Resources for Teachers and Practitioners to Investigate and Raise Awareness of Racism in our Lives and Communities
Much suffering comes about as a result of our ignorance and unawareness of how we contribute to racism through our lack of understanding of the many elements that create racism in our culture, even in the most open-hearted communities.
Following the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, MO, a group of White Plum members called the Circle for Healing Prejudice and Nurturing Inclusion (CHPNI) began meeting to look at ways to investigate their own experiences and beliefs, both conscious and unconscious, with respect to diversity, inclusion, privilege/power differentials, racism, and creating/being an “other.” This group, believed it vitally important that these topics be brought to light and shared as a part of our practice. In creating this resource page, it was their intention to inspire and support teachers and practitioners in investigation, education, and dialogue on this essential topic. The following statement was created by CHPNI as a framing of this anti-racism resource list:
We acknowledge that these topics are complex and multi-faceted and can be difficult to explore and talk about for many reasons:
- They can be highly charged due to personal experience.
They are often rooted in long-standing viewpoints, customs, and social situations that go back for generations.
- Diligent effort is required to delve into our unconscious belief systems and assumptions – both gross and subtle – that drive our words and actions.
- Terminology can be confusing and misleading. For example, the use of the expression “people of color” can mean to a lot of people that “white” is not a color, but a norm against which other colors are defined. And yet, someone using the expression “people of color” may not intend that implication at all.
- People often hold back from relating and joining in dialogue because they are afraid of offending each other.
- Within a group, people have different issues and concerns. For example, “people of color” in the Sangha may express a lack of interest in discussion of white privilege because they are not white. This could lead to the decision to have different learning or action modules for “people of color” and “white people” (as in the Buddhists for Racial Justice Website). Some may prefer not to create this division—and then how does one group meet all needs?
- The issue of racism does not exist in a vacuum. It is interconnected with many other issues—wealth and power disparities, discrimination due to LGBTQ status, being differently abled, and ethnic and cultural differences to name a few. This has also been described as intersectionality.
There are many voices to be heard – some strident, some gentle, some expressing rage, some difficult to hear. All are part of the conversation.
Despite the challenges in making race a focus, to not enter into the collective investigation, dialogue and efforts to dismantle our personal and collective racial delusions is a de facto acceptance and support of the status quo. Given these complexities, it is helpful to know where to turn for information or suggestions when beginning reflection on personal belief, facilitating a group discussion, or even when attempting to create a welcoming, inclusive, and diverse Sangha. For these reasons, we have compiled a list of resources (by no means complete) to help interested individuals and Sanghas in their journey. This offering is intended to be a succinct, essential starter kit upon which groups can build as they explore these topics. We have chosen not to expand to other areas – i.e. resources for those identifying as LGBTQ or differently abled due to the volume and complexity of resources, not at all because we think they are not equally important.
With deep appreciation,
Members of the WPA Circle for Healing Prejudice and Nurturing Inclusion
Susan Myoyu Andersen, Great Plains Zen Center, WI
Jan Chozen Bays, Great Vow Zen Monastery, OR
Paul Genki Kahn, Zen Garland, NY
Nicolee Jikyo McMahon, Three Treasures Zen Community, CA
Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Village Zendo, NY
June Ryushin Tanoue, Oak Park Zen Community, IL
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The curating and updating of this list has been taken on by Great Plains Zen Center’s Racial Justice Circle and is a work continuously in process (as are all things). This list currently contains resources relating to racism against African Americans, Native Americans, Asian-Amercians, Hispanic Americans, Muslims and Jews. Resources are organized alphabetically and by media type. It will be continually expanded—please check back often! If you feel that something is missing, we would love to hear your recommendation.
Educational/scholarship resources for BIPOC
Mental Health Resources for People of Color
Health Resources for People of Color
BIPOC-owned business and financial literacy resources
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The Aspen Institute. Research, papers and strategies for racial equity: a think tank containing thought articles on racial issues.
Center for the Study of Social Policy. The Center works to achieve a racially, economically, and socially just society by developing and implementing anti-racist policies and practices with community and system partners. Their racial equity efforts are grounded in working with public systems to push them to confront their decisions, policies, and practices and examine how their influence can directly and indirectly harm-rather than help-people of color.
Embrace Race. “Raising kids in a world where race matters.” Embrace race focuses on raising race-sensitive kids.
Fair Fight Initiative. Through litigation and community advocacy, Fair Fight Initiative exposes mistreatment in the law enforcement system and works to end mass incarceration.
National Equity Project. The National Equity Project designs and facilitates professional learning experiences for educators and other leaders to reimagine and redesign their systems for equity.
One People’s Project. One People’s Project seeks to combat right wing groups and individuals by exposing their threat to the world.
Race Forward: Center for Racial Justice Innovation. Includes research, newsletter, videos – general resources for racial awareness.
Southern Poverty Law Center. The SPLC is a catalyst for racial justice in the South and beyond, working in partnership with communities to dismantle white supremacy, strengthen intersectional movements, and advance the human rights of all people.
White Awake! White Awake is an online platform and nonprofit organization focused on popular education for people who are classified as “white.” Theory and practice, includes a workbook and process for group work.
World Trust Educational Services. “Tools and resources for people interested in tackling unconscious bias and systemic racial inequity in their workplace, community and in their lives.” Includes films, curriculum and workshops.
YWCA Madison: Eliminating Racism, Empowering Women. Great model of community action with events, online training, resources and a useful glossary.
