Diversity and Equity Resources
Understanding Race, Racism, Systemic Racism, and Antiracism
This page and the links below are intended to serve as a resource for our Cornell community to deepen our antiracism work and encourage dialogue among students, staff, faculty, and community members. We encourage you to review the materials below, share them with others, and take action.
The Division of Student & Campus Life joins President Pollack in recognizing the critical work we as a University must do to address systemic racism as an institution and as a community. While Cornell has a proud history of promoting an inclusive campus environment, we know there is still much work to be done to make us a more equitable and just community. One small step is to participate in the community book read of “How to Be an Antiracist” by Ibram X. Kendi. We encourage you to join us.
Additional Common Read Resources:
- Ibram X. Kendi - In this 13 minute video clip, Ibram explains the term antiracism and why he created the text.
- Brené Brown interview with Ibram X. Kendi
Please note, this page and the resources list below will be maintained and updated as additional tools and action items are identified.
Recommended Resources from the Office of the Dean of Students
The Dean of Students’ Diversity & Inclusion team has collected and reviewed the following list of resources to help guide you in your understanding of race, racial justice and equity. In addition, the support and resource centers in the Office of the Dean of Students are available for Cornell students of all identities, backgrounds, and experiences.
- Ibram X. Kendi, Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Bold Type, 2017) [available for free as a streaming audiobook through Spotify: Stamped from the Beginning - The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America (Unabridged)]
- Everything you need to know about Race and Racism (a social science list of articles)Ijeoma Oluo, So You Want to Talk About Race (Seal, 2019)
- Isabel Wilkerson, Caste: The Origins of our Discontent (Random House, 2020) [preorder out August 4, 2020]
- bell hooks, Killing Rage: Ending Racism (Holt, 1996)
- Eduardo Bonilla-Silva, Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in the United States (Rowan & Littlefield Publishers, 2013) 3rd edition.
- Alex Zamalin, Antiracism: An Introduction (NYU Press, 2019)
- Layla F. Saad, Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor (Sourcebooks, 2020)
Anti-Racism Workshops and Tools:
Re-centering the Voices of Black Leaders
- Malcolm X and Alex Haley, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (Random House, 1965).
- Martin Luther King, “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” April 16, 1963.
- Martin Luther King, Jr., Cornell West, ed., The Radical King (Beacon, 2016)
- Joy James, ed., The Angela Y. Davis Reader (Blackwell, 1998).
- James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time, (Vintage, 1992 [Reissue])
- Claudia Rankine, Citizen: An American Lyric (Greywolf Press, 2014)
- Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir (St. Martens, 2017).
- Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me (Random House, 2015)
- Austin Channing Brown, I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness
- Brittney Cooper, Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpowers (Picador, 2019)
- Monica Johnson, The Emotional Cost of Being A Black Women in America, TEDx- Bloomington
- Unapologetic: A Black, Queer, and Remists Mandate for Radical Movements, by Charlene Carruthers (Penguin Random House, 2018)
- Beverly Daniel Tatum - Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria (2018)
Understanding Whiteness and White Privilege
- Carol Anderson, White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide (Bloomsbury, 2017)
- bell hooks, “Representing Whiteness in the Black Imagination”
- Christopher S. Collins and Alexander Jun, White Out: Understanding White Privilege and Dominance in the Modern Age (Peter Lang, 2017)
- Paula S. Rothenburg, White Privilege: Essential Readings on the Other Side of Race (Worth, 2001)
- Robin DiAngelo, White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism (Beacon, 2018)
- Showing Up for Racial Justice
- Jacqueline Battalora, Birth of a White Nation
Understanding Racism in Medicine
- Remembering Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsy: The mothers of Gynecology, NPR
- James H Jones, Bad Blood: The Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment (Free Press, 1993)
- Miss Evers Boys (Film)
- Lundy Braun, Breathing race into the machine: the surprising career of the spirometer from plantation to genetics (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)
- John Hoberman, Black and blue: the origins and consequences of medical racism (University of California Press, 2012)
- Harvard Public Health Magazine America is Failing its Black Mothers
- Dána-Ain Davis, Reproductive Injustice: Racism, Pregnancy, and Premature Birth (NYU, 2019)
- Code Switch Podcast, Making the Case that Discrimination is Bad for Your Health
- Adam Serwer, Racial Contract and Coronavirus, The Atlantic
- Sonya Renee Taylor, The Body is Not an Apology (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2018)
Understanding Racial Politics and History
- Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America (Liverright, 2018)
- R. L’Heureux Lewis-McCoy, Inequality in the Promiseland: Race, Resources, and Suburban Schooling (Stanford University Press, 2014)
- Isabel Wilkerson, The Warmth of Other Suns (Random House, 2010)
Understanding Anti-Blackness in POC Communities
- A guide to starting anti-racist conversations with friends & family, dosomething.org
- Multilingual resources to help start open and honest conversations
- Kat Chow, 'Model Minority' Myth Again Used As A Racial Wedge Between Asians And Blacks (NPR CODE SW!TCH, 2017)
- Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit
Understanding Spirituality and its Relationship to Race and Racial Justice
- Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative
- Jewish Social Justice
- angel Kyodo Williams and Lama Rod Owens, Radical Dharma: Talking Love, Race, and Liberation (Berkely, CA: North Atlantic Books, 2016)
- angel Kyodo Williams, Being Black: Zen and the Art of Living with Fearlessness and Grace (New York: Penguin, 2000)
- The Color of Compromise: The Truth about the American Church’s Complicity in Racism (Amazon Prime Series)
- Unitarian Universalist College of Social Justice, Spiritual Practice and Social Justice
- USCCB Combatting Racism (Catholic Bishop’s website on racism)
- The Episcopal Church Racial Reconciliation
- Willie James Jennings, The Christian Imagination: Theology and the Origins of Race (New Haven: Yale, 2011)
- Michael Eric Dyson, Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America (St. Martin's Press: 2017)
Talking to Kids About Racism
The following resources and tools are recommended for parents, families, and others who work or interact with children. They have been collected and reviewed by the Dean of Students’ Diversity & Inclusion team to help guide you in discussions with children about race, racial justice, and equity.
