complexity.” Episodes focus on issues such as DNA identity, appropriation, feminism, food sovereignty, gender, sexuality, and more while “keeping it real, playing games, laughing a lot, and even crying sometimes.” (any episode – one-ish hour each)
Code Switch, hosted by journalists Gene Demby and Shereen Marisol Meraji, both people of color, this podcast is curated by a team of NPC journalists of color who navigate the complexities of race, both professionally and personally, daily. Episodes focus on a wide range of issues overlapping race, ethnicity,and culture. (any episode – times vary)
Breakdances with Wolves Podcast, hosted by Gyasi Ross, Wesley (“Snipes Type”) Roach, and Minty LongEarth, “a few Natives with opinions and a platform.” Episodes report on current events through an indigenous perspective. (any episode – one-ish hour each)
Black Like Me, host Dr. Alex Gee “invites you to experience the world through the perspective of one Black man, one conversation, one story, or even one rant at a time.” (any episode – times vary)
Scene on Radio – Seeing White Series, host John Biewen and collaborator Chenjerai Kumanyika explore Whiteness over the course of 14 episodes. Where does it come from? What does it mean? Why does it exist? (Episode S2 E1: Turning the Lens – 16 minutes)
On Point Radio – Oklahoma To Incorporate 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Into Statewide School Curriculum host David Folkenflik interviews Tulsans about the 1921 “Black Wall Street” race massacre and recent efforts to integrate it into the Oklahoma education system. (46 minutes)
TED Radio Hour – Mary Bassett: How Does Racism Affect Your Health? host Guy Raz speaks with Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University about how and why race affects the medical attention you receive, your baby’s chances of living, and even life expectancy. (12 minutes)
Here & Now – Without Slavery, Would The U.S. Be The Leading Economic Power? host Jeremy Hobson explores with Edward Baptist, author of The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, how slavery establsihed the United States as a world economic power. (15 minutes)
NPR Morning Edition – You Cannot Divorce Race From Immigration journalist Rachel Martin talks to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas for a response to a story in The Atlantic, written by David Frum, proposing the U.S. cut legal immigration by half. (6 minutes)
Short, Coffee Break Length
This is Us, Dr. Eddie Glaude explains why blaming current racial tensions on Donald Trump misses the point. (3 minutes)
The Iroquois Influence on the Constitution, Host and producer of First Voices Indigenous Radio Tiokasin Ghosthorse explains the sequestering of two Iroquois chiefs to advise in the writing of the U.S. Constitution. (4 minutes)
Racism is Real, A split-screen video depicting the differential in the white and black lived experience. (3 minutes)
Confronting ‘intergroup anxiety’: Can you try too hard to be fair? Explores why we may get tongue tied and blunder when we encounter people from groups unfamiliar to us. (5 minutes)
I Didn’t Tell You, Ever wonder what a day in the life of a person of color is like? Listen to this poem, written and spoken by Norma Johnson. (7 minutes)
CBS News Analysis: 50 states, 50 different ways of teaching America’s past, Ibram X. Kendi reviews current history curriculum production and use across the U.S. (5 minutes)
The Disturbing History of the Suburbs, An Adam Ruins Everything episode that quickly and humorously educates how redlining came to be. (6 minutes)
New York Times Op-Docs on Race, Multiple videos with a range of racial and ethnic perspectives on the lived experience of racism in the US. (each video about 6 minutes)
Why “I’m not racist” is only half the story, Robin DiAngelo explains the function of white fragility in maintaining racial hierarchy. (7 minutes)
White Bred, Excellent quick intro to how white supremacy shapes white lives and perception. (5 minutes)
What Kind of Asian Are You? Humorous two minute youtube video that illustrates the utter silliness of the way many white Americans interact with Asian Americans. (2 minutes)
What Would You Do: Bicycle Thief Episode? ABC’s popular show explores the impact of racial and gender bias and prejudice at a family friendly park. Before this video, would you have anticipated this differential treatment? https://youtu.be/ge7i60GuNRg
Medium, Lunch Break Length
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race, TEDx talk by Jay Smooth that suggests a new way to think about receiving feedback on our racial blindspots. (12 minutes)
What Being Hispanic and Latinx Means in the United States, Fernanda Ponce shares what she’s learning about the misunderstanding and related mistreatment of the incredibly diverse ethnic category people in U.S. call Hispanic. (12 minutes)
Indigenous People React to Indigenous Representation in Film And TV, Conversation with a diverse range of Indigenous people by FBE about media depictions of Indigenous people, Columbus day, and Indigenous identity. (15 minutes)
How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time, TED Talk by Baratunde Thurston that explores patterns revealing our racist framing, language, and behaviors. (10 minutes)
The urgency of intersectionality, TED Talk by Kimberlé Crenshaw that asks us to see the ways Black women have been invisibilized in the law and in media. (19 minutes)
The danger of a single story, TED Talk by Chimamanda Adiche, offers insight to the phenomenon of using small bits of information to imagine who a person is. (18 minutes)
How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them, TED Talk by Vernā Myers, encourages work vigorously to counter balance bias by connecting with and learning about and from the groups we fear. (19 minutes)
Hip hop, grit, and academic success, TEDx Talk by Dr. Bettina Love, explains how students steeped in Hip Hop culture, often seen as deficient, actually bring the very characteristics deemed necessary for 21st century success. (15 minutes)
Long, Sit On the Couch Length
When they see us, Four-part Netflix series by Ava DuVernay about the wrongful incarceration and ultimate exoneration of the “Central Park Five.” (four 1+ hour episodes)
13th, Netflix documentary by Ava DuVernay about the connection between US Slavery and the present day mass incarceration system. (1 hour 40 minutes)
Slavery by Another name, 90 minutes PBS documentary challenges the idea that slavery ended with the emancipation proclamation. (90 minutes)
Unnatural Causes, Seven part documentary by California Newsreel that explores the impact of racism on health and US healthcare. (4 hours total, episodes have variable lengths)
Birth of a White Nation, Keynote speech by legal scholar Jacqueline Battalora, offers a blow-by-blow description of the moment the idea of, and word for, “white” people entered U.S. legal code. (36 minutes)
In The White Man’s Image PBS documentary about the Native American boarding school movement designed to “kill the Indian and save the man.” (56 minutes)
Race: The Power of an Illusion, Three-part, three-hour film by California Newsreel exploring the biology of skin color, the concept of assimilation, and the history of institutional racism. (three 1 hour episodes)
Once people start to learn about white privilege and America’s systems of oppression through history, they often ask, “Why didn’t I see this sooner?” It’s easy to overlook what we’re not looking for. Once you understand the phenomenon of selective noticing, take yourself on a noticing adventure.
