Resources for Advocates Committed to Ending Systemic Oppression

Systemic oppression disproportionately harms communities of color, Native/Indigenous communities, and those living at the intersections of oppression.

What follows are resources for all advocates working to end oppression, as well as resources specifically for white advocates seeking to become effective allies by committing themselves to examining their privilege and responsibility in this work.

Some of these resources highlight the histories and experiences of people from communities that have been historically marginalized, disenfranchised, and disproportionately victimized.  It is critical to recognize the strength and wisdom of these communities, and commit to amplifying their work.

Free access to many of the books listed below can be found through Overdrive.

Resources on White Privilege

Guide To Allyship: An open source starter guide to help you become a more thoughtful and effective ally.

Guide to Allyship

An open source starter guide to help you become a more thoughtful and effective ally. Read more.

black and white photo of a trailer park

Explaining White Privilege To A Broke White Person
“…whether you realize it or not, you do benefit from it, and it is your fault if you don’t maintain awareness of that fact.” Read more.

Zero Days Without White Nonsense

White Nonsense Roundup

White Nonsense Roundup (WNR) was created by white people, for white people, to address our inherently racist society. Read more.

pink and yellow collage of woman reading a book

31 Resources That Will Help You Become a Better White Ally
“…There is always more we can do to fight white supremacy and racial injustice.” Read more.


21-day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge
“Have you ever made a successful change in your life? Perhaps you wanted to exercise more, eat less, or change jobs? Think about the time and attention you dedicated to the process. A lot, right?” Read more.

Understanding Racism in the US

So You Want To Talk About Race book cover

So You Want To Talk About Race

Ijeoma Oluo

How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair — and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend? Read more.

How to be antiracist book cover

How To Be Antiracist

Ibram X. Kendi

He begins by helping us rethink our most deeply held, if implicit, beliefs and our most intimate personal relationships (including beliefs about race and IQ and interracial social relations) and reexamines the policies and larger social arrangements we support. Read more.

black and white photo of civil war era soldiers

What If Reconstruction Hadn’t Failed?

The pervasiveness of white-supremacist ideology in academia gave license to Jim Crow efforts for decades after the Civil War. Read more.

the new jim crow mass incarceration in the age of colorblindness book cover

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community—and all of us—to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America. Read more.

black and white photo of brick wall with cross

The Case for Reparations

Ta Nehisi Coates

Two hundred fifty years of slavery. Ninety years of Jim Crow. Sixty years of separate but equal. Thirty-five years of racist housing policy. Until we reckon with our compounding moral debts, America will never be whole. Read more.

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how to be less stupid about race book cover

How To Be Less Stupid About Race

Crystal M Fleming

Your essential guide to breaking through the half-truths and ridiculous misconceptions that have thoroughly corrupted the way race is represented in the classroom, pop culture, media, and politics. Read more.

the second founding how the civil war and reconstruction remade the constitution book cover

The Second Founding

Eric Foner

An authoritative history by the preeminent scholar of the Civil War era, The Second Founding traces the arc of the three foundational Reconstruction amendments from their origins in antebellum activism and adoption amidst intense postwar politics to their virtual nullification by narrow Supreme Court decisions and Jim Crow state laws. Read more.

separated: inside an american tragedy book cover

Separated: Inside an American Tragedy

Jacob Soboroff

“This book is important. Everyone should read it. We have to face our demons as a country, and this is an opportunity to face our demons.”  Joy-Ann Reid Read more.

starving for justice hunger strikes spectacular speech and the struggle for dignity book cover

Starving for Justice: Hunger Strikes, Spectacular Speech, and the Struggle for Dignity

Ralph Armbruster-Sandoval

In the 1990s three college campuses in California exploded as Chicano/a and Latino/a students went on hunger strikes. Through courageous self-sacrifice, these students risked their lives…and, despite great odds, produced substantive change. Read more.

the fight in the fields cesar chavez and the farmworkers movement

The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers Movement

Susan Ferriss and Ricardo Sandoval

A “vivid, well-documented account of the farmworkers movement” (Philadelphia Inquirer) and its prime mover, Cesar Chavez. Read more.

dear america notes of an undocumented citizen book cover

Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen

Jose Antonio Vargas

“This riveting, courageous memoir ought to be mandatory reading for every American.”  —Michelle Alexander, New York Times bestselling author of The New Jim Crow Read more.

Antiracist Feminism

killing rage ending racism book cover

Killing Rage: Ending Racism

bell hooks

These twenty-three essays are written from a black and feminist perspective, and they tackle the bitter difficulties of racism by envisioning a world without it. Read more.

Patricia Hill Collins

Intersectionality’s Definitional Dilemmas

Patricia Hill Collins

What exactly is intersectionality? Is it a concept, a paradigm, a heuristic device, a methodology, or a theory? Read more.

White Tears Brown Scars how white feminism betrays women of color book cover

White Tears, Brown Scars

Ruby Hamad

Discussing subjects as varied as The Hunger Games, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the viral BBQ Becky video, and 19th century lynchings of Mexicans in the American Southwest, Ruby Hamad undertakes a new investigation of gender and race. Read more.

hood feminism notes from the women that a movement forgot book cover

Hood Feminism

Mikki Kendall

“If Hood Feminism is a searing indictment of mainstream feminism, it is also an invitation. . . . [Kendall] offers guidance for how we can all do better.”—NPR Read more.

Native American History

national bestseller the real all americans book cover

The Real All Americans

Sally Jenkins

“a truly inspirational story about a Native American football team that is as much about football as Lance Armstrong’s book was about a bike. Read more.

the earth shall weep a history of native america book cover

The Earth Shall Weep: A History of Native America

James Wilson

Wilson shows how old ideas about native people have continued to underpin government policy and popular perception in the twentieth century, leaving a painful legacy of ignorance and misunderstanding. Read more.

Native American Treaties and Broken Promises 1851 to 1877 book covers

Native American Treaties and Broken Promises: 1851 to 1877

US Department of the Interior

The history of the Black Hills between 1851 and 1877 is written from two very different, and at times antagonistic perspectives. Read more.

Looking for more? Check out our resource library on Understanding the Communities we Serve.