The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership Development at Worcester State University stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter Movement.

We share the outrage over the death of George Floyd and the deaths of many other innocent members of the black community.

We vow to prioritize the education, safety and well-being of our black students, staff and faculty in all that we do. We offer our support to the black community during this painful time.

We encourage all of our students to further educate themselves and listen with an open heart to the voices of the black community.

A vital part of our mission is leadership. LEADERSHIP IS MAKING CHANGE.


Educational Resources

We strive everyday to educate our students to be impactful campus and community leaders. Leadership begins with education. This resource list is not exhaustive, but will provide the opportunity to begin the journey of educating yourself and those around you.

Start Here

What Is Racism? Racism Defined.
Black Lives Matter
ACLU Racial Justice Program
Welcome to the Anti-Racism Movement. Here’s What You Missed.


To Watch

What happens when I try to talk race with white people
Renni Eddo-Lodge, PBS Newshour
You can choose not to see the sky, but it exists. That’s how Renni Eddo-Lodge responds when somebody tells her they don’t see race. Trying to raise the topic in white-dominated social circles often led her to an immediate shutdown, one that might spring from others’ fear of being wrong, she says. Eddo-Lodge offers her Brief but Spectacular take on talking to white people about race.

White People, Enough: A Look at Power and Control
Jaelyn Coates, TEDx Talks
In her analysis of race and interpersonal violence, Jaelyn Coates identifies the impact of racism on relationships and provides a new framework for creating healthy and affirming relationships across difference.

How Studying Privilege Systems Can Strengthen Compassion
Peggy McIntosh, TEDx Talks

How to Overcome our Biases? Walk Boldly Toward Them.
Vernā Myers, TEDx Talk
Our biases can be dangerous, even deadly — as we’ve seen in the cases of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and Eric Garner, in Staten Island, New York. Diversity advocate Vernā Myers looks closely at some of the subconscious attitudes we hold toward out-groups. She makes a plea to all people: Acknowledge your biases. Then move toward, not away from, the groups that make you uncomfortable. In a funny, impassioned, important talk, she shows us how.

Playlist: TedTalks to Help You Understand Racism in America
From passionate pleas for reform to poetic turns of phrase, these talks take an honest look at everyday realities of Black Americans and illuminate the way forward.

13th
Available on YouTube and Netflix
Combining archival footage with testimony from activists and scholars, director Ava DuVernay’s examination of the U.S. prison system looks at how the country’s history of racial inequality drives the high rate of incarceration in America.

Dear White People
Available on Netflix
Students of color navigate the daily slights and slippery politics of life at an Ivy League college that’s not nearly as “post-racial” as it thinks.

When They See Us
Available on Netflix
Based on a true story that gripped the country, When They See Us chronicles the notorious case of five teenagers of color, labeled the Central Park Five, who were convicted of a rape they did not commit. The four part limited series focuses on the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise. Beginning in the spring of 1989, when the teenagers were first questioned about the incident, the series spans 25 years, highlighting their exoneration in 2002 and the settlement reached with the city of New York in 2014.

If Beale Street Could Talk
Available on Hulu
Based on the novel by James Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk is a soulful drama about a young couple fighting for justice in the name of love and the promise of the American dream.

The Hate U Give
Available on Hulu
Starr Carter is constantly switching between two worlds: the poor, mostly black, neighborhood where she lives and the rich, mostly white, prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Now, facing pressures from all sides of the community, Starr must find her voice and stand up for what’s right. The Hate U Give  is based on the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller by Angie Thomas.


To Listen

Why The Coronavirus is Hitting Black Communities Hardest
NPR’s Code Switch Podcast
Many have referred to COVID-19 as a “great equalizer.” But the virus has actually exacerbated all sorts of disparities. When it comes to race, black Americans account for a disproportionate number of coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. In this bonus episode from Slate’s “What Next” podcast, reporter Akilah Johnson talks about the many reasons why.

Dismantling White Fragility with Robin DiAngelo
Goop Podcast
“What part do I play?” asks Robin DiAngelo, academic and author of White Fragility. DiAngelo’s critical, urgent work asks us to question what we think we know about racism, the conversations we avoid having about racism, and the roles we might (unintentionally) be playing in upholding inequality. For example, says DiAngelo: “We white women have to stop using sexism to protect racism.” In this conversation with Elise Loehnen, DiAngelo calls on white people to let go of guilt and to pick up responsibility. When you break free from the urge to defend yourself and start doing the inner work: It can be fantastically liberating, says DiAngelo.

