Racial Justice Resources: Tools for Cultivating Personal & Public Virtue

— Allison, Maddy. “How White People Can Talk To Each Other About Disrupting Racism: A Guide to Starting Anti-Racist Conversations with Friends and Family.” For a more specifically evangelical Christian approach to these discussions, see Daniel Hill’s White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White and Robert Jones’ White Too Long.

— Blakenhorn, David. “10 Ways to Diffuse Political Arrogance.” The American Interest August 28, 2019.  Source for talking with other white people.  Can Humility Save Us? “Intellectual humility is a time-honored virtue we can learn to cultivate—and one that’s also vital to a healthy democratic politics.”

— Byford, Jovan. “I’ve Been Talking to Conspiracy Theorists for 20 years – Here Are My Six Rules of Engagement.” The Conversation July 22, 2020. Byford elaborates on the following: 1. Acknowledge the Scale of the Task. 2. Recognize the Emotional Dimension. 3. Find Out What They Actually Believe. 4. Establish Common Ground. 5. Challenge Facts, Value  Their Argument (And Them). 6. Be Realistic.

— Dolan, Eric W. “Intellectually Humble People Tend to Possess More Knowledge, Study Finds.” Report on the work of Elizabeth Krumrei-Mancuso. PsyPost March 31, 2019.

— Goatley, David. “Enough Conversations; Let’s Do Something about Racism.” Research Professor of Theology and Black Church Studies at Duke Divinity School, EthicsDaily.com, June 24, 2020. Find more of his work at Baptist News Global.

— King Jr, Martin Luther. “Six Steps for Nonviolent Direct Action.”

— Krumrei-Mancuso, Elizabeth J. “Are You Intellectually Humble? 13 Tough Questions.” The Table, Biola University Center for Christian Thought, September 17, 2014. This is an excellent place to start for self-reflection.

— Krumrei-Mancuso, Elizabeth J. “Intellectual Humility’s Links to Religion and Spirituality and the Role of Authoritarianism.” Personality and Individual Differences 130 (2018): 65-75.  Reflect on the links between authoritarianism, white supremacy, sexism, and racial paternalism.

— Marty, Peter W. “Becoming Less Defensive about White Privilege: The Christian Faith Provides Some Tools for Letting Go of Our Defensiveness.” The Christian Century July 6, 2020. An introduction.

— Niemiec, Ryan. “If You are White, Turn to Humility.” Via Character.

— Niemiec, Ryan. “The World Needs You–All 24 of Your Best Qualities.” Psychology Today.

— Nguyen, C. Thi. “The Problem of Living Inside Echo Chambers.” The Conversation Sept. 11, 2019. Philosopher professor discusses with general audiences what epistemic bubbles and echo chambers are/are not, how we develop them, and the dangers they pose. What role can Christians play in healing a crisis of Trust? What does this have to do with Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” in The Republic?

— Saunders, Martin. “Bryan Stevenson: Four Steps to Really Change the World.” Christianity Today July 16, 2015.

— Barger, Lilian Calles. The World Come of Age: An Intellectual History of Liberation Theology (Oxford University Press, 2018) surveys in one place the leading proponents of liberation theology across multiple cultures and eras, taking the title from Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

— Black Religion, Black Theology: The Collected Essays of J. Deotis Roberts (African American Religious Thought and Life). Edited by David Emmanuel Goatley. Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2003.

— Brown, Sally A. and Patrick D. Miller, eds. Lament: Reclaiming Practices in the Pulpit, Pew, and Public Square. Westminster John Knox, 2005.

— Bussie, Jacqueline. Love without Limits: Jesus’ Radical Vision for Love with No Exceptions. Fortress Press, 2018.

— Cannon, Mae Elise and Andrea Smith, eds. Evangelical Theologies of Liberation and Justice.

— Darity, William A. and A. Kristen Mullen. From Here to Equality. University of North Carolina Press, 2020. Professor Darity provides historical context and a roadmap for reparations. Professor Darity provides historical context and a roadmap for understanding white flight, red-lining, reparations and more.

