2016-17 Study Group – Challenging White Supremacy

Oct 24 & 25: Welcome, White Supremacy, White Privilege, Calling In, Intersectionality
Nov 14 & 15: History
Nov 28 & 29: Structural/Systemic Racism, Institutional Organizational Transformation, Education
Dec 12 & 13: Personal Transformation, Whiteness, White Identity, White Fragility, Microaggressions
Jan 9 & 10: Family History (assignment)
Jan 23 & 24: Policing, Criminalization, Incarceration
Feb 13 & 14: Gentrification, Community Development, Housing
Feb 27 & 28: Indigenous Sovereignty and Environmental Justice
Mar 13 & 14: Solidarity in Practice and Action
Mar 20: Ta-Nehisi Coates at Pitt (optional) 6:30 in the
William Pitt Union Assembly Room, 3959 Fifth Avenue, 15213
(Arrive early to make sure you get a seat!)

Session 9-Solidarity in Peace and Action: *These are all great readings, but there are a lot of them. Read them all if you can, or select 6 of them to focus on

  1. How to Tell the Difference Between Real Solidarity and ‘Ally Theater’ by Mia McKenzie
  2. How to be an Ally? – Excerpt from the book Becoming an Ally: Breaking the Cycle of Oppression by Anne Bishop
  3. The Work Is Not The Workshop: Talking and Doing, Visibility and Accountability in the White Anti-Racist Community by Catherine Jones
  4. Explore this website resource now and in the future – https://www.whiteaccomplices.org/
  5. Powerful Partnerships: Transformative Alliance Building by Shelly Tochluk and Cameron Levin, AWARE-LA (pages 1-16)
  6. Taking Direction, Accountability” by Hilary Moore & Joshua Kahn Russell from Organizing Cools the Planet
  7. Small Acts of Resistance (Olivia has this)
  8. Accountability page for Showing Up for Racial Justice
  9. Example of Solidarity Guidelines by Deep Green Resistance
  10. Code of Ethics for Antiracist White Allies By JLove Calderon and Tim Wise
  11. Protocol and Principles by Bay Area Solidarity Action Team
  12. https://policy.m4bl.org/
  13. http://blacklivesmatter.com/guiding-principles/

Session 8 – Indigenous Sovereignty and Environmental Justice

  1. How to Talk About #NoDAPL: A Native Perspective” by Kelly Hayes in Truthout
  2. The Summit: Transforming a Movement” by Dana Alston
  3. Accomplices Not Allies: Abolishing The Ally Industrial Complex
  4. Wet’suwet’en and Unis’toten Rising Up Against Big Oil” by Julien Lalonde
  5. From Truth Telling to Land Return: 4 Ways White People Can Work for Indigenous Justice” by Jamie Utt
  6. SCI Fayette Coal Ash Investigation
  7. Why the Climate Movement Must Stand with Ferguson” by Deirdre Smith
  8. The Black Mesa Syndrome: Indian Lands, Black Gold” by Judith Nies


  1. The Politics of Solidarity: Six Nations, Leadership, and the Settler Left” by Tom Keefer – Like the Accomplices not Ally article, with more information on how to be a helpful (not harmful) part of environmental movements as a white person.
  2. Understanding Reproductive Justice” by Loretta Ross-Reproductive justice directly intersects with racial and environmental justice.
  3. Decolonization is Not a Metaphor”  by Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang


Session 7-February 13th: Gentrification, Community Development, Housing, Displacement

  1. Gentrification’s Racial Arbitrage,” by Peter Frase in Jacobin
  2. Pittsburgh is poised for growth,” by Ryan Deto in Pittsburgh City Paper
  3. Clip from “East of Liberty,” by Chris Ivy
  4. Equity Tools: Equity Development Toolkit” by Policy Link
  5. Gentrification in East Liberty,” by Richard Giza
  6. Whose Neighborhood Is It? Black Homes Matter” People’s SPeak-Out for Equitable Development
  7. For some, the erasure of a landmark…,” by Lissa Brennan