Talking to children about race, racism, and social justice activism
- The White Parent’s Guide to Raising Anti-Racist Kids - Parents Magazine, June 12, 2020
- How to Raise an Anti-Racist Kid - New York Times, June 24, 2020
- Books to help explain racism and protest to your kids, New York Times, June 2, 2020
- Books to teach white children and teens how to undo racism and white supremacy, Charis Books & More
- What white parents get wrong about raising antiracist kids - and how to get it right, The Washington Post, June 25, 2020[GK1]
- 10 youth racial justice activist to know, Do Something.org, August 2019
- Picture books, Embrace Race.org
Podcasts for Parents:
- Integrated Schools podcast episode “Raising White Kids with Jennifer Harvey” - focus on the impact of racial prejudice and education
- Eight podcasts to talk with kids about race
More from Across Cornell University
- Cornell University Press: Free Ebooks on Policing, Social Inequality, and Antiracism
- Cornell University Library Guide: Black Lives Matter
- eCornell: Anti-Blackness, Racial Equity, and Higher Education Hosted by Cornell University’s Presidential Advisors on Diversity and Equity
- Systemic racism explained (4 minute animated video)
- “How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion” Peggy McIntosh at TedxTimberlaneSchools (18:26)
- 26 Mini-Films for Exploring Race, Bias and Identity with Students
Full Length Movies (linked films are free)
- Black Feminism & the Movement for Black Lives: Barbara Smith, Reina Gossett, Charlene Caruthers (50:48)
- We Want to Do More Than Just Survive
- Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton)
- A Conversation of Race and Privilege with Angela Davis and Jane Elliott
- American Son (Kenny Leon)
- Dear White People (Justin Simien)
- See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol)
- When They See Us (Ava DuVernay)
- 13th (Ava DuVernay) on the Criminalization of African Americans and the U.S. Prison Boom
Deeper reading if you watched or plan to watch 13th:
Bryan Stevenson, Just Mercy (One World, 2014)
- Angela Davis, Are Prisons Obsolete? (Seven Stories Press, 2003).
- Manning Marable, “Black Prisons and Punishment in a Racist/Capitalist State,” in How Capitalism Underdeveloped Black America: Problems in Race, Political Economy, and Society (Haymarket Books, 2015; 1st edition 1983), 94–115.
- Marie Gottschalk, The Prison and the Gallows: The Politics of Mass Incarceration in America (Cambridge University Press, 2006).
- Naomi Murakawa, First Civil Right: How Liberals Built Prison America (Oxford University Press, 2014).
- Assata Shakur, Assata: An Autobiography (L. Hill, 1987).
- If Beale Street Could Talk (film)
Expansion of Prison Industrial Complex
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness (New Press, 2010).
- Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Golden Gulag: Prisons, Surplus, Crisis, and Opposition in Globalizing California (University of California Press, 2007).
- Prison Policy Initiative
Mariame Kaba, David Stein, Dan Berger, “What Abolitionists Do,” Jacobin, August 24, 2017.
- “Towards the Horizon of Abolition: A Conversation with Mariame Kaba,” The Next System Project, November 9, 2017.
- Mariame Kaba, Prison Culture Blog
- About Race
- Code Switch (NPR)
- The Daily
- Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw
- Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast
- Pod for the Cause (from the Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)
- Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)
- Seeing White
- Brene Brown with Austin Channing Brown on "I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness"
- Kaitlynn Carter's The Bright Side: Silence is not an Option with Ngozi Musa and Sophia Hunt
- Black Lives Matter & The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America w/ Shawn Rochester
- Seen on Radio - Seeing white podcast series - Fourteen part documentary series about the long term effects of whiteness
Single Podcast Episodes:
The Gun Show, by Radio Lab, on the intersection of race and the Second Amendment
- Real Feels, by Raising Free People, action is necessary for our capacity to thrive
Podcasts for Parents:
Integrated Schools podcast episode “Raising White Kids with Jennifer Harvey” - focus on the impact of racial prejudice and education
- Eight podcasts to talk with kids about race