— Dweck, Carol. Mindset. Eureka Books, 2015. Understanding people’s two core mindsets of a fixed/ closed-mindset or. a growth/open mindset are key in learning and unlearning. Dweck’s work is related to what social psychologist Jonathan Haidt summarized in The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion, especially the Conclusions chapter. Other scholars have applied this concepts to our “heartsets” as well. And I’d add our “gutsets,”as many of these authors include. A good place to begin is with Elizabeth Krumrei-Mancuso’s “13 Tough Questions” below.

— Gutierrez, Gustavo. Toward A Theology of Liberation (1968): History, Politics, and Salvation (15th Anniversary Edition with New Introduction by Author). Orbis, 1988.

— Hill, Daniel. White Awake: An Honest Look at What It Means to Be White. Intervarsity Press/Missio Alliance, 2017. An accessible, well-sourced interlocutor for white evangelical Christians looking for an introduction to ways to talk to other Christians about racism in the Church. Hill’s book may be for the reader’s own journey or it can be extremely helpful in having difficult conversations with white evangelicals who still believe that racism is not a problem in the American church. He offers a way to navigate encounters, denial, disorientation, shame, lament, self-righteousness, repentance, and action steps from a healthy evangelical Christian perspective regarding issues of white privilege, white supremacy, racial paternalism. Discussion questions included. For historical background on these issues see Alan Cross’s book below. It is important to read it with Walker-Barnes’ I Bring The Voices of My People and Reggie Williams’ Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus.

— Kim, Grace Ji-Sun and Graham Hill. Healing Our Broken Humanity: Practices for Revitalizing the Church and Renewing the World. IVP, 2018.  Repentance, lament, equality, etc. Forward by Willie James Jennings.

— Mathews, Michael-Ray, Marie Clare P. Onwubuariri and Cody J. Sanders, editors. Trouble the Water: A Christian Resource for the Work of Racial Justice. Nurturing Faith Books, 2017.

— McDougal, Brent. Faith, Hope, and Politics: Inspiring a New Generation to Community-Changing Political Engagement (2018). 15 personal/public virtues we each can cultivate: Chutzpah, Humility, Authenticity, Introspection, Vulnerability, Reverence, Mutuality, Togetherness, Compassion, Blessing, Tenacity, Imagination, Faith, Hope, and Love. Dr. McDougal has many years of experience working with communities for a more just society, leading discussions about peacemaking, essential leadership qualities to combat division in our society, and practical steps to being a peacemaker through the positive qualities of faith, hope, and love. He wrote this book for those, especially young adults, alarmed by increasing polarization in politics and civic life or those who just feel stuck and powerless.

— Rah, Soong-Chan. Prophetic Lament: A Call for Justice in Troubled Times, InterVarsity Press, 2015.

— Swanson, David W. and Brenda Salter McNeil. Rediscipling the White Church: From Cheap Diversity to True Solidarity. IVP, 2020.

— Walker, Margaret Urban. What Is Reparative Justice? Marquette University Press, 2010. Author of Moral Repair: Reconstructing Moral Relations after Wrongdoing. Cambridge University Press, 2006.

— Walker-Barnes, Chanequa. I Bring the Voices of My People: A Womanist Vision for Racial Reconciliation. One of the best “how-tos” for those seeking as Cory Jones says not just to say “black lives matter” but “how black lives matter” and realize meaningful, transformative living and community. Like Victoria Barnett’s Bystanders, I recommend this for church reading groups. Importantly, as the teacher, preacher, and minister that she is, she frequently reiterates the difference between the goal of healing and reconciliation and the processes required to get there. This book is for Christians, published by Eerdmans as part of Eerdmans’ “Prophetic Christianity” series. It is on the “crucial” list for both black and white Christians to read, and even better, craft a course for small-group discussions.

