Books

Right Color, Wrong Culture – Bryan Loritts

Increasingly, leaders recognize the benefit of multi-ethnic organizations and are compelled to hire diverse individuals who will help them reflect a new America.

In his address at a Global Leadership Summit, Bryan Loritts challenged leaders to have a vision that is about more than the stuff that perishes—to have a vision for making sacrifices that make a difference and help to bring about transformation in the lives of others.

He brings a similar challenge to leaders in this fable of self-discovery and change, as he explores the central, critical problem leaders often encounter when transitioning their church, business, or organization to reflect a multi-ethnic reality: finding a leader who is willing to immerse themselves in the environments and lives of people who are different from them.

In Right Color, Wrong Culture you enter into a conversation between individuals who are grappling with changing neighborhoods while struggling to remain relevant within communities growing in diversity. You journey with Gary and Peter as they challenge those around them to reach beyond what is comfortable and restructure their leadership team.

Known for his passion to build diversity in organizations, Bryan Loritts equips you to identify the right person needed in order for your organizations to become multi-ethnic.

The Color of Compromise – Jemar Tisby

An acclaimed, timely narrative of how people of faith have historically–up to the present day–worked against racial justice. And a call for urgent action by all Christians today in response.

The Color of Compromise is both enlightening and compelling, telling a history we either ignore or just don’t know. Equal parts painful and inspirational, it details how the American church has helped create and maintain racist ideas and practices. You will be guided in thinking through concrete solutions for improved race relations and a racially inclusive church.

The Color of Compromise is not a call to shame or a platform to blame white evangelical Christians. It is a call from a place of love and desire to fight for a more racially unified church that no longer compromises what the Bible teaches about human dignity and equality. A call that challenges black and white Christians alike to standup now and begin implementing the concrete ways Tisby outlines, all for a more equitable and inclusive environment among God’s people. Starting today.

Divided by Faith: Evangelical Religion and the Problem of Race in America – Christian Smith & Michael O. Emmerson

Through a nationwide telephone survey of 2,000 people and an additional 200 face-to-face interviews, Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith probed the grassroots of white evangelical America. They found that despite recent efforts by the movement’s leaders to address the problem of racial discrimination, evangelicals themselves seem to be preserving America’s racial chasm. In fact, most white evangelicals see no systematic discrimination against blacks. But the authors contend that it is not active racism that prevents evangelicals from recognizing ongoing problems in American society. Instead, it is the evangelical movement’s emphasis on individualism, free will, and personal relationships that makes invisible the pervasive injustice that perpetuates racial inequality. Most racial problems, the subjects told the authors, can be solved by the repentance and conversion of the sinful individuals at fault.

Combining a substantial body of evidence with sophisticated analysis and interpretation, the authors throw sharp light on the oldest American dilemma. In the end, they conclude that despite the best intentions of evangelical leaders and some positive trends, real racial reconciliation remains far over the horizon.

More books:

The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander

Being Latino in Christ – Orlando Crespo

The Cross and the Lynching Tree – James H. Cone

Just Mercy – Bryan Stevenson

White Fragility – Dr. Robin DiAngelo

Mañana: Christian Theology from a Hispanic Perspective – Justo Gonzalez

Podcasts & Videos

Race in America – Phil Vischer (17 min)

We need to talk about race. Why are people angry? Why so upset? Didn’t we elect a black president? Pass civil rights laws? Isn’t racism illegal now? Three years ago my brother Rob and I co-taught a class that discussed issues of racial injustice. That class turned into a popular podcast episode, which we’ve now turned into this video. Why are people still angry? Let’s take a look at race in America…

Black and White: Racism in America – The Liturgists (1 hr 40 min)

Michael Gungor and Science Mike talk with Propaganda and William Matthews about race, racism, white supremacy in America, especially in the context of white evangelicalism. We recommend this podcast episode because it covers an enormous amount of helpful perspectives in just one hour.

Race Round Table – Citylight Church Pastors (1 hr 57 min)

We believe the church can’t hide but must listen, engage and do its best to equip the people of God with a Biblical worldview of ethnicity, race, riots and gospel-driven justice. This is a conversation Pastor Jamison and Pastor Tyler had with other pastors from the Citylight Family. Within one week this discussion went viral and was watched over 30,000 times.

Deconstructing White Privilege – Dr. Robin DiAngelo (20 min)

Dr. Robin DiAngelo is the author of “White Fragility” and has been an anti-racist educator, and has heard justifications of racism by white men and women in her workshops for over two decades. This justification, which she calls “white fragility,” is a state in which even a minimum amount of racial stress becomes intolerable, triggering a range of defensive moves. These moves include outward display of emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and behaviors such as argumentation, silence, and leaving the stress-inducing situation. If you enjoy this 20-minute overview then head on over to YouTube to listen to a longer lecture right here (1 hr 23 min).

Films

Just Mercy – Destin Daniel Cretton

A powerful and thought-provoking true story, “Just Mercy” follows young lawyer Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) and his history-making battle for justice.  After graduating from Harvard, Bryan had his pick of lucrative jobs.  Instead, he heads to Alabama to defend those wrongly condemned or who were not afforded proper representation, with the support of local advocate Eva Ansley (Brie Larson).  One of his first, and most incendiary, cases is that of Walter McMillian (Jamie Foxx), who, in 1987, was sentenced to die for the notorious murder of an 18-year-old girl, despite a preponderance of evidence proving his innocence and the fact that the only testimony against him came from a criminal with a motive to lie.  In the years that follow, Bryan becomes embroiled in a labyrinth of legal and political maneuverings and overt and unabashed racism as he fights for Walter, and others like him, with the odds—and the system—stacked against them.  Available on YouTube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime.

13th – Ava DuVernay

13th is a 2016 American documentary by director Ava DuVernay. The film explores the “intersection of race, justice, and mass incarceration in the United States;” it is titled after the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, adopted in 1865, which abolished slavery throughout the United States and ended involuntary servitude except as a punishment for conviction of a crime.

13th garnered acclaim from a number of film critics. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 89th Academy Awards, and won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Documentary or Nonfiction Special at the 69th Primetime Emmy Awards.

A Time for Burning – Lutheran Film Associates

Released in 1966, this film follows the efforts of a white pastor in Omaha as he tries to lead his all-white congregation in taking steps toward desegregation.  The film presents views of the white church leaders, black community members (including youth), and a young Ernie Chambers prior to his election as a Nebraska state senator. 

Web Sites

The 1619 Project – An ongoing initiative from The New York Times Magazine that began in August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery.  The collection of numerous articles aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of our national narrative. 

& Campaign – The & Campaign exists to promote Biblical values and social justice. Their mission is to educate and organize Christians for civic and cultural engagement that results in better representation, more just and compassionate policies, and a healthier political culture.

Be the Bridge – Educational tools, discussion guides, and online community related to anti-racism.

How White Parents Can Use Media to Raise Anti-Racist Kids – Tips and resources from Common Sense Media for parents of young children.

Local Omaha Interest

Great Plains Black History Museum – Visit to learn stories of local history.  The website also offers virtual tours. 

Malcolm X Memorial Foundation – Call ahead and request a tour.  The team there is a wealth of local historical knowledge. 

NOISE – North Omaha local news coverage, community information, and podcast

North Omaha History: Racism – A collection of articles containing important North Omaha history.  

The Union for Contemporary Art – Art gallery and community space in North Omaha.