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University Libraries statement against racism
Black lives matter. The lives of Indigenous and People of Color and other marginalized groups matter.
As an institution devoted to the pursuit of knowledge and intellectual development at a Catholic institute of higher education, the University libraries are committed to the continual work towards justice and equity. It is not enough for us to not simply state this, we must continually work and learn to be anti-racist and to put our learning into action. That work requires listening, reflection, learning, questioning, and acting to bring justice.
Photo by James Eades on Unsplash
Using this guide
This guide has links to books, articles, and other readings primarily aimed at students, faculty, and staff who are white. On this first tab there are links to sites that guide you through readings and reflections. Other tabs have resources broken out by type.
The work of becoming anti-racist is ongoing for all of us who were raised in a society built upon racism. This image, from Andrew M. Ibrahim MD, MSc is one way to visualize the phases of becoming anti-racist. The image was inspired by the work of Dr. Kendi and used with permission. A text version of the zones in the image is below:
- I deny racism is a problem.
- I avoid hard questions.
- I strive to be comfortable.
- I talk to others who look and think like me.
- I recognize racism is a present and current problem.
- I seek out questions that make me uncomfortable.
- I understand my own privilege in ignoring racism.
- I educate myself about race and structural racism.
- I am vulnerable about my own biases and knowledge gaps.
- I listen to others who think and look differently than me.
- I identify how I may unknowingly benefit from racism.
- I promote and advocate for policies and leaders that are Anti-Racist.
- I sit with my discomfort.
- I speak out when I see racism in action.
- I educate my peers on how racism harms our profession.
- I don't let mistakes deter me from being better.
- I yield positions of power to those otherwise marginalized.
Credit for this work
The resources listed on this guide have been compiled and recommended by many people who have put a lot of thought and energy into the work of anti-racism. We want to gratefully acknowledge and thank the people and groups for that work. We have included credits for every link when possible.
This guide is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. It is not necessary to attribute work the the St. Thomas Libraries, but please retain credit to others that are listed.
This work can be overwhelming and hard to know how to start and move forward. Luckily, there are some great programs that walk you through readings, reflection prompts, and other activities to build your knowledge. Below are links to classes, online challenges, curricula, and other sites that offer readings, videos, and more in a scaffolded way to help people educate themselves at their own pace. These are great places to get started.
Especially for the University of St. Thomas Community
Becoming Human: Dismantling Racism
In honor of the memory of Philando Castile, who was shot by police in Falcon Heights on July 6, 2016, and in the wake of the murder of George Floyd, the St. Thomas community is invited to participate in a six-module series, beginning on July 6, 2020, to learn about the horrid history of white supremacy in the United States, to overcome the "white savior" complex, and to mobilize for social change. Participants are asked to complete a module a day asynchronously, and to attend two synchronous Zoom sessions, scheduled for July 9 and July 15, from 1:30-3:00 p.m., to interact with the speakers. Each module contains a 60 minute video, plus an activity and reflection.
Minnesota Uprising Syllabus
Created by University of Minnesota professor Adam Bledsoe. This page is intended to offer background to how Minneapolis became a flashpoint for a global uprising against anti-Blackness and state violence.
NOTE: We have access to some of the items listed on the page that aren't linked. Simply copy and paste the title of the item into CLICsearch
to see if we have access.
Anti-racism in Academia
United States History
African American History: From Emancipation to the Present (Open Yale Course)
The purpose of this course is to examine the African American experience in the United States from 1863 to the present. Prominent themes include the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction; African Americans’ urbanization experiences; the development of the modern civil rights movement and its aftermath; and the thought and leadership of Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, W.E.B. Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King Jr., and Malcolm X.
The course contains lectures by Jonathan Holloway, Professor of History, African American Studies, and American Studies as well as readings. The St. Thomas Libraries have many of the readings, simply copy and paste the title of the book or article into CLICsearch
to see if we have access.
Anti-Racism / Talking about Race
Me and White Supremacy (ebook) by
Publication Date: 2020
Me and White Supremacy takes readers on a 28-day journey, complete with journal prompts, to do the necessary and vital work that can ultimately lead to improving race relations. This critical text helps you take the work deeper by adding more historical and cultural contexts, sharing moving stories and anecdotes, and including expanded definitions, examples, and further resources, giving you the language to understand racism, and to dismantle your own biases.
Talking About Race
This web portal created by the National Museum of African American History & Culture provides readings, videos, and reflection prompts to guide you on your journey. The website looks simple at first glance, but it gets deep into many different topics.
Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources
This is a working document for scaffolding anti-racism resources. The goal is to facilitate growth for white folks to become allies, and eventually accomplices for anti-racist work. Note that the University of St. Thomas libraries have many of the books listed in this document, search for them by title in CLICsearch
if you'd like to read them. Compiled by Anna Stamborski, M. Div Candidate (2022), Nikki Zimmermann, M. Div candidate (2021), Bailie Gregory, M. Div, M.S. Ed.
21-Day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
For 21 days, do one action to further your understanding of power, privilege, supremacy, oppression, and equity. This plan includes suggestions for readings, podcasts, videos, observations, and ways to form and deepen community connections. Offered by Dr. Eddie Moore, Jr. of America & Moore, LLC, which provides diversity, privilege and leadership trainings and workshops.
Justice in June
This document pulls together resources and activities and lets you choose how much time you want to spend each day learning about racial justice. You can choose from 10 minutes/day, 25 minutes/day, or 45 minutes/day. Compiled by Autumn Gupta with Bryanna Wallace’s oversight
Anti-Racist Resource Guide, by Victoria Alexander, MEd
This Google Document includes information on key concepts and ideas, links to organizations and in-depth lists of further readings and videos on a variety of topics. Created by Victoria Alexander, MEd from the Leadership, Engagement, Advocacy, and Diversity department of Salem University.
A 30-Day Racial Justice Challenge
This is a 30-Day Challenge on Instagram by Kertesha Riley (@whoiskriley). Each day has a task to work on and prompts to consider.