Miss Buchanan’s Period of Adjustment
Revisionist History Podcast
Brown v Board of Education might be the most well-known Supreme Court decision, a major victory in the fight for civil rights. But in Topeka, the city where the case began, the ruling has left a bittersweet legacy. RH hears from the Browns, the family behind the story.

Seeing White
Scene on Radio Podcast, Season 2
Just what is going on with white people? Police shootings of unarmed African Americans. Acts of domestic terrorism by white supremacists. The renewed embrace of raw, undisguised white-identity politics. Unending racial inequity in schools, housing, criminal justice, and hiring. Some of this feels new, but in truth it’s an old story. Why? Where did the notion of “whiteness” come from? What does it mean? What is whiteness for?

1619
New York Times Podcast
1619 is a New York Times audio series, hosted by Nikole Hannah-Jones, that examines the long shadow of American slavery. 


To Read

We encourage you to utilize your local library or independent bookstore. Books can also be requested through the Worcester State Library when classes are back in session. Students may be eligible to access some of the below titles with a free 2-month Kindle Unlimited trial subscription or free Audible trial.

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism
Robin DiAngelo, PhD
In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.

How To Be Antiracist
Ibram X Kendi
Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide
Carol Anderson
From the Civil War to our combustible present, White Rage reframes our continuing conversation about race, chronicling the powerful forces opposed to black progress in America.

Carefully linking historical flashpoints when social progress for African Americans was countered by deliberate and cleverly crafted opposition, Anderson pulls back the veil that has long covered actions made in the name of protecting democracy, fiscal responsibility, or protection against fraud, rendering visible the long lineage of white rage. Compelling and dramatic in the unimpeachable history it relates, White Rage will add an important new dimension to the national conversation about race in America.

When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black LIves Matter Memoir
Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele
A poetic and powerful memoir about what it means to be a Black woman in America―and the co-founding of a movement that demands justice for all in the land of the free.

Deliberately and ruthlessly targeted by a criminal justice system serving a white privilege agenda, Black people are subjected to unjustifiable racial profiling and police brutality. In 2013, when Trayvon Martin’s killer went free, Patrisse’s outrage led her to co-found Black Lives Matter with Alicia Garza and Opal Tometi. Condemned as terrorists and as a threat to America, these loving women founded a hashtag that birthed the movement to demand accountability from the authorities who continually turn a blind eye to the injustices inflicted upon people of Black and Brown skin. 

Championing human rights in the face of violent racism, Patrisse is a survivor. She transformed her personal pain into political power, giving voice to a people suffering inequality and a movement fueled by her strength and love to tell the country―and the world―that Black Lives Matter. When They Call You a Terrorist is Patrisse Khan-Cullors and asha bandele’s reflection on humanity. It is an empowering account of survival, strength and resilience and a call to action to change the culture that declares innocent Black life expendable.

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide
Crystal M. Fleming
How to Be Less Stupid About Race is 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. Centuries after our nation was founded on genocide, settler colonialism, and slavery, many Americans are kinda-sorta-maybe waking up to the reality that our racial politics are (still) garbage. But in the midst of this reckoning, widespread denial and misunderstandings about race persist, even as white supremacy and racial injustice are more visible than ever before.

The End of Policing
Alex Vitale
Recent years have seen an explosion of protest against police brutality and repression. Among activists, journalists and politicians, the conversation about how to respond and improve policing has focused on accountability, diversity, training, and community relations. Unfortunately, these reforms will not produce results, either alone or in combination. The core of the problem must be addressed: the nature of modern policing itself.

White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack
How to Talk to Your Family About Racism on Thanksgiving
Who Gets to Be Afraid in America?
The Anti-Racist Reading List
How to Be an Ally if You Are a Person with Privilege
What Is White Privilege, Really?


To Act

Anguish and Action
Opportunities for White People in the Fight for Racial Justice
Shareable Anti-Racism Resource Guide
Anti-Racism Resources for White People
Curriculum for White Americans to Educate Themselves on Race and Racism – from Ferguson to Charleston


To Donate & Learn More

Black Lives Matter
The Bail Project
“Know Your Rights” Legal Defence Fund
NAACP
Communities United Against Police Brutality
The Loveland Foundation
Campaign Zero
Act Blue Community Bail Funds


Campus Resources

Read a statement from Worcester State University’s President Barry M. Maloney
Counseling Services
Office of Multicultural Affairs
Student Involvement and Leadership Development 
Student Affairs

Published by Sarah Potrikus

Sarah Potrikus is the Assistant Director in the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership Development at Worcester State University. She is a trained Strengths Coach and certified True Colors facilitator. When not helping to develop and facilitate student leadership programs and workshops, Sarah advises student organizations and assists with the WSU Orientation programs. She resides in Worcester, MA.

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