African American Policy Forum (AAPF). The African American Policy Forum (AAPF) is an innovative think tank that connects academics, activists and policy-makers to promote efforts to dismantle structural inequality.
NAACP . The mission of the NAACP in the 21st century is “to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate race-based discrimination.”
National Black Justice Coalition. Since 2003, the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) has been America’s leading national civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer+, and same gender loving (LGBTQ+/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS through coalition building, federal policy change, research, and education.
National Civil Rights Museum. The National Civil Rights Museum is a complex of museums and historic buildings in Memphis, Tennessee; its exhibits trace the history of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States from the 17th century to the present.
Densho. A grassroots organization dedicated to preserving, educating, and sharing the story of World War II-era incarceration of Japanese Americans in order to deepen understandings of American history and inspire actions for equity.
Foundation for Asian American Independent Media. The Foundation for Asian American Independent Media (FAAIM) is an organization that celebrates emerging Asian American creative talent.
Japanese American Citizenʻs League. Resources page with study guides and booklets.
Japanese American National Museum. Learn about the National Diversity Education Program. Also see the JANM Educator Resources page.
Pacific Islanders in Communication. Resources including full length films, short films and series. The mission of Pacific Islanders in Communications (PIC) is to support, advance, and develop Pacific Island media content and talent that results in a deeper understanding of Pacific Island history, culture, and contemporary challenges.
Muslim Public Affairs Council. The Muslim Public Affairs Council improves public understanding and policies that impact American Muslims by engaging our government, media and communities.
Native American/American Indian
White Bison. White Bison offers sobriety, recovery, addictions prevention, and wellness/Wellbriety learning resources to the Native American/Alaska Native community nationwide. Many non¬Native people also use White Bison’s healing resource products, attend its learning circles, and volunteer their services.
National Congress of American Indians. NCAI is an American Indian and Alaska Native rights organization. It was founded in 1944 to represent the tribes and resist federal government pressure for termination of tribal rights and assimilation of their people in contradiction to their treaty rights and status as sovereign entities.
Anti-Defamation League. “ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all.”
The Nizkor Project. Dedicated to the victims of the Holocaust.
The Simon Wiesenthal Center. The Simon Wiesenthal Center is a global human rights organization researching the Holocaust and hate in a historic and contemporary context.
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. This site has multi-lingual links to articles on antisemitism, podcast, bibliography, photo Archives, scholarly programs, online exhibitions and external links.
World Jewish Congress. World Jewish Congress represents Jewish communities in over 100 countries across six continents.
ICNA Relief. ICNA Relief USA is a Muslim organization that seeks to alleviate human suffering by providing caring and compassionate service to victims of adversities and survivors of disasters.
Refugee One. RefugeeOne not only equips refugees with the skills needed to survive, but provides a full range of coordinated services that empower refugees to build the foundation for a flourishing life here in the United States.
Syrian Community Network. SCN is a refugee and immigrant support organization that builds community and serves families by addressing their evolving needs.
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Readings for Diversity & Social Justice: An Anthology on Racism, Anti-Semitism, Sexism, Heterosexism, Ableism, and Classism. Edited by Adams, Blumenfeld, Castaneda, Hackman, Peters & Zunida. New York: Routledge, 2013.
Bonilla-Silva, Eduardo. Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.
Butterfield, Fox. All God’s Children: The Bosket Family and the American Tradition of Violence. New York: Vintage Books, 2008.
Chisom, Ronald and Michael Washington. Undoing Racism: A Philosophy of International Social Change. New Orleans: People’s Institute Press, 1995.
Delgado, Richard and Jean Stefanic. Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. New York: NYU Press, 2001.
Dresser, Norine. Multicultural Manners: Essential Rules of Etiquette for the 21st Century Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2005.
Garbarino, James. Lost Boys: Why Our Sons Turn Violent and How We Can Save Them. New York: Anchor Books, 2000.
Guest, Kenneth J. Cultural Anthropology: A Toolkit for a Global Age. New York: Norton, 2014.
Ignatiev, Noel. How the Irish Became White. New York: Routledge Classics, 2009.
Irving, Debby. Waking up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race. Winchester, MA: Elephant Room Press, 2014.
Isenberg, Nancy. White Trash: The 400 Year Untold History of Class in America. New York: Viking, 2016.
Sue, Derald Wing. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence: Understanding and Facilitating Difficult Dialogues on Race. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2015.
Walsh, Joan. What’s the Matter with White People? Hoboken, NJ: Wiley, 2012.
Wise, Tim. Color-Blind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equality. San Francisco: City Lights Publishers, 2010.
Zinn, Howard. A People’s History of the United States. New York: HarperCollins, 2003.
Alexander, Michelle. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. New York: The New Press, 2012.
Baldwin, James. The Fire Next Time New York: Vintage Books, 1963.
Barton, David. Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White. Aledo, TX: WallBuilder Press, 2004.
Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me. New York: Penguin Random House, 2015.
Fanon, Franz. Black Skin, White Masks. Trans. by Richard Philcox. New York: Grove Press, 2008. (Published originally in French in 1952 under the title Peau noire, masques blancs)
Fanon, Franz. The Wretched of the Earth. Trans. by Richard Philcox. New York: Grove Press, 2004. (Published originally in French in 1961 under the title Les damnes de la terre)
King, Martin Luther, Jr. I Have a Dream: Writings and Speeches that Changed the World. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
Trillin, Calvin. Jackson, 1964: And Other Dispatches from Fifty Years of Reporting on Race in America. New York: Random House, 2016.
