Are you looking for reliable sources of information on race and racism in the workplace, your community organization, or among your friends?
To no one’s surprise, I have been getting an unusual number of requests about antiracism, diversity, and inclusion resources or training in the workplace. Thankfully, no one has come to me with the request, “teach me all you know about racism.” By now, many Whites know that the burden is on them to educate themselves. Many Blacks and other targeted groups are also formally educating themselves.
This blog is a partial response to those interested in curated resources. The question of what to read or which video to watch keeps coming up. I had been thinking about compiling a list and then, fortuitously, my daughter Dr. Dnika J. Travis of Catalyst Inc. sent me a hot off the presses resource list.
I will talk about the Catalyst list in a minute. First, though, I want to suggest my own preferred references for you to consider.
Books that have become classics in the antiracism world
For those of you who are just beginning to think about doing your own reading, here are five books to get you started. They are virtually mandatory in these times if you want to be knowledgeable.
Many people only think of racism as a personal attitude. Structural racism (also known as institutional racism or systemic racism) is what allows personal racism to exist because it’s invisibly embedded in how our institutions are set up.
Two fantastic resources that will support your learning journey for quite a while are these:
Race, power, and policy: Dismantling structural racism. If you are looking for a resource on how to promote racial justice, RacialEquityTools.org is a great place to start. Their toolkit on structural racism is exceptional, explaining both what it is as well as what to do about it. Are you looking for exercises? This toolkit has them.
Structural racism in America. The Urban Institute is a renowned research organization focusing on social and economic policy. They provide information to inform data-driven decisions. Their section on structural racism is superb, covering the plethora of dimensions that reduce life chances: (un)fair housing, Covid-19, unemployment, police-community trust, economic disadvantage, etc. If you want data-driven information, this is a good place to start.
Last, the Catalyst resource list.
Catalyst is a global nonprofit seeking to build workplaces that work for women.
The Catalyst resource list provides lesser-known articles and podcasts. The first set of articles by C is conveniently divided into informative categories:
Engage in tough conversations – this section is for those who want to talk about racial and gender bias but are afraid of messing it up. These articles encourage you to try anyway and give you guidelines on how to proceed.
Take stock of your workplace practices. The articles cited here are only for Catalyst Insiders.
Learn from research. This section includes a widely cited article on emotional tax by Dnika Travis.
The additional resources section contains articles on systemic racism and bias. These are divided into two groups – those that you can read in under 10 minutes and those that you can read in an hour.
My favorite resources in the Catalyst list
In the Catalyst-authored list, two are especially noteworthy.
Overcoming conversation roadblocks contains an impressive list of conversation blockers, things people say to each other to keep them from bringing race into their everyday conversation.
Travis et al’s article on Emotional Tax is widely cited and well-researched. I use it frequently in my trainings. Their research uncovers the untold effects on Asian, Black, Latinx, and multiracial employees from feeling constantly on guard to protect themselves from bias.
Three additional resources on their list I recommend
Talking About Race. The National Museum of African American History & Culture offers a cornucopia of resources. Choose a subject and it offers you the resource.
The 1619 Project. The New York Times gives us the history lesson that many of us were never taught. To know how we got to where we are now, begin here. Plan on taking your time to work through it. If you do, you will no longer be baffled about why racism still exists in this country.
Enjoy your reading and learning!
Conscious Change skills covered in this blog post:
We are a leadership development firm that helps people and organizations create resilient, sustainable, multicultural, and inclusive settings. The ability to lead consciously can help you gain true awareness and earn the respect and trust of others.
It’s the assumptions we have about people’s lives that are the biggest obstacles to growth, awareness, and success. We help you understand how those assumptions are preventing you from becoming the best you can be as an organization, an inclusive leader, and a person.
Ask us about our leadership development programs:
Pathfinders: Leadership for Inclusion and Equity is our online membership program designed to develop leadership and change-making principles and skills in multicultural organizations. You'll discover how to recognize racism, promote inclusion, and join in insightful, respectful exchanges of views and opinions tackling a variety of concepts.
ChangeMakers Online is our intensive, skill-based program. You will learn how to respond more flexibly to rapid change (leadership agility) and different others (cultural agility), recoup after challenges (resilience), and form strong and collaborative relationships (connection). With these advanced skills, you are better able to lead yourself and others toward higher levels of success.