15+ Tools and Resources to Challenge Racism

June 20, 2016

We're pleased to share with you this incomplete(!) round up of racial justice resources curated by CompassPoint staff members Amy Benson, Michelle Gislason, Maro Guevara, sujin lee, and Asha Mehta. We hope you find this list useful, invite you to add your favorite resources, and share it widely with your networks .

Over the last couple of years, we've asked ourselves how we can continue to learn and grow in realizing our commitment to social and racial justice. We've committed to taking a closer look at how race affects the way we work together at CompassPoint and what our role as an organization should be in contributing to racial justice efforts outside our walls.

That's meant having more courageous conversations around our individual racial identities and organizational racial dynamics; examining how white dominant culture influences CompassPoint culture; making intentional pivots about our approach and the kind of work we do; calling out racial and social justice more explicitly in our theory of change and using a power, privilege, and race lens to examine how we work and how we talk about leadership with others.

Being more intentional about our commitment to racial justice has very much been a "leadership at all levels" process—rather than a top-down effort. People are taking risks to move the conversation along, but racial equity conversations are definitely not a foregone conclusion here. We struggle, too—and the process is often scary, messy, and imperfect, with lots of learning along the way.

From whatever position you hold, we hope you find at least one exciting idea or framework in this round-up of resources to further your own learning and inspire you to challenge racism in yourself and others.

Our journey (like this collection of resources) is far from complete. We want to keep this list growing, and our conversation going. What life experience, writing, or art has driven you to take action and define your stance on anti-racist work? What have been your experiences with talking about racial equity at your nonprofit? Share your thoughts in the comments section and let us know what you would add to the list.


#RaceAnd Video Series by Race Forward
This excellent video series breaks down different aspects of intersectionality. Race Forward describes the 8-part video series as an exploration of "the many ways that race compounds and intersects with all the other issues faced by people of color. Each video features a different artist, activist, or thinker, sharing their lived experience how race intertwines with their other identities, and how that mix impacts their lives both personally and systemically."

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Talking About Race
TED Talk by Jay Smooth
One of the most persistent problems of moving toward racial equity is the deep discomfort around the topic, which too often leads to silence. Culture and politics commentator Jay Smooth unpacks what it means to embrace the messiness of those conversations and create opportunities to talk openly and honestly about race.

The Danger of a Single Story
Ted Talk by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Narrative matters, and when one person controls the story, a multitude of voices are shut out and oppressed. That's the argument made by author and activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie in this eye-opening TED talk.

Videos by Francesca "Chescaleigh" Ramsey
Chescaleigh is a charismatic, hilarious, and educational vlogger who takes on topics like undoing racism, allyship, and more in her YouTube videos. She has a knack for distilling big, complicated topics into short videos that pack a punch. Her video "The Surprisingly Racist History of 'Caucasian'" for MTV's Decoded breaks down the origins of the term "Caucasian," drawing on history, anthropology, and sociology to uncover the racist origins of this term. Check out the entire Decoded series (66 videos and counting!) for other episodes that explain things we often take for granted regarding race, sexuality, class, gender, and privilege. Topics include: "Why Does Privilege Make People Angry?", "Three Black Female Stereotypes that Need to Die," "8 Comebacks for Transphobic Relatives Over the Holidays," and "The Weird History of Asian Sex Stereotypes."

Blogs and Articles

"Challenging White Dominant Culture: Time to Look in the Mirror" 
By Lupe Poblano
CompassPoint's Lupe Poblano explores why so-called "diversity" efforts in social change organizations often fall short and how we can better transform the way we work by calling out white dominant culture instead.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion series from The Nonprofit Quarterly
This ongoing series of articles from The Nonprofit Quarterly features voices from across the nonprofit sector taking on a variety of issues, including "Blackness in Nonprofit Theater" and "Race and Health, and Doulas for Social Justice."

Illustrating Equality VS Equity
From Interaction Institute for Social Change
What happens when you try to visualize equity? You start a really provocative conversation that surfaces our assumptions around what equity is and isn’t. How would you frame the difference between equality, equity, and liberation with images? Share your own response here.