Houston, Jeanne Wakatsuki and James Houston. Farewell to Manzanar. Boston: Ember, 1973. (Japanese American WWII experience)
Islamophobia in America: The Anatomy of Intolerance. Edited by Carl W. Ernst. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013.
Abdullah, Aslam and Gasser Hathout. The American Muslim Identity; Speaking for Ourselves Los Angeles: Multimedia Vera International, 2003.
Gottschalk, Peter and Greenberg, Gabriel. Islamophobia: Making Muslims the Enemy. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006.
Kumar, Deepa. Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2012.
Native American/American Indian
Brown, Dee. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West. New York: Owl Books, 1970.
Frank, Anne. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Trans. by B.M. Mooyaardt-Doubleday. New York: Bantam Books, 1993.
Goldstein, Phyllis. A Convenient Hatred: The History of Antisemitism. Brookline, MA: Facing History and Ourselves National Foundation, 2012.
Lagnado, Lucette. The Arrogant Years. New York: HarperCollins, 2011. (Jews in Egypt during and after the 1952 revolution)
Levi, Primo. Survival in Auschwitz. New York: Touchstone, 1996. (also known as If This is a Man)
Lewis, Bernard. Semites and Anti-Semites: An Inquiry into Conflict and Prejudice. New York: Norton, 1986.
Poliakov, Leon. The History of Anti-Semitism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2003.
Prager, Dennis and Joseph Telushkin. Why the Jews?: The Reason for Antisemitism. New York: Touchstone, 2016.
Snyder, Timothy. Black Earth: The Holocaust as History and Warning. New York: Tim Duggan Books, 2015.
Snyder, Timothy D. Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin. New York: Basic Books, 2010.
Stargardt, Nicholas. The German War. New York: Basic Books, 2015.
Wachsman, Nikolaus. KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps. New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2016.
Wiesel, Elie. Night. New York: Hill and Wang, 2006.
Wistrich, Robert S. A Lethal Obsession: Antisemitism – From Antiquity to the Global Jihad. New York: Random House, 2010.
Wistrich, Robert S. Antisemitism: The Longest Hatred. New York: Pantheon Books, 1992.
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Online Resources (Articles, Essays, Blogs, Podcasts, etc.)
Breakthrough . Breakthrough is a global human rights organization driving the culture change we need to build a world in which all people live with dignity, equality, and respect. They do this using a potent mix of media, arts, and tech with an intersectional feminist approach.
Community Renewal Society. CRS is a Christian organization that provides community resources, primarily in the Chicago area, including Hotline for Legal Defense Aid, a Chicago Community Bond Fund, and a list of Free Mental Health Services in Chicago.
Cornell University Asian American Studies Program. This website provides a comprehensive list of anti-racism resources for the AAPI community.
Dialogue Versus Debate. A quick reference guide to help distinguish between debate and dialogue when participating in discussions.
Guidelines for Educators on Countering Intolerance and Discrimination against Muslims – OSCE/ODIHR, Council of Europe, UNESCO. 72-page online guide with strategies for educators, lengthy list of books.
Hollaback!. Hollaback! is a global, people-powered movement to end harassment — in all its forms. They provide free and customized trainings in the areas of: bystander intervention; how to respond to harassment; conflict de-escalation; and resilience.
Indian Country Today Media Network. News, politics, arts, events relating to Native American community.
Indianz. An internet resource with up-to-the-minute reporting of news events in the Native community.
Learning for Justice. A blog from Teaching Tolerance addressing anti-Muslim bias in schools. https://www.learningforjustice.org/magazine/spring-2011/combating-antimuslim-bias
Making Visible the Invisible: Healing Racism in our Buddhist Communities. Western Buddhist Teachers Conference at Spirit Rock
Native American Times. News from the crossroads of Indian country.
Native Languages of the Americas. Dedicated to preserving and promoting Native languages of the Americas. Online resources, including comprehensive information about legends, geographical distribution and resources for children.
Not In Our School. Not In Our School inspires students of all ages to develop and share innovative ways to resist bullying and promote an atmosphere of acceptance and inclusion. The Not In Our School videos, activities and resources on their website showcase the capacity, energy, and creativity of young people who are creating new ways to make their schools safe for everyone.
Not In Our Town. Using film, social media, and organizing tools, Not In Our Town is a movement to help local leaders stop hate, address bullying, and build safe and inclusive communities for all.
One Tilt. One Tilt offers workshops, engagements and tiltForward fellowship to help managers grow their awareness around: Identity and racial equity, their mindsets and skills, and their creative energy to reimagine their leadership.
Rise Against Hate. Rise Against Hate holds virtual events to raise awareness of important problems throughout the nation and in our own neighborhoods.
Stop AAPI Hate. Stop AAPI Hate tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
“The Big Uneasy” – Nathan Heller. Thought-provoking compendium of comments by students, especially of color, differently-abled, and LGBTQ, on the clash of progressive intentions versus reliance on an”amoral meritocracy” at an elite liberal arts college.
“The Case for Reparations” – Ta-Nehisi Coates. Well-regarded essay in The Atlantic that sparked a new level of discussion about what is owed.
The Day I Discovered I Was A Racist – Eloise Farthwargle. A Southern liberal white woman becoming aware of her unconscious racism.
The Pyramid of Hate. A curriculum of anti-bias learning tools provided by the Anti-Defamation League.
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Finding Myself in the Story of Race (Debby Irving)
A 101 for white people about what white privilege and institutional racism are and how they manifest.
