Social Justice Resources
This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are many more excellent resources available on these topics, and the RLC staff is more than happy to help you find additional resources if needed. This list will be updated with new resources over time.
Letter from the pastors
Read this message from Pastor Ryan and Pastor Mitch about why the gospel of Christ compels us to listen to Black voices, learn about the history and present reality of racist policies, and advocate for anti-racist policies.
*indicates an RLC staff member has read, listened, or viewed
(Hint: If you’re looking for a hard-copy and a book is out-of-stock on Amazon, check Barnes & Noble or a local bookseller, and, of course, the local library. Or, ask around among people from RLC to see who might own a copy you may borrow. Many books are also available in digital format.)
*How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. The opposite of racist is not “not racist” but antiracism. Beyond simple awareness of racism, this understanding is essential to the work of forming a just and equitable society.
*Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson. The eye-opening true story of the author, an attorney and founder of the Equal Justice Initiative. One of his first cases was that of a Black young man sentenced to death for a murder he did not commit.
*The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James H. Cone. A landmark in the conversation about race and religion in America.
*The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration by Isabel Wilkerson. Through the experience of three individuals, the author tells the story and explores the implications of the exodus of Blacks from the South to the cities of the North and West in the early to mid-20th century.
*White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism by Robin DiAngelo. The author, an antiracist educator, explores how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.
*Dear Church: A Love Letter from a Black Preacher to the Whitest Denomination in the U.S. by Lenny Duncan (ELCA pastor). Incarcerated, homeless, and unchurched in the past, the author is now a pastor in the ELCA and connects the church’s lack of diversity to its lack of vitality. He offers a vision for the future of the church as well.
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
*Just Mercy A feature-length film telling the story of the book listed above. Currently available for free on multiple streaming platforms.
*13th (Netflix) A feature-length documentary about the continued, systematic oppression of Blacks through criminalization.
*1619 An audio series from the New York Times on how slavery has transformed America, connecting past and present through storytelling. Transcripts available to read.
Throughline: “American Police” An episode of this NPR podcast detailing how the origins of American policing “put violent control of Black Americans at the heart of the system.”
*White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh (from 1988!).
Resources for Children and Families
*A short family guide to supporting racial justice now (blog post). Addresses ways families can be involved, both in-person and at home and includes guidance on how to approach the topic of protests and civil disobedience with young people.
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America (book) by Jennifer Harvey.
*’Raising White Kids’ Author On How White Parents Can Talk About Race NPR interview with Jennifer Harvey, the author listed above.
*Faith at Home content for the week of June 9, 2020 Includes videos and discussion questions for all ages, designed for intergenerational engagement. Edited by Victoria Hoppes.