Dignity and Race

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An Introduction to Race, Racism and Becoming Anti-Racist 

"Anti-racism is the active process of identifying and eliminating racism by changing systems, organizational structures, policies and practices and attitudes, so that power is redistributed and shared equitably." - NAC International Perspectives: Women and Global Solidarity

To introduce the concept of white privilege: White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, Peggy McIntosh 

Discussion Questions: 

  • Think about a time in your life when you were aware of your white privilege
  • How did you feel?
  • What did you do?
  • What do you think about it now? 

Think about a time when you observed others displaying their white privilege

  • How did you feel? 
  • What did you do? 
  • What do you think about it now?

“A bias is a tendency, inclination, or prejudice toward or against something or someone. Some biases are positive and helpful—like choosing to only eat foods that are considered healthy or staying away from someone who has knowingly caused harm. But biases are often based on stereotypes, rather than actual knowledge of an individual or circumstance. Whether positive or negative, such cognitive shortcuts can result in prejudgments that lead to rash decisions or discriminatory practices.”

We all have biases take this Harvard test to learn more about your implicit biases 

Books to begin with

  • Stamped From the Beginning: Ibram X. Kendi
  • How to be an Anti-Racist: Ibram X. Kendi
  • The New Jim Crow: Michelle Alexander
  • So You Want to Talk About Race? by Ijeoma Oluo
  • A People’s History of the United States: Howard Zinn
  • White Fragility: Robin Diangelo


Next Steps:

So you want to have a movie night...


  • 13th (Netflix)
  • When They See Us (Netflix)
  • Just Mercy (Amazon Prime)
  • I Am Not Your Negro (Netflix)
  • 12 Years a Slave (Netflix)
  • Dear White People (Amazon Prime)

What does this bring up in you?
What stood out to you?
What parts of this show challenged you?
How will you act differently with this knowledge?

Media Resources on Racism in America

Shorter Videos - TED talks

  • Color Blind or Color Brave (link)
  • The Danger of a Single Story (link)
  • The Urgency of Intersectionality (link)
  • An Interview with the Founders of Black Lives Matter (link)
  • How to deconstruct racism, one headline eat a time (link)
  • What it takes to be racially literate (link)
  • How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them (link)
  • Courage is Contagious (link)
  • The real story of Rosa Parks and why we need to confront myths about black history (link)
  • The symbols of systemic racism and how to take away their power (link)
  • The little problem I had renting a house (link)


  • “Whistling Vivaldo” and Beating Stereotypes (NPR)
  • White Lies (NPR)
  • Still Processing: Kaepernick (available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, etc.)

At the intersection of LGBTQI and Race

The assumptions of white privilege and what we can do about it by Bryan Massingale.

The Fire Next Time, by James Baldwin (1963) This book contains two essays, one about race and racism in US history, and one about the connection between race and religion.

Zami: A New Spelling of my Name, by Audre Lorde (1982) This is an autobiographical book by black, lesbian, feminist Audre Lorde.

Black on Both Sides, by C. Riley Snorton (2017) Describes the intersection of black and trans identifies from the 19th century to today.

Unapologetic: A Black, Queer and Feminist Mandate for Radical Movements, by Charlene Carruthers (2018) The intersection in the movement for black, queer and feminist liberation.

No Tea, No Shade (2016) A collection of essays from the scholars, activists and community leaders during work on the intersection between black, gender, and sexuality.

Since I laid My Burden Down, by Brontez Purnell (2017) memoir of the intersection of black, male and queer, among other intersecting identities.

Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin (2015) Bayard Rustin was the openly gay organizer of the March on Washington.

Redefining Realness, by Janet Mock (2014) Memoir of a television host, director, producer and transgender rights activist.

Black. Queer. Southern. Women: An Oral History by E. Patrick Johnson (2018) This book chronicles the intersection between race, gender, sexuality and class in the South.

WaterTea: LGBTQI+ Right’s and Racism’s Wrongs featuring Jane Adams Spahr and Kelly Stewart

At the intersection of Catholic and Race

Bryan Massingale: The assumptions of white privilege and what we can do about it (article)

An Antiracist reading list from NCR (list)

Bryan Massingale: Racial Justice and the Catholic Church (Book)

Know Justice, Know Peace: A Jesuit Anti-racist retreat. (link) This virtual, four week retreat, provides videos and questions for personal reflection. This is appropriate for individuals and could also be incorporated as a community activity.

Being Catholic and Black: Sr. Nicole Trahan, FMI (video)

Catholic 101: Church Teaching and the Anti-Racist Movement (article)

The Preferential Option for the Removal of Statues (article)

The Duty of White Christians is to Dismantle the Idolatry of Racism (article)

To fight racism, Catholics must hunger for justice like we do for the Eucharist (article)

The Color of Compromise: The Truth About the American Church’s Complicity in Racism by Jemar Tisby (2020)