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Discussing Race (Jay Smooth, TEDxHampshireCollege)
A great beginning: a hip hop radio DJ talks about talking about race and finding common ground.
The Promise: A Lesson in White Privilege (Phyllis Unterschuetz)
A white mother talks about how she didn’t understand what an African American mother of a teenage boy faces.
#RaceAnd (Race Forward)
The #RaceAnd video series treats intersectionality issues (race and gender, and poverty, religion, etc.).
The Wellbriety Journey to Forgiveness (White Biston)
Stories of the boarding schools and Native American intergenerational trauma as told by survivors.
• • •
12 Years a Slave (2013)
Period drama film and an adaptation of the 1853 slave narrative memoir Twelve Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, a New York State-born free African-American man who was kidnapped in Washington, D.C., in 1841 and sold into slavery. Northup worked on plantations in the state of Louisiana for 12 years before his release.”
Director Ava DuVerney’s documentary film about the intersection of race, justice and mass incarceration in the United States.Title refers to the 13th amendment of the US constitution.
3 1/2 Minutes, 10 Bullets (2015)
Documentary about the shooting, the trial and Florida’s Stand Your Ground laws, directed by Marc Silver. The documentary won the U.S. Documentary Special Jury Award for Social Impact at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival.
Biopic about legendary baseball player, Jackie Robinson, who is widely recognized as the first African American to play major league baseball (with the Brooklyn Dodgers.) The film portrays Robinson’s character, courage and ability that eventually won over his white teammates and landed him a place in baseball’s Hall of Fame in 1962.
This documentary directed by Marco Williams tells the story of three black families forced from their land by racial terror and the loss of generational wealth that resulted. “A hundred years ago, in communities across the U.S., white residents forced thousands of black families to flee their homes. Even a century later, these towns remain almost entirely white. Banished tells the story of three of these communities and their black descendants, who return to learn their shocking histories…What can be done to redress past injustices? What is the ongoing impact of the expulsions on families and communities today? In the stories of black families whose land and livelihood were stolen, the film illustrates the limits of the American legal system and the need for creative forms of repair. By introducing these families and the white communities who forced them out, Banished raises the question of responsibility for past wrongs and what is involved in righting them.” – PBS Wisconsin.
Black Panther (2018)
Black Panther is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the 18th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film was directed by Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole, and it stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther alongside Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. In Black Panther, T’Challa is crowned king of Wakanda following his father’s death, but he is challenged by Killmonger (Jordan), who plans to abandon the country’s isolationist policies and begin a global revolution.
Brother to Brother (2004)
“Art student Perry (Anthony Mackie) befriends an elderly homeless man named Bruce Nugent(Roger Robinson), who turns out to have been an important figure in the Harlem Renaissance. Through recalling his friendships with other important Harlem Renaissance figures Langston Hughes (Daniel Sunjata), Aaron Douglas,Wallace Thurman and Zora Neale Hurston, Bruce chronicles some of the challenges he faced as a young, black, gay writer in the 1920s. Perry discovers that the challenges of homophobia and racism he faces in the early 21st century closely parallel Bruce’s.”
The Butler (2013)
“Loosely based on the real life of Eugene Allen, the film stars Forest Whitaker as Cecil Gaines, an African-American who is a witness of notable political and social events of the 20th century during his 34-year tenure serving as a White House butler.”
“..American satirical musical drama film directed and produced by Spike Lee…. Set in Chicago, the film is a satire that focuses on the gang violence prevalent in neighborhoods on the city’s south side, particularly the Englewood neighborhood. The story is based on Lysistrata, a Classical Greek comedy play in which women withhold sex from their husbands as punishment for fighting in the Peloponnesian War.”
The Color Purple (1985)
“The film tells the story of a young African American girl named Celie Harris and shows the problems African American women faced during the early20th century, including domestic violence, incest, pedophilia, poverty, racism, and sexism. Celie is transformed as she finds her self-worth through the help of two strong female companions.”
“….ensemble drama film co-written, produced, and directed by Paul Haggis. The film is about racial and social tensions in Los Angeles, California. A self-described “passion piece” for Haggis, Crash was inspired by a real-life incident, in which his Porsche was carjacked outside a video store on Wilshire Boulevard in 1991.”
Dear White People (2014)
“American satirical drama film written, directed, and co-produced by Justin Simien. The film focuses on escalating racial tensions at a prestigious Ivy League college from the perspective of several African American students.”
Do The Right Thing (1989)
“The movie tells the story of a Brooklyn neighborhood’s simmering racial tension, which comes to a head and culminates in tragedy on the hottest day of summer.” Directed by Spike Lee.
“…features an all African American starring cast. Dreamgirls is a film à clef, a work of fiction taking strong inspiration from the history of the Motown record label and one of its acts, The Supremes. The story follows the history and evolution of American R&B music during the 1960s and 1970s through the eyes of a Detroit, Michigan girl group known as the Dreams and their manipulative record executive.”
For Colored Girls (2010)
“adapted from Ntozake Shange’s 1975 stage play for colored girls who have considered suicide / when the rainbow is enuf. Written, directed and produced by Tyler Perry, the film features an ensemble cast which includes Janet Jackson, Whoopi Goldberg, Phylicia Rashad, Thandie Newton, Loretta Devine, Anika Noni Rose, Kimberly Elise, and Kerry Washington. Like Shange’s play—which is considered to be a landmark piece in African American literature and black feminism—the film depicts the interconnected lives of nine women, exploring their lives and struggles as women of color.”
