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What to Do About Racism?

 

Obviously, there are no easy answers to that question.  The following links lead to some beginning suggestions about actions within the family and within the school and/or congregations. See what individuals & families can do.  Or read about what schools and congregations can do.

 

 

The following resources from IPJ and others contain more ideas:

 

Kathleen McGinnis’ CELEBRATING RACIAL DIVERSITY (IPJ, 1994, 136 pp, $12), is filled with activities, worksheets, readings and other resources for religious educators, K-12, with special activities based on racial justice heroes and multicultural children’s books.  Her manual for public educators, grades 7-12, EDUCATING FOR A JUST SOCIETY (IPJ, 1993, 144 pp, $12), has substantial units on racism and multicultural education.

 

Joseph Barndt, DISMANTLING RACISM (Augsburg Publishers, Minneapolis, 1991), is perhaps the best current overview, especially for white Americans.  Two other adult classics on institutional racism are Louis Knowles and Kenneth Prewitt, INSTITUTIONAL RACISM IN AMERICA (Prentice-Hall, 1969) and Wlliam Ryan, BLAMING THE VICTIM (Vintage Books, 1976).

 

Kathleen McGinnis, DREAMING GOD’S DREAM (Baptist Peace Fellowship, 1990), offers creative suggestions for celebrating Dr. King’s birthday and other African American contributions to U.S. life; for families, churches and schools.

 

For young children’s books, some of the best authors of color include Eloise Greenfield, Patricia McKissack, Wade Husdon, Angela Johnson and Virginia Hamilton.  The Children’s Book Press (2211 Mission St., San Francisco, CA 94110) is wonderful, it includes a number of bi-lingual books. For youth, try Mildred Taylor, Laurence Yep, and Walter Dean Myers

 

PEOPLE OF EVERY STRIPE! (P.O. Box 12505, Portland, OR 97212; 800-282-0612; has many multicultural dolls and dolls with disabilities. 

 

The Highsmith Multicultural Bookstore (W5527 State Road 106, P.O. Box 800, Ft. Atkinson, WI 53538-0800; 800-558-2110) has an excellent catalog of multicultural books. 

 

Bridge Building Images (P.O. Box 1048, Burlington, VT 05402; 800-325-6263) has beautiful icons on cards and posters of Jesus, Mary, and traditional and contemporary saints representing the racial diversity of the human family.

 

A World of Difference (Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, 823 UN Plaza, New York, NY 10017) is a program for prejudice reduction in schools.

 

Trisha Whitney, KIDS LIKE US: USING PERSONA DOLLS IN THE CLASSROOM (Redleaf Press, St. Paul, 1999), helps children to explore the diversity that exists in the world through story-telling and problem-solving.