Many D.C. Unity and Justice leaders joined the organization after taking the Little Lights Racial Literacy Course, facilitated by D.C. Unity and Justice founder, Steve Park.
The Race Literacy 101 class is an 11-week study and discussion group that meets together weekly to learn and discuss authentically and thoughtfully on the issue of race and racism in an honest yet grace-filled environment. This class is offered twice a year during the fall and spring.
Class format includes personal sharing, interactive activities, and classroom style learning.
Class participants engage the Race: Power of an Illusion video series (PBS) among other materials to learn about the history and the “science” of race and to become better educated and more racially “literate,” rather than acting on presuppositions and assumptions. The class also looks at some relevant passages in the Bible and addresses the increasing racial divide in society and the church.
We also discuss ways to be part of the solution regarding the racial divide and work toward helping one another find healing of this collective wound. The class concludes with an informal dinner. There is no cost for the class, but donations to Little Lights are appreciated.
For more information or to sign up for the next class, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org
Below is a list of book recommendations compiled by D.C. Unity and Justice Leaders to help others on their path of racial reconciliation and understanding.
Chocolate City: A History of Race and Democracy in the Nation’s Capital by Chris Myers Asch and George Derek Musgrove
This is an engaging story of how slavery, freedom, gaining the vote and losing the vote, civil rights and disfranchisement played out throughout the history of Washington, DC. It traces how groups from Native Americans to African Americans and later Latinx and Chinese Americans faced difficulties and fought for a place in our nation’s Capital. The book looks especially at how local government structure, from not voting to lack of Congressional representation, reflects the racist attitudes of the nation at-large and perpetuates inequality in the DC area. It is required reading for all who live and work in Washington. (Kate and Brian)
Waking up White by Debby Irving
We all say we’re not racist, but this book exposes the reader to unconscious biases and tendencies that seep into our words and actions through a culture of whiteness. It documents the author’s journey of “waking up” to her whiteness and her journey grappling with her identity and position as a middle-class white woman, living in a society that was designed for her to thrive. (Jess)
He’s My Brother by John Perkins
Perkins writes an awesome faith-based narrative of what racial reconciliation could look like in our society. His solutions are still relevant today and can be used to speak against injustice in our lost world. (Sean)
Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr
The last and most radical of Dr. King’s three books, Dr. King offers powerful analysis and insights on racism, poverty, and war that are just as relevant today as they were 50 years ago. (Jim)
History of White People by Nell Irvin Painter
Painter gives a well-researched and well-written history book on the construction of “whiteness” and race. (Steve)
Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Highlighting the injustices of America’s criminal justice system towards the poor and people of color, specifically focusing on the state of Alabama, Bryan Stevenson details his work exonerating many innocent people on death row and changing the laws related to juvenile lifers. (Michelle)
Writing My Wrongs: Life, Death, and Redemption in an American Prison by Shaka Senghor
Shaka tells an evocative story of redemption, traversing through his teen years selling crack in Detroit and eventually serving two decades in prison, much of which was spent in solitary confinement. His willingness to grapple with his identity changed the course of his life, calling on the reader to consider how to better serve our society’s condemned. (Joey)