Get Out (2017)
Get Out is a 2017 American horror film written, co-produced, and directed by Jordan Peele in his directorial debut. It stars Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford, Caleb Landry Jones, Stephen Root, and Catherine Keener. The plot follows a young black man (Kaluuya), who uncovers shocking secrets when he meets the family of his white girlfriend (Williams).
Harriet is a 2019 American biographical film directed by Kasi Lemmons, who also wrote the screenplay with Gregory Allen Howard. It stars Cynthia Erivo as abolitionist Harriet Tubman, with Leslie Odom Jr., Joe Alwyn, and Janelle Monáe in supporting roles. A biography about Harriet Tubman had been in the works for years, with several actresses, including Viola Davis, rumored to star. Erivo was cast in February 2017, and much of the cast and crew joined the following year. Filming took place in Virginia from October to December 2018.
The Help (2011)
“The film and novel recount the story of young white woman and aspiring journalist Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan. The story focuses on her relationship with two black maids, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson, during the Civil Rights era in 1963 Jackson, Mississippi. In an attempt to become a legitimate journalist and writer, Skeeter decides to write a book from the point of view of the maids—referred to as “the help”— exposing the racism they are faced with as they work for white families.”
Hidden Figures (2016)
Hidden Figures is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by Theodore Melfi and written by Melfi and Allison Schroeder. It is loosely based on the 2016 non-fiction book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly about African American female mathematicians who worked at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) during the Space Race.
I am Not Your Negro (2016)
Am Not Your Negro is a 2016 documentary film and social critique film essay directed by Raoul Peck, based on James Baldwin’s unfinished manuscript Remember This House. Narrated by actor Samuel L. Jackson, the film explores the history of racism in the United States through Baldwin’s recollections of civil rights leaders Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as his personal observations of American history. It was nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards and won the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary. The film was internationally co-financed between Germany and the United States.
Judas and the Black Messiah (2021)
Judas and the Black Messiah is a 2021 American biographical crime drama film about the betrayal of Fred Hampton (played by Daniel Kaluuya), chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party in late-1960s Chicago, by William O’Neal (played by Lakeith Stanfield), an FBI informant. Jesse Plemons, Dominique Fishback, Ashton Sanders, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Lil Rel Howery, Algee Smith, Dominique Thorne, and Martin Sheen also star. The film is directed and produced by Shaka King, who wrote the screenplay with Will Berson, based on a story by the pair and Kenny and Keith Lucas.
Just Mercy (2019)
Just Mercy is a 2019 American biographical legal drama film co-written and directed by Destin Daniel Cretton and starring Michael B. Jordan as Bryan Stevenson, Jamie Foxx as Walter McMillian, Rob Morgan, Tim Blake Nelson, Rafe Spall and Brie Larson. It explores the work of young defense attorney Bryan Stevenson who represents poor people on death row in the South. Featured is his work with Walter McMillian, who had been wrongfully convicted of the murder of a young woman. The film is based on Stevenson’s 2014 eponymous memoir, in which he explored his journey to making his life’s work the defense of African American prisoners.
Malcolm X (1992)
“American epic biographical drama film about the Afro-American activist Malcolm X. Directed and co-written by Spike Lee.”
The Original Kings of Comedy (2000)
“..stand-up comedy film, directed by Spike Lee, and featuring the comedy routines of Steve Harvey, D.L. Hughley, Cedric the Entertainer, and Bernie Mac. Filmed in front of an audience at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina, the comedians give the audience their views about African-American culture, race relations, religion and family.”
Pariah is a 2011 American drama film written and directed by Dee Rees. It tells the story of Alike (Adepero Oduye), a 17-year-old Black teenager embracing her identity as a lesbian. It premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was awarded the Excellence in Cinematography Award.
An adaptation by Geoffrey S. Fletcher of the 1996 novel Push by Sapphire the film depicts the life of an abused, obese black girl who survives with 2 children (from incest) and reclaims her life.
Queen & Slim (2019)
Queen & Slim is an American romantic road crime drama film directed by Melina Matsoukas. The film’s story centers on a young couple (Daniel Kaluuya and Jodie Turner-Smith) who go on the run after killing a police officer in the heat of an argument as self-defense during a traffic stop
“Raised on a sharecropping plantation in Northern Florida, Ray Charles Robinson went blind at the age of seven, shortly after witnessing his younger brother drown. Inspired by a fiercely independent mother who insisted he make his own way in the world, Charles found his calling and his gift behind a piano keyboard…”
“American historical drama film directed by Ava DuVernay and written by Paul Webb. It is based on the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches led by James Bevel, Hosea Williams, Martin Luther King, Jr., and John Lewis.”
Straight Outta Compton (2015)
“American biographical drama film that chronicles the rise and fall of the Compton, California hip hop music group N.W.A.”
When They See Us (2019)
A 4-part TV mini-series created by Ava DuVernay about five teenagers from Harlem who were falsely accused of a brutal crime and spent time in prison before finally being exonerated.
Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America (2021) Documentary narrated by Jeffrey Robinson on the history of anti-Black racism in the United States with compelling archival interviews and footage. View trailer.
August at Akiko’s (2018)
“Director Christopher Makoto Yogi, a Hawai’i native, wanted to capture the life and the people of the island; viewers see this through the friendship between Alex and Akiko Masuda, owner of a Buddhist Bed and Breakfast. Many Hawaiian films are given the Hollywood treatment and never truly told through the perspective of those who were born and raised in Hawai’i with aloha ‘āina (Hawaiian for love for the land).” – Laura Sirikul, Nerdist.The simple sounds of Zen bells and clappers and the strident sounds of Alex’s avante garde jazz saxophone are woven through deeply sacred scenes of prayer and stunning visuals while projecting a tone of ordinariness and humanity.
