Racism continues to plague our nation. From disparities in the criminal justice system to attacks on voting rights, many of us have sat by as our brothers and sisters are treated unequally. It doesn’t have to be this way.
As “Peace Pastor” Marty Troyer describes in “Subverting the Myth” (Sojourners, December 2013), with a lot of hard work and honest dialogue, racial reconciliation is possible.
People of faith are leading the new movement for racial justice. To become an agent of reconciliation, sign the One Church, One Body pledge and check out the resources below.
- By Accident of Birth, by Jim Wallis
- Can We Talk? White Privilege Today, by Andrea Ayvazian and Beverly Daniel Tatum
- In the Middle: The Challenge of Racial Reconciliation, by Catherine Meeks
- Ooh! Is That Racism on Your Shoe?, by Chris Rice
- Racism: America’s Original Sin, by Jim Wallis
- To Move Beyond Denial, by Yvonne V. Delk
- Whose America is It?, by Anthony A. Parker
- Christian Community Development Association is committed to the work of reconciliation in U.S. communities and around the world. CCDA’s mission is “to inspire, train, and connect Christians who seek to bear witness to the kingdom of God by reclaiming and restoring under-resourced communities.”
- Crossroads Antiracism Organizing and Training provides organizing, training, and consulting to institutions and communities striving to dismantle systemic racism.
- The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond is a national and international collective of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers and educators dedicated to building effective coalitions and undoing racism.
- StirFry Seminars & Consulting provides innovative tools for diversity training, including customized seminars and groundbreaking films.
- Breaking Down Walls: A Model for Reconciliation in an Age of Racial Strife, a classic text by Glen Kehrein and Raleigh Washington , presents eight practical and biblical principles to help heal the racial strife and division in the U.S. Moody Press, 1994
- Churches, Cultures, and Leadership: A Practical Theology of Congregations and Ethnicities, by Mark Lau Branson and Juan F. Martinez, equips leaders and churches to engage in racial and cultural reconciliation as a means of being faithful to the church’s mission. InterVarsity Press Academic, 2011
- The Church Enslaved: A Spirituality of Racial Reconciliation, by Michael Battle and Tony Campolo, confronts the sins of racism in the church and challenges Christians to a deeper spirituality that addresses America’s legacy of racial division. Augsburg Books, 2005
- Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America, by Michael O. Emerson, uses survey research and in-depth interviews to explain how evangelical Christianity continues to reinforce racial divides. Oxford University Press, 2001
- Gracism: The Art of Inclusion, by David A. Anderson, offers a biblical model to respond to prejudice and injustice by upholding the principle of gracism — radical inclusion for the marginalized and excluded. InterVarsity Press, 2007
- Many Colors: Cultural Intelligence for a Changing Church, by Soong-Chan Rah, offers a practical and hopeful guidebook for Christians wanting to serve more effectively in diverse settings. Moody Publishers, 2011
- More Than Equals: Racial Healing for the Sake of the Gospel, by Spencer Perkins and Chris Rice, details the authors’ journey to cross racial barriers together and to commit themselves to a ministry of reconciliation for the sake of the gospel. InterVarsity Press, 2000
- ‘Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? And Other Conversations About Race,’ by Beverly Daniel Tatum,examines the psychology of racism and ethnic identity to help readers talk honestly about race. Basic Books, 2003
- Beneath the Skin: Baptists and Racism illustrates how racism is far from eradicated—inside or outside the church. Yet, many Baptist are working together to break down the racial and ethnic walls of division and to be faithful to the Bible's moral vision of reconciliation. Ethics Daily, 2008
- The Color of Fear is an insightful, groundbreaking, three-part film about the state of race relations in America as seen through the eyes of eight North American men of Asian, European, Latino, and African descent. Through emotional and dramatic conversations, they develop a deeper sense of understanding and trust. This is the dialogue most of us fear but need to engage in. StirFry Seminars, 1994
- Last Chance for Eden is a three-part documentary about nine men and women discussing issues of racism and sexism in the workplace. Together, they seek to create more safe and inclusive communities this side of Eden. StirFry Seminars, 2003
- Mirrors of Privilege: Making Whiteness Visible features stories from white men and women on overcoming issues of unconscious racism and entitlement. World Trust Educational Services, 2006
- Race: The Power of an Illusion, a three-hour documentary, challenges the myths and misconceptions about the notion of race in society, science, and history. California Newsreel, 2003
- Sanford: The Untold Story highlights the racial reconciliation journey of the community of Sanford, Fla., where Trayvon Martin was killed in February 2012. This 30-minute documentary shows how local pastors united in prayer to deal with the racial divide in their city. Their story will inspire you to do the same in your own community. Charisma, 2012
Elaina Ramsey is assistant editor of Sojourners magazine.
Image: Humanity against racism, Amir Ridhwan / Shutterstock.com