Anti-Racism and Social Justice Resources
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced." - James Baldwin
As a caring community of lifelong learners at Slippery Rock University, we believe education on contemporary social and political issues is essential to connecting with the world in responsible and respectful ways. Often, we depend on others to teach us, whether that occurs in classrooms, on TV or in person. However, the purpose of this webpage is to promote self-education. It is not the duty of those who are oppressed to educate those in power and in privilege. Instead, we, as a community, must accept the challenge of self-education in support and allyship with those who are struggling to be heard. The following are resources compiled by SRU faculty and staff and reviewed by the President’s Commission on Race and Ethnic Diversity that can aid the process of lifelong self-education.
Though PCRED seeks to provide support and advocacy for all ethnically and racially marginalized groups, the resources on this page refer mostly to anti-Black racism. The response to the killings of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and many others reflects the issues of systemic racism specifically geared toward Black Americans that needs to be addressed. PCRED looks forward to sharing additional resources on all types of racism so we can foster a campus climate that is free from discrimination, intolerance and bigotry.
How to use these resources:
The hard part about self-education is understanding where to begin. We recommend beginning with “Talking About Race.” These books, podcasts, articles and websites will equip people with tools and language to respectfully and responsibly enter discussions about racism today. As people self-educate, we recommend examining the history of racial oppression, their own privilege and biases, and how to become an ally in the movement for racial justice, whether it be in the classroom, workplace or neighborhood.
Where do we go from here?
In 1967, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his fourth and final book, “Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?” As we ask ourselves the same question today, we must resoundingly choose community. Anti-racism is an ongoing process and as a community we must commit ourselves to the journey. Discussion, self-reflection and bearing witness to others’ experiences will contribute invaluably to the learning process, so PCRED commits to sponsoring programs and events to continue this conversation. As President Behre has written, “This means longer discussions that push our understanding, that thoughtfully ask members of our community to explore their current beliefs and change or refine them based on new information and new perspectives. This is not the sort of dialogue that can meaningfully take place on Twitter, Instagram or Snapchat. The limited nature of these media reduces complex ideas to inflammatory sound bites that push people further into their own echo chambers.”
PCRED looks forward to safely and responsibly committing itself to face-to-face discussions and events that foster inclusive dialogue. Some of the commission’s goals include:
- Book clubs.
- Film screenings with talkbacks.
- Diversity and Inclusion workshops.
- Faculty Learning Communities.
- Printed resources.
- Collaborations with campus offices and student-led organizations.
The following resource lists, and future program planning, are evolving works. Suggestions for additions can be sent to PCRED@sru.edu.