American Pastime (2007)
A film set in the Topaz War Relocation Center, a Utah prison camp which held thousands of people during the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. While the film is a dramatic narrative, it is based on true events and depicts life inside the internment camps, where baseball was one of the major diversions from the reality of the internees’ lives. Location scenes were filmed in bleak, desolate land, not far from the site of the actual internment camp.
Family Gathering (1988)
American short documentary film by Lise Yasui, exploring three generations of her Japanese- American family, from their immigration to Oregon in the early 20th century through their imprisonment in internment camps during World War II.
Farewell to Manzanar (1976)
Made-for-TV film based on the book by Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, was the first commercial film written, performed, photographed and scored by Japanese Americans about the World War II camp experience and broadcast on prime time television.
Hollywood Chinese: The Chinese in American Feature Films (2007)
Clips of more than 100 films and interviews of prominent Chinese Americans to create a thorough overview on the depiction of Chinese in mainstream Hollywood films.
A documentary film about the rise of Asian-American basketball player Jeremy Lin. The film traces Lin’s life from his childhood in Palo Alto, California to his rise to prominence in 2012 with the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association (NBA). It shows him overcoming discouragements and racism and achieving success through his faith and desire.
Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision (1994)
Documentary film made by Freida Lee Mock about the life of American artist Maya Lin, whose best-known work is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Only the Brave (2006)
Independent film about the 100th Infantry Battalion/442nd Regimental Combat Team, a segregated World War II fighting unit primarily made up of “Nisei” Japanese Americans, which for its size and length of service became the most decorated unit in U.S. military history. The film, produced and directed by Lane Nishikawa is a fictionalized account of the rescue of the Lost Battalion.
Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
Detroit, two white unemployed autoworkers fatally beat Vincent Chin, a 27-year-old Chinese engineer. The film tracks the incident from the initial eye-witness accounts through the trial and its repercussions for the families involved, and the American justice system. After an outcry from the Asian American community led by Vincent’s mother Lily Chin, the case becomes a civil rights Supreme Court case. The case ends with tried killer Ronald Ebens let go with a suspended sentence and a small fee.
Yellow Rose (2019)
Story of an undocumented Filipina-American girl trying to fulfill her dreams in Texas as her mother gets deported by ICE.
Cesar Chávez (2014)
A biopic about the Mexican-American civil-rights activist and United Farm Workers co-founder, Cesar Chavez.
Two-part biopic about Argentine Marxist revolutionary Ernesto “Che” Guevara, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Benicio del Toro.
Chicano! History of the Mexican-American Civil Rights Movement. (1996)
PBS documentary film depicts a ten-year period (1965 to 1975) of the Chicano Civil Rights Movement in America. Also known as “El Movimiento,” the movement worked for Mexican- American empowerment in America. Henry Cisneros is the narrator, and Cesar Chavez also appears in the film.
Animated Disney film about a young boy journeying to world of departed ancestors. The film portrays many aspects of the Dia de los Muertos celebration and other Mexican traditions and was thought by many in the Latinx community to have largely “gotten it right.”
Hands of Stone (2014)
The film centers on the legendary Panamanian boxer Roberto ‘Manos de Piedra’ Duran and his equally legendary trainer Ray Arcel who change each others’ lives through boxing.
A History Of Hispanic Achievement In America. (2006)
Film series documents Hispanic contributions to America’s growth and success. The film highlights various Latino Americans in medicine and science, entertainment and journalism, business and politics, civil rights, education, and sports. Patricia Lopez serves as the film’s narrator.
The Milagro Beanfield War (1988)
The film tells of one man’s struggle as he defends his small beanfield and his community against much larger business and state political interests.
My Family (1995)
Hispanic American film that traces the history of one Mexican immigrant family. The autobiographical film follows three generations through their personal triumphs and tragedies. The film’s all-star cast includes Edward James Olmos, Jimmy Smits, and Esai Morales.
The Sentence (2018)
Explores intersection of mandatory minimum sentencing in the United States and immigration law. The creator, Rudy Valdez, focuses the film on his sister, Cindy Shank, who is a mother of three currently serving a 15-year sentence. She was charged with the crimes committed by her ex-boyfriend (who has since passed away) and was separated from her children.
Sin Nombre (2009)
Spanish-language film has connections to a real-life Hispanic American gang called Mara Salvatrucha. The movie centers on a Honduran teenager who has an opportunity to realize her dream–living in America. This award-winner stars Paulina Gaitan, Marco Antonio Aguirre, and Leonardo Alonso.
Malcolm X (1992)
“American epic biographical drama film about the Afro-American activist Malcolm X. Directed and co-written by Spike Lee.”
Independent film about an African American Muslim student attending college and confronting the impact of September 11 on his and his family’s lives.
Native American/American Indian
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee (2007)
HBO movie. The film…”focusing on the narrative of the Lakota tribes leading up to the death of Sitting Bull and the Massacre at Wounded Knee.”
The Cherokee Word For Water (2013)
Tells the story of how Wilma Mankiller led the community in the spirit of gadugi (working together to solve a problem) to bring a waterline to the rural community of Bell, OK. and eventually became the first female Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation. The film shows the challenges of working with the BIA and even local governance to get things done in a native community.