"Seeing and Naming Racism in Nonprofit and Public Organizations"
By Laurin Mayeno
Laurin Mayeno, a friend and partner to CompassPoint, lays out a concise overview (with some very clear examples) of what racism at social change organizations looks like and shares specific suggestions on how to start dismantling it.

Racial Equity Toolkits and Frameworks

Advancing the Mission: Tools for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
From The Annie E. Casey Foundation
With this set of resources, our friends at The Annie E. Casey Foundation share what they've learned in 15 years of working to make equity, diversity, and inclusion "part of the cultural norm" at their organization so that it permeates every aspect of work.

America Needs All of Us: A Toolkit for Talking About Bias, Race, and Change
From Welcoming America
This toolkit encourages us all to lean in to difficult conversations about race and stop walking away from uncomfortable topics like unconscious bias.

Catalyst Project: Anti-Racism for Collective Liberation
The Catalyst Project has lots of great resources on anti-racist work, including tools like this handout on “Culture Shifts.”

Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites
This community of ant-racist white activists seeks to challenge white supremacy and dismantle racism by organizing and educating white folks and partnering with anti-racist people of color-led organizations. Check out their list of resources here.

Equity Matters
This page houses a collection of websites, videos, movies, training opportunities, books, and more that explore racial equity.

People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond
The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond offers ongoing trainings—and other learning opportunities—on community organizing, undoing racism, building multiracial coalitions and more.

Race Equity Tools
This library of 1700+ resources “offers tools, research, tips, curricula and ideas for people who want to increase their own understanding and to help those working toward justice at every level – in systems, organizations, communities and the culture at large.”

Race Forward
Race Forward uses research, media, and practice to move racial justice forward. Its research is focused more directly on structural racism and systems (rather than personal prejudice). Race Forward is also the organization behind Colorlines, and Facing Race: A National Conference.

Western States Center—Racial Justice Assessment Tools for Organizations
How are you applying a racial justice lens to program development, and where is there room left to grow? Western States Center offers this Racial Justice Assessment Tool to start a conversation with your team and your constituents.


Beyond Inclusion, Beyond Empowerment: A Development Strategy to Liberate Everyone
By Leticia Nieto with Margo F. Boyer
This book aims to be a step-by-step guide that helps people develop a social justice practice that challenges oppression for themselves and for people around them. You can preview some of the key concepts from the book here.

Dismantling Racism: A Resource Book for Social Change Groups
From Western States Center
This free PDF booklet is another great resource from Western States Center focused on anti-racist organizational development, developing a shared language and analysis on race, and more. Check in on it regularly, as it continues to change and be updated all the time!

Free Books on Race Gender Sexuality and Class
that Are Bound to Get you Woke

From Tyree BP 
Curated by Tyree BP, this list rounds up free PDF books on race, gender, sexuality, class, and more. The collection features books like This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga & Gloria Anzaldúa and works by Paulo Freire, Angela Davis, Audre Lorde, and others.


Recent Posts

Project Director Lupe Poblano challenges readers—white and people of color—to confront white dominant culture within your nonprofit as the best way to move your organization toward equity. Lupe also provides practical, real suggestions on steps you can take to initiate change.

How can an organization build equity in its compensation process through distributed leadership? This piece will share how CompassPoint empowered a peer-led group to provide review and oversight to a compensation process that was designed to build more equity into our system.

As we all find ourselves being pushed, challenged, and transformed by this moment in time, it should be no surprise that dominant culture habits may be creeping back into our work, our teams, and our organizations. 

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(5) Comments

Thank you for providing resources/support.

Thanks so much for these! I've seen the White Nonsense Facebook group before-- I love that idea! 


Good morning:
I am writing to compliment you on the wonderful information on how to combat racism and literate businesses and communities. We are submitting a proposal to the Canadian Federal Government to deliver a program on Anti-racism and if approved, we would like to get your permission to use some of your resource materials in our tool kits/workshops giving due acknowledgement to your organization. If you wish to discuss, please feel free to contact me at 647 204 2898.

Hi Donella--

Please make sure to contact the original authors and creators of each of the items listed here. Most of them are not the intellectual property of CompassPoint. If you'd like to re-share or re-print CompassPoint blogs, please do (with attribution and a link back to our website whenever possible).