IDEA -- INCLUSION, DIVERSITY, EQUITY, & ACTION

Soroptimist International of Novato is committed to doing our part in dismantling racist systems within our own institution. We recognize that the first step towards this goal is to educate ourselves on the history and effects of racism and white supremacy on people of color in our community and country.

 

We thank you for your commitment to learn and expand your understanding of white privilege and its impacts. We realize that it is a privilege to educate ourselves about racism instead of experiencing it.

 

Below are many resources to begin the journey of building Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Action in our organization and community. 

RECOMMENDED RESOURCES

 

Podcasts

These podcasts can be found on your favorite podcast app (i.e., Stitcher, Spotify, Apple), or browser.

  • "The 1619 Project" an interactive six-part audio series from the New York Times. Approximate run time 30 to 45 minutes. (July 2020:  Oprah Winfrey & LionsGate announced their intentions of making a movie of 1619 Project). 

  • On Being with Kristen Tippet, podcast: "White Fragility: Conversation with Robin DiAngelo and Resmaa Menakem," approximate run time 55 minutes

 

Essays

Video & Film
  • "The 1619 Project," The New York Times Magazine, Interactive Video, a series of nine essays and photoessays "with the goal of reframing American History around slavery and the conditions of African-Americans."

  • "13th," by Ava DuVerney, 2016, on Netflix. An extraordinary and galvanizing documentary of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, and breaks down the racism of mass incarceration in a way that everyone can understand.

  • "Eyes on the Prize," PBS, 14-part documentary. Tells the definitive story of the Civil Rights Era from the point of view of the ordinary men and women whose extraordinary actions launches a movement that changed the fabric of American life, and embodied a struggle whose reverberations continue to be felt today.

  • "The Renewal Project" offers seven videos that help explain racism and how to be anti-racist.

 

Books

Listed below are books on the subject of racism, how to be anti-racist, white supremacy, and white privilege.  There are too many to list all, but the following books are highly recommended.

  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, by Robin DiAngelo. The author is a white anti-racist educator and her best-selling book explores the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

  • How to be an Anti-Racist, by Ibram X. Kendi. The book discusses concepts of racism and Kendi's proposals for anti-racist individual actions and systemic changes.

  • Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, by Ibram X. Kendi. This book chronicles the entire story of anti-Black racist ideas and their staggering power over the course of American history using the life stories of five major American intellectuals to offer a window into the contentious debates between assimilationists and segregationists and between racists and anti-racists.

  • My Grandmother’s Hands:  Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies,  Resmaa Menakem. In this groundbreaking book, therapist Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology.

  • Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates, which received the National Book Award, is a letter written by the author to his teenage son about the feelings, symbolism, and realities of being Black in the U.S.

  • Breathe:  A Letter to My Sons, by Imani Perry, is a deeply cathartic and resonant book for parents attempting to raise their children with intention and integrity in a country that will inherently betray them.

  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, by Michelle Alexander, is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the US, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to a permanent second-class status -- denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.

  • They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement, by Washington Post reporter Wesley Lowery who describes traveling from shooting to shooting during 2014 and 2015. His book is electric, because it is so well reported, so plainly told, and so evidently the work of a man who has not grown a callus on his heart.

  • The Hate You Give, by Angie Thomas, is a story of a 16-year-old girl, Starr Carter, with her own life and problems who is thrust into the spotlight when she accepts a ride home from a party with childhood friend Khalil, only to watch police stop the car and shoot him before her eyes.

  • Real American, by Julie Lythcott-Haims, is a memoir of the author's personal battle with the low self-esteem that American racism routinely inflicts on people of color. The only child of an African American father and a white British mother, she shows indelibly how so-called "micro" aggressions in addition to blunt force insults can puncture a person's inner life with a thousand sharp cuts.

  • The Warmth of Other Suns, the Epic Story of America's Great Migration, by Isabel Wilkerson, is a beautifully written masterwork. This Pulitzer Prize winning author chronicles one of the great untold stories of American history:  the decades-long migration of Black citizens who fled the South for northern and western cities in search of a better life.

  • Caste, The Origins of Our Discontent, by Isabel Wilkerson. The Pulitzer Prize winning author’s new book digs beneath historic, systemic racism to examine social hierarchies that transcend classifications based on race, gender, or class, within America.

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou, is a classic book published in 1969. It is a coming-of-age story that illustrates how strength of character and love of literature can help overcome racism and trauma.

  • The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis is a historical-fiction novel published in 1995. The Watsons -- an African American family -- take a trip to visit their grandmother in Birmingham. Events later in the story center around the historic 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham in 1963. 

  • Dear America:  Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, by Jose Antonio Vargas, seeks to lay bare the Pulitzer Prize winning journalist's unadulterated truth, which is that even he -- with all his accomplishments, accolades, and associations -- is caught up in the labyrinthine US immigration laws without recourse.

  • We Are Not Here to be Bystanders, by Linda Sasour. A co-organizer of the Women's March, the author challenges every stereotype about Muslim women, uncovers dangerous bias against Muslim Americans, and teaches readers how to organize for justice and kindness in our own lives.

  • An Indigenous Peoples History of The United States, By Roxanne Dunbar.  In the United States there are more than five hundred federally recognized Indigenous nations made up of nearly three million people. They are the descendants of the fifteen million Native people who came before them. Through the perspective of Indigenous People, Ms. Dunbar reveals how Native Americans, for centuries, actively resisted the expansion of the US empire.

  • Yellow Peril!  An Archive of Anti-Asian Fear, edited by John Kuo Wei Tchen and Dylan Yeats. This book itself reads like a racist museum, cataloging anti-Asian writings, illustrations, propaganda, and pop culture from the last 150 years. The racism stemming from COVID-19 would fit right in at the end of this book.

If you have suggestions for more resources, readings, or films, please contact Renée Roberts.  Stay up to date with the progress of this new project here or contact Nancy Weber, Chair, Inclusion Diversity, Equity, & Action Committee, Soroptimist International of Novato. 

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Soroptimist International of Novato

Post Office Box 1267

Novato, CA  94948

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