Dances with Wolves (1990)
“The story of a Union Army lieutenant who travels to the American frontier to find a military post, and his dealings with a group of Lakota Indians…selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being ‘culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.'”
“the film depicts the conflict between a Lakota elder and storyteller named Pete Chasing Horse and his Lakota grandson, Shane Chasing Horse…as the two travel from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota to the fictitious All Nations powwow in Albuquerque, New Mexico, a trip the grandson takes only under duress. Along the way, the grandfather tells his grandson various Indian stories and legends to help him understand and choose the “good red road,” i.e. to embrace an Indian identity.”
Geronimo: An American Legend (1993)
“The film follows the events leading up to the capture of the Apache warrior Geronimo in 1886.
Lakota Woman: Siege at Wounded Knee (1994)
“The film follows a young Mary Crow Dog and her poor Lakota family living on the Rosebud Sioux reservation in South Dakota as she briefly learns the ways of her people and of the 1890 massacre at Wounded Knee told to her by her grandfather Fool Bull. She is later put into St. Tristan Boarding School along with her sister Barbra and describes her boarding school experience.” TNT original movie.
The Last of the Mohicans (1995)
“Adapted from (1826) a historical novel by James Fenimore Cooper….set in 1757, during the French and Indian War (the Seven Years’ War), when France and Great Britain battled for control of North America…both the French and the British used Native American allies.”
Little Big Man (1970)
“A picaresque comedy about a white male child raised by the Cheyenne nation during the 19th century. The film is largely concerned with contrasting the lives of American pioneers and Native Americans throughout the progression of the boy’s life…Despite its satirical approach, the film has tragic elements and a clear social conscience about prejudice and injustice.”
The New World (2005)
“British-American romantic historical drama film written and directed by Terrence Malick, depicting the founding of the Jamestown, Virginia settlement and inspired by the historical figures Captain John Smith, Pocahontas of the Powatan Native American tribe, and Englishman, John Rolfe.”
Older Than America (2008)
“…American suspense drama film…that explores and highlights the impact of the “c)ulture-killing” effects of the typical Native American experience in boarding schools in the 1900s and other inter-social relationships between the Native American people and the dominant European-based American culture.”
Reservation Dogs (2021-)
A sitcom TV series written, directed and acted primarily by Native Americans about young adults growing up on the reservation. A third season is expected in the future. Says IMDb member gordonrm: ” Native here, raised on the rez. I won’t say this is 100% accurate because it’s obviously a caricature in some ways, but they get so much right, especially the slang. I found it hilarious that the old warrior character truly represents Native humor in a way I’ve never really seen before in pop culture, just really fast, double barreled, and then suddenly drab. The sets are very close to real life. I watched these first two episodes thinking “I’ve been there,” or “I’ve done that.” Probably the best glimpse into rez life since Smoke Signals which is a huge tip of the cap.” View season one trailer.
Rutherford Falls (2021-22)
An American Sitcom TV series largely created, written and acted by Native Americans and notable for having an indigenous woman as the lead actor. The show brings up many contemporary issues and disrupts harmful stereotypes with humor. Ran 2 seasons. “The Minishonka tribe may not be real, but the comedy and emotional truth of the Native viewpoints presented in “Rutherford Falls” is certainly authentic. The show boasts a writers’ room worth of talented Indigenous screenwriters, and its plots reflect refreshing and vital viewpoints that are rarely seen on TV. There are countless small-town sitcoms out there, but how many of them bring heart and humor to topics like “Pretendians,” questionable historical monuments, and the wildly offensive misrepresentation of Native people in pop culture?” – Valerie Ettenhofer, TV, Interrupted. View trailer.
“A mystery television film based on the novel of the same name by Tony Hillerman, one of his series of mysteries set against contemporary Navajo life in the Southwest…filmed on the Navajo reservation.” It was repackaged in 2016 with the two following films as Skinwalkers: The Navajo Mysteries on Netflix.
Songs My Brother Taught Me (2015)
“American drama film written and directed by Chloé Zhao. The film, set on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, explores the bond between a brother and his younger sister.”
The Spirit of Crazy Horse (1990)
Producer Michel Genko Dubois Roshi and Kevin McKiernan Milo Yellow Hair recounts the story of the Lakota Sioux Indian’s struggle to reclaim their ancestral homeland and their continuing struggle to maintain their cultural identity. Originally shown as an episode of Frontline, broadcast in December 1990.
“…contemporary western mystery film directed by Michael Apted from an original screenplay by John Fusco. The film is a loosely based fictional portrayal of events relating to the Wounded Knee incident in 1973. Followers of the American Indian Movement seized the South Dakota town of Wounded Knee in protest against federal government policy regarding Native Americans.”
Film about WWII Navajo codetalkers and the racial harassment they endured at the hands of white soldiers.
24 Days (2014)
“Depiction of the real-life events surrounding an attack, and presents a commentary on growing antisemitism in France.”
Gentleman’s Agreement (1947)
A film about a journalist posing as a Jew to research an exposé on antisemitism in New York City and the affluent community of Darien, Connecticut.
The Pianist (2002)
Historical film, an Oscar winner, based on the autobiographical book The Pianist, a World War II memoir by the Polish-Jewish pianist and composer Władysław Szpilman.
Documentary film by Claude Lanzmann about the Holocaust (called the “Shoah” in Hebrew and French). It presents testimonies by selected survivors, witnesses, and German perpetrators, often secretly recorded using hidden cameras.
