Spurred by heightened racial turmoil, ASC was challenged to examine its position regarding racism. The following statement, recommended by the Racial Justice Committee, was approved by the Board at its May 2021 meeting.
"ASC is committed to teaching and learning about racism, in an effort to root out unconscious bias in ourselves and to combat systemic racism in our society. To this end, ASC will continue its long tradition of offering relevant courses and will seek to present events, speakers, and discussion groups which will move us toward racial equity."
As part of its work in the spring of 2021, the Racial Justice Committee has formed a Racial Justice Book Group that began meeting in the fall of 2021. In addition, the group has compiled a suggested reading list – see below – that will be updated from time to time.
Racial Justice Book Group
The Racial Justice Book Group meets once a month, currently by Zoom. The basic aim of the group is to stimulate discussion of how we are a part of the underlying systemic racism in our country, how we can enlighten ourselves, and how new understanding may lead to change. The group began by reading Ibram X. Kendi’s How to be an Antiracist and Heather McGhee’s The Sum of Us. Read more about how the book group formed...
Those interested in joining the group can contact Ellen Dohmen at RJBG2021@gmail.com.
Suggested Book List
T he books on this list were recommended by members of the committee and the book group and it is their hope that the list will evolve over time, and inspire all of us to expand our understanding of systemic racism. Download a PDF of this book list.
A Knock at Midnight, Brittany K. Barnett
Begin Again, Eddie S. Glaude Jr.
Black Like Me, John Howard Griffin - Non-fiction story of a white man who colors his skin and travels through the South.
Brown Girl Dreaming, Jacqueline Woodson - Novel in verse describing growing up in SC and NYC.
Call Me American, Abdi Iftin
Carry On, Lisa Fenn - Carry On, a sports-related narrative, is about two young, poor, and handicapped boys/men from Baltimore and how they create a family for each other, physically support one another, and survive a drug, poor, and abandoned inner-city world.
Caste, Isabel Wilkerson - Explores the origins of racial discrimination in the US and abroad and considers the deep roots of injustice in our society.
Freedom Over Me: Eleven Slaves, Their Lives and Dreams Brought to Life, Ashley Bryan
How the South Won the Civil War, Heather Cox Richardson - Influence of a white oligarchy and competing claims of equality and subordination woven into the fabric of American life before and after the Civil War with particular attention to the postwar influence of the west.
How the Word is Passed, Clint Smith
How to Be an Antiracist, Ibram X. Kendi
How to Make a Slave, Jerald Walker
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption, Bryan Stevenson
Me and White Supremacy, Layla F. Saad - Challenges the reader to do the essential work of unpacking biases and helps white people take action.
My Grandmother’s Hands, Resmaa Menakem
One Goal, Amy Bass - Another sports-related narrative and in-depth view of what it is to be an immigrant, black and poor, One Goal is about the Somali community in Lewiston and the Somali young boys/men who go out for the soccer team. It examines their struggles to be accepted, to follow their own traditions of the most popular sport in the world, and their effect on the community.
The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley
The Children, David Halberstam
The Fire Is Upon Us, Nicholas Buccola - The parallel, sometimes intersecting lives of James Baldwin and William Buckley on the way to their 1965 Cambridge University debate, “The American Dream Is at the Expense of the American Negro.”
The Great Work: Our Way into the Future, Thomas Berry - Among other things, Berry is an ecological and spiritually oriented writer. As he says, our main task is to become reattuned to the natural world and with that to the dignity of all life – human and otherwise. He is a powerful a nd compelling writer.
The Hate You Give, Angie Thomas - Expands understanding of being black in America.
The Hemingses of Monticello, Annette Gordon Reed - About Thomas Jefferson and his slave Sally Hemings.
The Sum of Us, Heather McGhee - McGhee points out and documents clearly that, in fact, the grievance-filled true believers (people who feel undervalued by liberals and threatened by people of color), are voting against their own economic and social interests, because systemic racism limits opportunity for everyone but the well off.
The Tradition, Jericho Brown
The Warmth of Other Suns, Isabel Wilkerson - The story of massive south to north migration of the black population.
Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
White Too Long, Robert Jones - Makes the case that racism and white supremacy are an essential, ongoing element – if not the predominant ideology – of grassroots, white evangelicalism, both historical and contemporary.