138 Resources to Help You and Your Students Reflect on Anti-Black Racism and Take Action

You likely want to help develop your students into outstanding global citizens.

You want them to be compassionate towards others, invested in societal betterment, and confident in advocating for justice. But to help students gain such skills, you need to tackle difficult subjects together. 

You can’t shy away from the ugly truths of our society and the biases embedded within it. You need to help students recognize them and call them out.

Anti-black racism is one particularly ugly truth. But it’s complex. There’s no one single perpetrator that needs to be expelled. 

So, you and your students need to dig deep, examine your beliefs, and challenge one another to take better, more progressive actions. 

'The beauty of anti-racism is that you don't have to pretend to be free of racism to be an anti-racist. Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself. And it's the only way forward.' - Ijeoma Oluo

My Presence teammates and I have assembled some resources to help you get started. We’re not experts on this either, so we also have been — and plan to continue — learning from the books, podcasts, documentaries, and other resources on this list.

Most things here were created by black educators and leaders. In addition to exploring them for yourself, we hope you’ll encourage students to learn alongside you. Many of these can be excellent jumping-off points for honest discussions, interactive programs, and ongoing changes at your institution. 

And you have more stellar resources to add, please let us know @HelloPresence and we’ll add them to this continually evolving list.

People to follow

Following these folx on Twitter or Instagram will expose you to a multitude of perspectives on the everyday black experience in America. You can retweet their messages to amplify their voices, use the points they make to engage students in conversation, and even decorate your office or virtual desk space with the most inspiring quotes.

Black activists, leaders, and artists 

Black higher education leaders and student affairs professionals

  • @BLKSAP – Black Student Affairs Professionals (a movement and support network)
  • @SisterPhDAn online community by and for Black women in Higher Education and Student Affairs (no longer active but has some great educational content)
  • @sandylocks – Dr. Kimberle Crenshaw (Professor of Law at Columbia and UCLA and leading scholar of critical race theory)
  • @MrJeffDess & @DESIGNBYLAW – Jeff Dess and Lenny Williams (co-founders of Trill or Not Trill)
  • @DrKWheatle – Dr. Katherine Wheatle (racism & policy expert; higher education researcher)
  • @PresidentDorsey – Frank D. Dorsey, II (Associate Director of Student Engagement at Johnson C. Smith University)
  • @DoctorJonPaul – Dr. Jon Higgins (speaker, teacher, and writer — including for Presence)
  • @DiverseIssues – Diverse Issues (news source for diversity issues in higher education)
  • @marclamonthill – Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (host of BET News and professor at Temple University)
  • @AVP_Acker – Dr. Lorraine D. Acker (Interim Chief Diversity Officer & Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, The College at Brockport)
  • @JenFry13 – Jen Fry (social justice educator in collegiate athletics and founder of Jen Fry Talks and )

Books

In addition to educating yourself through these excellent reads, you could start a book club with students. Perhaps you could take it slowly, asking book club members to read just a few chapters a week, which you’ll discuss all together — in order to take time to fully process and reflect upon the ideas presented. 

And if your institution or office picks a Book of the Month or First-Year Experience Read, consider selecting one of these!

Podcasts

Podcasts have a major advantage over books: Flexibility. Listeners can tune in while folding their laundry, preparing a meal, or cleaning their homes. They’re also great for commutes! 

Consider hosting some podcast listening parties and/or post-listen discussion groups. You could even have a podcast program for commuter students, encouraging everyone to listen to a timely new episode each day on their way over to campus.

(I’ve also highlighted some individual standout episodes.)

'Racism in America is like dust in the air. It seems invisible — even if you’re choking on it — until you let the sun in. Then you see it’s everywhere. As long as we keep shining that light, we have a chance of cleaning it wherever it lands. But we have to stay vigilant, because it’s always still in the air.' - Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
  • Code Switch – “Hosted by journalists of color, our podcast tackles the subject of race head-on. We explore how it impacts every part of society — from politics and pop culture to history, sports and everything in between. This podcast makes all of us part of the conversation because we’re all part of the story.”
  • The Nod – “Brittany Luse and Eric Eddings gleefully explore all the beautiful, complicated dimensions of Black life.”
  • Seeing White – “Just what is going on with white people? Police shootings of unarmed African Americans. Acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists. The renewed embrace of raw, undisguised white-identity politics. Unending racial inequity in schools, housing, criminal justice, and hiring. Some of this feels new, but in truth, it’s an old story. Why? Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for?”
  • Race Traitor – “Even after you’ve intellectually rejected white supremacy, how does it show up in a room?  In a relationship? How do we divert intergenerational white power hoarding that is so normalized it’s nearly invisible? Phoebe’s been white her entire life. But she only realized a few years ago that she inherited a white value system. Through conversations with friends and confrontations with family, she takes inventory of the ways she embodies white supremacy — in order to disrupt it.” 
  • Come Through with Rebecca Carroll – “15 essential conversations about race in a pivotal year for America”
  • About Race – “From the author behind the bestselling Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race comes a podcast that takes the conversation a step further. Featuring key voices from the last few decades of anti-racist activism, About Race with Reni Eddo-Lodge looks at the recent history that led to the politics of today.
  • Hear to Slay – “Roxane Gay and Tressie McMillan Cottom unveil their new podcast, Hear to Slay, a black feminist perspective on celebrity, culture, politics, art, life, love — all the things they’re obsessed with — and more.
  • Pod Save the People – “Organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice, and politics with fellow activists Brittany Packnett Cunningham and Sam Sinyangwe, and writer Dr. Clint Smith. They offer a unique take on the news, with a special focus on overlooked stories and topics that often impact people of color.”

Movies and Documentaries

Movies are more than entertaining. They can reveal complex truths about characters, reflecting the experiences and perspectives of real people. 

Each of these films and documentaries can serve as excellent conversation starters and calls to action.

TED Talks

TED Talks tackle big ideas in a short amount of time. They’re great for fast-tracking discussions, introducing students (and yourself) to new voices, and inspiring critical thinking. 

In addition to the suggested talks below, I recommend researching if your local community has ever hosted a TEDx event. Perhaps you could find video footage of a great talk that addressed local concerns. You could even invite the speaker to speak with students personally! 

Toolkits

Many of these toolkits come with worksheets that’ll help you and your students reflect upon your own biased thoughts and actions. And all of these are great for helping you move behind lip service and toward action.

'Anti-racism is not an identity or a checklist; it's a practice.' - Andrea Ranae

Ready-made activities

In a pitch to plan a program quickly or looking for an activity that’s already been run successfully? Here are a few things you can do, complete with instructions, reflection questions, and worksheets!

Student affairs resources

My teammates and I have created some resources, specifically meant for student affairs professionals. Continue visiting our website and like our Facebook page as we’ll continue to add more.

Blog posts

Podcast episode

To close out, I’ll point you to the Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, which offers a plethora of resources to support your black students and colleagues. 

'Treat racism like COVID-19 – assume you have it. You may be asymptomatic. Racism is the disease. You may be the carrier, but the aim is not to destroy the host but eradicate and kill the disease.' - Vanessa Kingori

What resources did we miss? Tell us @HelloPresence.

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Jodi Tandet

About the author: Jodi Tandet loves writing about the magic of campus life as the Lead Storyteller at Presence. She's also passionate about baking, mental health advocacy, all the Presence office dogs, and her ever-growing podcast collection. Learn how we can help get your students involved.

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