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.
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 @themoderncampus 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
- @ClintSmithIII – Clint Smith (writer & teacher)
- @chescaleigh – Franchesca Ramsey (comedian, actress, and activist)
- @AliciaGarza, @opalayo, & @OsopePatrisse – Alicia Garza, Opal Tometi, and Patrisse Cullors (co-founders of Black Lives Matter)
- @JanetMock – Janet Mock (writer, director, and transgender rights activist)
- @AngryBlackLady – Imani Gandy (writer and activist)
- @FeminstaJones – Feminsta Jones (social worker & writer)
- @deray – DeRay Mckesson (civil rights activist)
- @Rachel.Cargle – Rachel Cargle (writer & lecturer)
- @OfficialMLK3 – Martin Luther King III (global human rights leader; oldest son of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King)
- @Nikkolas_Smith – Nikkolas Smith (artist)
- @WhereChangeStarted – L. Glenise Pike (author and anti racism educator)
Black higher education leaders and student affairs professionals
- @BLKSAP – Black Student Affairs Professionals (a movement and support network)
- @SisterPhD – An 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 )
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.
- The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America by Khalil Gibran Muhammad
- Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde
- How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
- Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?: And Other Conversations About Race by Beverly Daniel Tatum
- The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
- I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness by Austin Channing Brown
- Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge
- White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
- The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America by Richard Rothstein
- Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid
- They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement by Wesley Lowery
- Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
- The Racial Healing Handbook: Practical Activities to Help You Challenge Privilege, Confront Systemic Racism, and Engage in Collective Healing by Anneliese A. Singh
- Biased: Uncovering the Hidden Prejudice That Shapes What We See, Think, and Do by Jennifer L. Eberhardt
- Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Fatal Invention: How Science, Politics, and Big Business Re-create Race in the Twenty-First Century by Dorothy Roberts
- Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? By Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
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.)
- 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.
- The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross
- Freedom Riders
- Slavery By Another Name
- When They See Us
- Strong Island
- What Happened, Miss Simone?
- The Black Power Mixtape
- I Am Not Your Negro
- Crime + Punishment
- The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson
- Ferguson: A Report from Occupied Territory
- The Central Park Five
- 16 Shots
- Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story
- Let It Fall: Los Angeles 1982-1992
- Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland
- Dear White People
- Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
- The Hate U Give
- Paris is Burning
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!
- How we can make racism a solvable problem and improve policing
- The urgency of intersectionality
- Racism has a cost for everyone
- I love being a police officer but we need reform
- Why it’s so hard to talk about the n-word
- Racism has a cost for everyone
- An interview with the founders of Black Lives Matter
- How to deconstruct racism, one headline at a time
- Color blind or color brave?
- How to overcome our biases? Walk boldly toward them
- The real story of Rosa Parks — and why we need to confront myths about black history
- The symbols of systematic racism — and how to take away their power
- Black self/white world — lessons on internalized racism
- 50 years of racism — why silence isn’t the answer
- Three myths about racism
- Lessons from a recovering racist
- How to talk with a white supremacist
- Let’s get to the root of racial injustice
- What Beyoncé taught me about race
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.
- How Should I Talk About Race in My Mostly White Classroom?
- Campus Toolkit for Combatting Racism
- Drake University Social Justice Toolkits
- University of Southern California Toolkits
- Simmons University Library Toolkits
- Lawrence University Diversity 101 Toolkit
- Western Washington University Inclusive Teaching Toolkit
- Portland Community College Critical Race Theory Decision-Making Toolkit
- Boston College Racial Trauma Toolkit
- Toolkit for Campus Hate and Bias
- #TalkAboutTrayvon: A Toolkit for White People
- Systems Thinking and Race
- Exploring Racial Identity – Sample Agenda
- Dismantling Anti-Black Bias in Democratic Workplaces
- Facilitator’s Guide for Continuous Improvement: Conversations with a Racial Equity Lens
- Stand Against Racism
- Teaching for Black Lives — a handbook to fight America’s ferocious racism in (virtual or face-to-face) classrooms
- White Ally Toolkit
- The Daily Show Does White Privilege
- Let’s Talk!: A Teaching Tolerance Guide
- The Antiracism Starter Kit
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!
- First Encounters With Race and Racism: Teaching Ideas for Classroom Conversations
- What’s Race Got to Do With It?
- Harvard Implicit Bias Test
- Advertisement Analysis
- 5-Minute Film Festival
- Non-Verbal Communication
- Subtle Prejudices
- Huge list of diversity activities
- Race Matters: An Instructional Manual
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.
- 7 Easy Activities That Encourage Students to Open Up About Identity and Privilege
- 3 Ways to Be Unwaveringly Anti-Racist as a Student Affairs Professional
- Why 3 Student Affairs Professionals Choose to Be Accomplices, Not Allies
- Addressing Burnout in Higher Ed Professionals of Color
- How You Can Celebrate the Vibrant History and Modern-Day Significance of Juneteenth
- These 15 Rules Will Help You Start Building an Inclusive Language Guide
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.