The mission of UUCW’s Anti-Racism Transformation Team is to assess the congregational practices and structures and provide recommendations to the UUCW Board with the purpose to build an intentionally anti-racist community, one that is more inclusive, promotes belonging, and that is equitable and diverse.

One key component of fulfilling this mission is educating ourselves. As ART team members, we are engaged in continual education about anti-racism and recommend that the congregation be as well. In September 2021 we created a booklist of recommended anti-racism books and resources from members of our team as well as Ibram Kendi’s book list. Topics range from civil rights, mass incarceration, education, housing, Jim Crow laws, white supremacy, and voting.  We also included podcasts, poetry, fiction by Black authors, children and young adult books.  This list is not exhaustive and we will be updating it as we discover other resources, especially with intersections with anti-oppression. You can view the full list HERE.

Because the book list can be daunting to know where to start, members of the ART team have selected some of their current favorite adult books.

Helen Ambuel:
Braiding Sweetgrass
by Robin Wall Kimmerer describes a way to live in community with the earth and all beings.
The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson tells the story of the great migration through the stories of a diverse group of people who left the south.

Jeanne Jarecki:
Widening The Circle
Report of the UUA Commission on Institutional Change analyzes structural and systemic racism and white supremacy culture within Unitarian Universalism and makes recommendations to advance long-term change.
Evicted by Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads.  This book gives an undeniable account of why people in poverty can’t just pull up their bootstraps and change, it also reveals the systemic white supremacist laws regarding housing and evictions and the devastating consequences of not having a home.

Stephanie Richardson:
The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee offers a powerful exploration of inequality and the lesson that generations of Americans have failed to learn: Racism has a cost for everyone—not just for people of color
Myths America Lives By edited by Richard Hughes identifies the five key myths that lie at the heart of the American experience – the myths of the Chosen Nation, of Nature’s Nation, of the Christian Nation, of the Millennial Nation, and of the Innocent Nation.
My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem examines the damage caused by racism in America from the perspective of trauma and body-centered psychology and what we can do to grow beyond our racial divides.

Beth Ratigan:
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration by Michelle Alexander is a stunning account of the rebirth of a caste-like system in the United States, one that has resulted in millions of African Americans locked behind bars and then relegated to permanent second-class status—denied the very rights supposedly won in the Civil Rights Movement.
Awakening Together: The Spiritual Practice of Inclusivity and Community by Larry Yang examines how to embrace diverse identities and experiences within our spiritual communities and navigate belonging and inclusion in our hearts.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson documents his career focusing on injustices in the US judicial system and his efforts to overturn wrongful convictions.

Suzanne Schalig:
A Most Beautiful Thing by Arshay Cooper is a true story of an all-black rowing crew from Chicago and tells the story through the lens of a young, black teenager from the wrong side of the tracks and how learning to row impacted him and his fellow students.

Karen Zimmerman:
Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.
How to be An Anti-Racist by Ibram X Kendi discusses concepts of racism and proposals for anti-racist individual actions and systemic changes.

Some of these books may be available in UUCW’s library.  We also encourage you to purchase from a local BIPOC bookseller.