1) Start by watching the Test Your Awareness: Do The Test
2) Then…go out in the world and change up what you notice. Here’s some of what you might look for:
Follow Racial Justice activists, educators, and organizations on social media. Here are some ideas to get you started. A good way to widen your circle of who you follow is to check out who these organizations follow, quote, repost, and retweet.
Colours of Us
Privilege to Progress Black Minds Matter
Teaching While White
White Nonsense Roundup
Conversations with White People: Talking about race (Facebook Group)
Race Forward Racial Equity Tools
So many more you’ll discover!
Google who’s who in your area by typing in ‘Racial Justice” or “Anti-Racist” + name of city/town, organization, or sector. A few website visits, emails, and phone calls later, you’ll likely have an idea of how to get on the mailing of one or more organizations in your area who are addressing issues of power and privilege. Once you connect to one, it’s easy to connect to many!
Join your Showing Up For Racial Justice (SURJ) organization if there’s one in your area.
Research racial justice speakers and see who might be coming to your local university, church, community center, or speaker series.
Take a course or workshop. Community Colleges and Adult Education Centers are a great place to find a course about social justice issues.
This can be the hardest part for people new to racial justice work. Engaging in racially mixed settings can trigger age-old power and privilege dynamics. The goal is to be a learner more than a knower, exactly the opposite of what dominant U.S. culture teaches us to be.
Here are some Engagement Tips to guide you:
Though many people want to jump to action sooner instead of later, action without a vigorous self-education and self-reflection practice can unexpectedly reproduce the very power and privilege dynamics we seek to interrupt in this work. Here are a few actions that you might consider:
Reflecting and Journaling is a crucial piece of the challenge. Plan to take time everyday to reflect on what you choose to do, what you’re learning, and how you are feeling. Difficult emotions such as shame and anger, though uncomfortable to feel, can guide you to deeper self-awareness about how power and privilege impacts you and the people in your life. At the very least, use the “Reflect” space on the tracking tool.
Create a Soundtrack4Justice playlist that fuels you and/or can serve as a conversation starter with people of all ages.
Ain’t Got No, I Got Life / Nina Simone
Baltimore / Nina Simone
Be Free / J Cole
Blended Family / Alicia Keys
Blue Bucket of Gold/Gallant X Sufjan Stevens
Born This Way / Lady Gaga
Brave / Sara Bareilles
Colors in Bloom / Lex Allen ft. Taj Raiden
Fight the Power / Public Enemy
Fight Song / Rachel Platten
Formation / Beyonce
For The Kids / Homeboy Sandman
Four Women / Nina Simone
Give Your Hands to Struggle / Sweet Honey in the Rock
Get Up, Stand Up / Bob Marley
Good As Hell / Lizzo
Hijabi / Mona Haydar
If It’s Magic / Stevie Wonder
Keep Ya Head Up / Tupac
Love’s In Need of Love Today/Stevie Wonder
Living for the City / Stevie Wonder
Mercedes Benz / Janis Joplin
Ne Me Quitte Pas / Nina Simone
People Get Ready / Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions
Rich Girl / Nina Simone
Roar / Katy Perry
Same As It Ever Was/Michael Franti & Spearhead
Same Love / Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Save Me / Nina Simone
Stay Human / Michael Franti & Spearhead
Super Rich Kids / Frank Ocean
Strength, Courage & Wisdom / India Arie
The 10 Stop and Frisk Commandments / Jasiri X
The Colour in Anything/James Blake
Try / Colbie Caillat
We The People / Tribe Called Quest
Try Everything / Shakira
Where Is The Love / Black Eyed Peas
White Privilege / Mackelmore
White Privilege II / Macklemore
Whitey on the Moon / Gil Scott-Heron
Stand 4 What / Nick Cannon
This Is America / Childish Gambino
To Be Young Gifted and Black, Nina Simone