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Nina Berman Post by Nina Berman

By Nina Berman on May 17th, 2018

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Resources for White People to Learn and Talk About Race and Racism

Big Ideas | Anti-Racism/Anti-Oppression | People Operations

In October 2017, Fractured Atlas began meeting in race-based caucuses. Several months later, we shared a list of the resources that the White Caucus had been reading and discussing in the hopes that that resource list could help other white people on the long journey of anti-racism. 

Many of the resources we originally shared came from Tiffany Wilhelm, the White Caucus guest facilitator from July through December 2017. Nicola Carpenter brought together the first iteration of this list in May 2018 and we've updated it in July 2020.

Now, in 2020, we’re seeing a new urgency around anti-racism. Frankly, a lot more white people are realizing how much work we have to do to understand the ways that racism structures our world, and the part that we have to play in dismantling it. 

For everyone realizing just how much they don’t know, a reading list can offer direction. But even the best-intentioned anti-racist reading lists have their limits. Reading lists like this one (and like the one we shared about anti-racism in the arts and nonprofits) are jumping-off points. 

We want to be clear that when we talk about what it means to “do the work” of anti-racism, reading lists aren’t “the work.” Reading lists are for catching yourself up to speed, for educating yourself so that when you go into spaces (professionally, personally, politically) to do the work, you understand the context of your own actions and of the broader history of racism. Reading lists are like the required summer reading before school starts.

A lot of the resources we looked at early on came from white thinkers and white organizers. It’s important for white people to take on a lot of this educational labor. But if white people are only ever reading resources written by and for white people, we’ve only reified whiteness as the central concern in racism. White people who want to become more anti-racist need to seek out Black radical voices. 

Here are some of the resources that have been important to members of the White Caucus at Fractured Atlas from 2017, plus a few additions that we’ve added over time. We encourage you to read the resources that resonate, recognize that no document is perfect, and that ultimately they are all best thought of as tools to give you and your white peers a shared vocabulary for talking about racism.


The Role of White People in Anti-Racist Work 

White Supremacy 

Race-Based Caucusing

Anti-Racist Facilitation 

Talking about Racism

Historical and Cultural Context of Racism

We sincerely hope that these resources can give you and your peers (professionally or personally) a useful framework for beginning anti-racist work. As our White Caucus continues to meet and as we as an organization recognize our responsibility to address racism in the arts, in nonprofits, and in our own workplace, we are growing and changing. 

You can follow what we’ve been writing about anti-racism, including pay transparency as anti-racism and next steps for organizations looking to become more anti-racist.
More posts by Nina Berman

About Nina Berman

Nina Berman lives in New York City and holds an MA in English from Loyola University Chicago. Before joining Fractured Atlas, she covered the publishing industry for an audience of publishers at NetGalley Insights. When she's not interviewing artists or sharing tips for navigating the art world on the Fractured Atlas blog, Nina makes ceramics at Center Point Ceramics Studio, hosts Planet Clambake on Newtown Radio, and is a member of the New Sanctuary Coalition pro-se legal clinic.