Session 6 – January 23 & 24: Policing, Criminalization, Incarceration

  1. View the documentary 13th by Ava DuVernay on Netflix
  2. A Letter from Black America: Yes We Fear the Police. Here’s Why” by Nikole Hannah-Jones
  3. Broken: Race and Police Relations” by LaMont Jones Jr. in Bridges Magazine published by the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work (p. 6-10)
  4. Martin Esquivel-Hernandez has been a rock for Pittsburgh’s Latino community but with deportation looming, he’s the one in need of support” by Ryan Deto (watch the WHAT’S UP?! email lists for action items that are happening almost daily now to stop Martin’s deportation)



Session 5 – January 9 & 10, 2017: Family History

  1. Assignment
  2. On Being White and Other Lies: A History of Racism in the United States” from Memoirs of a Race Traitor by Mab Segrest (29 pages)
  3. Love as the Practice of Freedom” by bell hooks
  4. Love Letter” from Ariel Lucky
  5. The Boot” (illustration) by Robin Stoub (referenced in your assignment)
  6. On the Backs of Blacks” by Toni Morrison


  • Read something related to racism and your heritage. You may be able to find something from the recommended readings here.


Session 4 – December 12 & 13, 2016: Personal Transformation, Whiteness, White Identity, White Fragility, Microaggressions

  1. From White Racist to White Anti-Racist: the life-long journey by Tema Okun, dRworks
  2. On White Fragility and the question of Trust – Robin DiAngelo
  3. “On Being White and Other Lies” by James Baldwin
  4. White Supremacy on My Mind: Learning to Undermine Racism” by Chris Crass
  5. Dear White America by George Yancy
  6. Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine
  7. What is Whiteness? by Nell Irvin Painter


  1. http://www.uua.org/sites/live-new.uua.org/files/documents/gardinerwilliam/whiteness/emotional_lives.pdf
  2. White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism by Robin D’Angelo
  3. Poem by Beau Sia http://blog.angryasianman.com/2016/11/some-of-my-best-friends-are-white.html


Session 3 – November 28 & 29, 2016
Structural/Systemic Racism, Organizational Transformation, Education

  1. White Supremacy Culture and Anti-Racist Organizational Development
    adapted by Kenneth Jones and Tema Okun, dRworks
  2. The Problem We All Live With: This American Life (audio ~ 1 hour)
  3. Definitions various sources
  4. 5 Questions an Anti-Racist Organization Should Be Able to Answer by Anis Gisele
  5. Race and Power in the Classroom: A Student’s Perspective by Israel Muñoz
  6. The White Teachers I Wish I Never Had by Mia McKenzie


  1. Tim Wise “How to Dismantle Racism in Organizations” Video
    (long but worth it if you can make the time!)
  2. Are you or your org guilty of Trickle-Down Community Engagement? by Vu Le

Session 2 – November 14 & 15, 2016

  1. If you didn’t get a chance to read it for the first week, read “What is White Supremacy?” by Betita Martinez – it includes an excellent historical summary
  2. Race the Power of an Illusion: The Stories We Tell” (video 57:01 min)
  3. The Social Construction of Race,” by Brian Jones in Jacobin
  4. The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehisi Coates


  1. Transforming Historical Harms
  2. Race Baiting 101” (video 11:09 min)
  3. Slavery to Mass Incarceration” (video 5:50 min)
  4. A Brief History of White Privilege, Racism and Oppression in America” | Legalize Democracy excerpt (video 5:25 min)

Session 1 – October 24 & 25, 2016
ome, White Supremacy, White Privilege, Calling In, Intersectionality

At this first gathering, we’ll spend most of time getting to know each other and talking about logistics of the study group. We’re looking forward to meeting you!

  1. What is White Supremacy?” Betita Martinez
  2. Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh
  3. About Showing Up for Racial Justice, the national entity organizing White people for racial justice – WHAT’S UP?! is an affiliate
  4. Calling In: A Quick Guide on When and How” by Sian Ferguson
  5. Wikipedia entry about Intersectionality Theory – based on work by Kimberlé Crenshaw
  6. 5 Signs Your Idea of ‘Intersectionality’ Is Anti-Black Racism In Disguise by Hari Ziyad


  1. If you’re feeling nervous about talking about race…
    We can talk about race without fighting or getting defensive, if we’re willing to learn how” by Sydney Trent
  2. Why intersectionality can’t wait by Kimberlé Crenshaw