— Williams, Reggie L. Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance. Baylor University Press, 2014. Dr. Williams surveys the history of racialized interpretations of Jesus, how they have deeply influenced many of us, and how Bonhoeffer specifically learned about, engaged, and applied a Christology that challenged the  “permutations of religion, race, and militarism in the West that have blended together to influence Christian identity and Christian conduct negatively.” (x) Willliams provides nuances of distinctions yet links between American white supremacy and German white supremacy (111) that can help white American Christians who tend to view white supremacy more by the German kind and fail to see the American kind. Williams is Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at McCormick Theological Seminary. He is a member of the International Dietrich Bonhoeffer Society, as well as the Society for the Study of Black Religion, and a founding member of the Society for the Study of Race, Ethnicity and Religion.

— Adichie, Chimamanda Ngoza. “The Danger of A Single Story.” TedTalk October 7, 2009. Excellent Initial Exercise Source.

— Cleveland, Christena. “Live Out of Love, Not Fear.” The Table, Jul 12, 2016. Video (18 mins): “Christians are pretty ‘groupy.’ Our identities are often wrapped up in our denominational and theological affiliations, racial/ethnic heritage, and other cultural groups. Christena Cleveland illuminates the ways that our ‘groupishness’ create divisions within the family of God, and how we can begin to think about groups in a way that forges unity.

— Cleveland, Christena. “The Vice of Closed-Mindedness: And How to Become Open-Minded.” Cleveland, Associate Professor of the Practice of Reconciliation, Duke University Divinity School, is author of Disunity in Christ: Uncovering the Hidden Forces that Keep Us Apart (IVPress, 2013) cited in Daniel Hill’s White Awake. Here she discusses the problems of our need for “cognitive closure” in a world full of cognitive dissonance (especially about the past): “The idea is that we are so uncomfortable with ambiguity that if we can find a concept to help us make sense of the world, we will cling to it—even if the concept is inaccurate or incomplete.” The Table September 15, 2016.

— Cone, James. The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Video April 29, 2012. Based on his books The Cross and the Lynching Tree (Orbis, 2013), God of the Oppressed (Orbis, 1997) and A Black Theology of Liberation (Orbis, 2010).

— Darity, William A. “On Point” Podcast interview “Tackling the Racial Wealth Gap.”

— Geneva Cannon, Katie. “Thinking With Our Hearts, Feeling with Our Brains.” Katie Geneva Cannon. Dec. 2017. Princeton Theological Seminary.

— “How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion.” Peggy McIntosh at TEDxTimberlaneSchools (2012). Video. 18 minutes.

— Krumrei-Mancuso, Elizabeth J. “Religious Commitment and Intellectual Humility.” The Table, Biola University Center for Christian Thought, July 13, 2017. Video. “Most definitions of intellectual humility emphasize having an awareness of one’s intellectual limits and weaknesses. Does this preclude living by conviction or making the decision to firmly hold beliefs? This presentation will discuss how intellectual humility relates to concepts such as confidence and conformity when it comes to personal convictions. The emphasis will be on religious commitments, and how they relate to intellectual humility. The research literature will be reviewed, which consists mostly of studies that have examined how intellectual humility about one’s religious beliefs predicts a variety of social outcomes. Elizabeth Krumrei Mancuso, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology, is Associate Professor of Psychology at Pepperdine University. She is licensed as a psychologist in California.

— Krumrei-Mancuso, Elizabeth J. “The Psychology of Humility.” Interview with Elizabeth Krumrei-Mancuso about the psychological study of humility, explaining the importance of the virtue for intellectual character, a moral vision for civil society, the connection between humility and leadership, and the distinctively Christian view of humility in religious life. Video.

— “Love in Action”: Krista Tippet’s interview with John Lewis, On Being, March 2013. Podcast.

— “Moving Beyond A Fear-Based Faith.” Religion News Service January 19, 2018. An interview with Benjamin Corey, author of the book Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith in which he discusses how emotion can affect us at a deeper level in our views of political power and how we can take more seriously the Biblical command to “fear not.”

 

OTHER RESOURCES

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— Virtue Assessment Inventory: 24 classical and universal Character Strengths (“levers”): Website. PDF download.