Resources for Ongoing Learning
Developing a nuanced understanding of and approach to the topics of race, racism, and social inequality is a long-term, open-ended process. As an educational community, our aim is to nurture the development of every individual in our community – to foster growth and learning holistically, and to encourage everyone to engage in a process of learning that continually challenges our assumptions and biases, and perpetually improves our ability to understand issues from multiple perspectives. We are not looking to indoctrinate our community into a homogenous worldview or to establish a new status quo. We seek collective liberation through earnest inquiry and intentional action. Everyone’s path will be a little different, and there is no shortage of data, input, or truth to peruse; the key questions for everyone are: what should we attend to, how do we understand it, and what can we do to enact and embody our learning for the benefit of everyone?
In addition to this inquiry, which is necessary and important for everyone, regardless of positionality, there are questions and learning that are particular to our community, based on our local context, history, and demographics:
- What are the particular tensions, patterns, pathologies, and responsibilities that arise in a community that is predominantly white and economically privileged?
- How can we ensure that the patterns of racialized privilege and inequality that permeate our social world do not have a negative impact within our community, and that we do not reinforce or reify biases and assumptions about individuals or groups based on racialized categories?
- How can our community work toward justice and social change, while also fostering healing, peace, and inclusive fellowship and solidarity within the school?
Because the world is changing so rapidly, we must also stay attuned to the ways in which the struggle for cultural harmony and social solidarity is different now than it was in the past. Recent developments in technology and social media are emerging in concert with an increasingly complex, globalized, and unstable social world; politically, economically, culturally, and environmentally, our systems, norms, and expectations are breaking down. In the past 5-10 years, there has been a new wave of interest and activism in relation to anti-racism and changes in the social construction of race and gender. Therefore, a big part of our work as an educational community is to help our students, staff, and parents understand these contemporary cultural dynamics, so that we can be conscious changemakers and social stewards who are leading with intention, and not participating in the dysfunction, polarization, and toxicity that characterizes much of our current media ecology.
Below are selected resources that address and inform different aspects of this learning journey, from understanding race and racism, past and present, to social theory that explores deeper layers and causes of inequality. These resources represent a careful selection of research, thought, and reflection offered from multiple points of view; no book, essay, or person can ever fully encapsulate the Whole Truth, or claim to offer the definitive answer to complex problems that arise at the intersection of culture, economics, psychology, biology, politics, and history. Acknowledgment of this complexity, and the need to read, think, and engage in dialogue across multiple spectrums of diversity, is our starting point. Taken as a whole, these resources can serve to support a life-long learning journey, which we invite everyone in our community to undertake with us.
Deep Diversity – Shakil Choudhury
The Way Out – Peter Coleman
See No Stranger – Valarie Kaur
Restoring the Kinship World View – Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) & Darcia Narvaez PhD
Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World – Tyson Yunkaporta
My Grandmother’s Hands – Resmaa Menakem
Self-Portrait in Black and White – Thomas Chatterton Williams
Whistling Vivaldi – Claude Steele
Healing Collective Trauma – Thomas Hubl
Bridge Builders – Nathan Bomey
Eyes on the Prize (documentary series)
I am Not Your Negro
Race: The Power of an Illusion
Articles / Essays / Reports
Seeing Through Race: Towards Diaphanous Anti-Racism – Ryan Nakade
How Can You Hate Me When You Don’t Even Know Me? – Kristof / Davis
Metamodern Social Justice – Richard Bartlett
The Social Construction of Racism in the US – Eric Kaufman (academic paper)
Calling In vs Calling Out – Loretta Ross
The Role of Classics and Western Lit – Cornell West & Jeremy Tate
Hope as Process – Brad Kershner
Who Defines What ‘Racist’ Means? – Musa al-Gharbi
Teaching About Slavery – Education Next
Diversity Training Doesn’t Work. This Might. – Musa al-Gharbi
Representation Matters. We Need to do it Right. – Angel Eduardo
Trans People Are Not a Monolith. – Zander Keig
Podcasts & Videos
Healing and Wholeness Through and Beyond Racial Identity – The Growing Down Podcast
White Supremacy, Woke Fundamentalism, and Allyship – State of Emergence Podcast
Inequality, Antiracism, and History – Conceptually Speaking
Propaganda and the Information War – Jim Rutt Show
Finding Coherence and Solidarity in a Time Between Worlds – Brad Kershner
Theory of Enchantment Free Mini Course – Chloe Valdary
Approaching a Shared Understanding of Gender Complexity – Rachel Hayden and Brad Kershner
Gerald Häfner on the death of George Floyd – Goetheanum
Embodying Harmony on the Other Side of Racial Complexity – Angel Eduardo and Brad Kershner