Woman In Gold (2015)
About Maria Altmann – inspired by Stealing Klimt, the documentary about the legal battle to reclaim from the Government of Austria five family-owned paintings by the artist Gustav Klimt stolen by the Nazis during World War II.
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Educational/scholarship resources for BIPOC
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Mental Health Resources for People of Color
988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline Contains specific information for Black, Native American, and LGBTQ mental health issues.
BIPOC Mental Health Resources. Website of resources
Rehab Spot. State by state listing of resources for addiction treatment and recovery.
Free or low-cost mental health resources for people of color
AAKOMA Project. Arlington, Virginia-based but serving the Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. area, offering up to three free virtual mental health sessions for “young people.”
Black Men Heal. Limited and selective (no guarantees) free mental health service opportunities following a waiting period.
Boris Lawrence Henson Foundation. To help Black Americans with “life-changing stressors and anxiety” receive mental health services, the organization’s Free Virtual Therapy Support Campaign pays for up to five individual sessions — first come, first served — “until all funds are committed or exhausted.”
Family Paths. “Mental health and supportive services to low-income, multi-stressed individuals and families” in Alameda County, Calif.
Inclusive Therapists. With a directory of therapists offering reduced-fee teletherapy.
National Queer and Trans Therapists of Color Network. A directory of mental health practitioners working in agencies, community-based clinics, and private practice. Also, a mental health fund that provides financial assistance to queer and trans people of color by queer and trans people of color.
Open Path Collective. A nonprofit that for a one-time membership fee provides inexpensive in-network therapy, online and in-person.
Safe Project. Addiction and mental health resources for the black community
Sunshine Behavioral Health. Provides a free resource that has free or low-cost sources for mental health treatment in the Black community.
Talkspace. Live video psychiatry sessions, plus a free therapist-led racial trauma support group, and financial assistance for the Black community.
The Loveland Foundation. Financial assistance is sometimes available for between four and eight sessions for Black women and girls.
Therapy for Black Men. Free therapy sessions for Black men are in the planning stages. You can sign up to be notifications when they become available.
Zencare. Provides a list of Black therapists — primarily in Boston, New York City, and Rhode Island — some of whom “offer a sliding scale, lower fees, or out-of-network reimbursement for individuals who cannot otherwise afford to pay for therapy.”
Resources for culturally competent mental health providers
Black Mental Wellness. Apps, podcasts, videos.
Brother, You’re on My Mind Toolkit. Provides educational materials on mental health issues affecting black men, particularly Omega Psi Phi Fraternity members.
InnoPsych. Resources to find a therapist of color.
Melanin and Mental Health. Directory of therapists of color.
Mental Health Resources for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color(BIPOC). Resources list from Massachusetts General Hospital
Ourselves Black. Directory of providers, plus a podcast, online magazine, and online discussion groups.
Sista Afya Community Mental Wellness. Chicago-area organization providing sliding-scale rates for mental health treatment for Black women.
Therapy for Black Girls. “An online space dedicated to encouraging the mental wellness of Black women and girls,” with a therapist locator, in-office and virtual, plus a blog, podcast, and online community.
Therapy for Queer People of Color. Therapist directory.
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Health Resources for People of Color
African American Wellness Project. The African American Wellness Project was organized to respond to the inequities in health care delivery that exists between African Americans and the rest of America.
MHP Salud. For over 35 years, MHP Salud, a national non-profit organization, has been dedicated to strengthening underserved Hispanic and Latino communities by improving access to health care and social services.
Partnership with Native Americans. Supports hundreds of reservation programs that address preventative care, home health visits and health education initiatives for tribal members.
Skin Cancer Awareness & Prevention for People of Color. Black people can develop melanoma – researchers say the incidence of melanoma among Black people is about 10 percent of that in white people. However, many People of Color are unaware of the risk of melanoma skin cancer. THE DERM Review research and writing team has created this guide to help education the Black Community. Contributed by Jacob Belfry, DERM Review.
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BIPOC-owned business and financial literacy resources
Financial Literacy in the Black Community “Closing the racial wealth gap isn’t a simple fix. But many experts say education and financial literacy can help. In this article, we identify the impact this knowledge gap has on the African American community — and explore how Black educators and financial advisors are working to close it.” – article by Rachel Christian, Annuity.org.
Best Colleges: Black women are changing the face of entrepreneurship. Learn how to support women-owned businesses, or how to launch your own business.
Bloom Season: A resource with first-hand experiences, and actionable insights, to help entrepreneurs of color realize their ambitions and rewrite the blueprint for small business success.
A Resource for Black businesses/entrepreneurs – provided by Derrick Johnson, president of NAACP
Anti-Racism Resources for the Workplace
A new resource on combating racism in the work place provided by Angie Ambos, Fingerprint 4 Success. Read her description here:
Racism has been wreaking havoc in our professional lives and we need to address this issue. When companies fail to embrace people of color in the workplace, it is truly a loss for all involved. At F4S, we’ve gathered various Racism Workplace Statistics which include data from Glassdoor, SHRM, and from different businesses and organizations. We’ve also created simple steps you can take to fight racism in the workplace.
The Best Resources for Black Entrepreneurs is a guide created by Onlinemba.com that details a list of organizations that offer a wealth of resources for Black entrepreneurs, including funding, education, and robust networking opportunities, and more! Submitted by Algernod Smith.
Accounting Resources for Small Businesses
Accounting.com is an open-use guide can be used by both business owners and entrepreneurs across the country to help gain a successful financial footing. It was submitted by Bernadene Thompson, Accounting.com Community Outreach, in support of National Black Business Month (August).