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Activism / Social Justice

Cover of Decolonizing Wealth: Indig
by Edgar Villanueva

With great compassion--because the Native way is to bring the oppressor into the circle of healing, understanding that healing cannot occur unless everyone is part of the process-- Villanueva diagnoses the fatal flaws in financial institutions, unflinchingly drilling down to the core of colonialism and White supremacy. The greed, exploitation, and domination at the core of colonization are the same dynamics at play today when money is used to separate Us from Them and to separate Haves from Have-Nots. To restore harmony and heal divides--as we desperately need to do in America and the world-- we must learn how to decolonize the institutions and processes that control and move money.
Recommended by YWCA Madison

Cover of Democracy in Black: How Ra
by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.

Democracy in Black is Eddie S. Glaude Jr.'s impassioned response. Part manifesto, part history, part memoir, it argues that we live in a country founded on a "value gap"--with white lives valued more than others--that still distorts our politics today. Whether discussing why all Americans have racial habits that reinforce inequality, why black politics based on the civil-rights era have reached a dead end, or why only remaking democracy from the ground up can bring real change, Glaude crystallizes the untenable position of black America--and offers thoughts on a better way forward. Forceful in ideas and unsettling in its candor, Democracy In Black is a landmark book on race in America, one that promises to spark wide discussion as we move toward the end of our first black presidency.

Cover of Hood Feminism: Notes From
by Mikki Kendall

A collection of essays taking aim at the legitimacy of the modern feminist movement, arguing that it has chronically failed to address the needs of all but a few women.

Cover of How Does it Feel to be a P
by Moustafa Bayoumi

The story of how young Arab and Muslim Americans are forging lives for themselves in a country that often mistakes them for the enemy Arab and Muslim Americans are the new, largely undiscussed aproblema of American society, their lives no better understood than those of African Americans a century ago.

Cover of How to Fight Anti-semitism
by Bari Weiss

No longer the exclusive province of the far right and far left, anti-semitism finds a home in identity politics and the reaction against identity politics, in the renewal of "America first" isolationism and the rise of one-world socialism. An ancient hatred increasingly allowed into modern political discussion, anti-semitism has been migrating toward the mainstream in dangerous ways, amplified by social media and a culture of conspiracy that threatens us all. This timely book is Weiss's cri de couer: an unnerving reminder that Jews must never lose their hard-won instinct for danger, and a powerful case for renewing Jewish and liberal values to guide us through this uncertain moment. Not just for the sake of America's Jews, but for the sake of America.

Cover of How We Fight White Suprema
edited by Akiba Solomon and Kenrya Rankin

From the editors of Colorlines, this celebration of Black resistance, from protests to art to sermons to joy, offers a blueprint for the fight for freedom and justice -- and ideas for how each of us can contribute.

Cover of The Inner Work of Racial J
by Rhonda V. Magee

Law professor and mindfulness practitioner Rhonda Magee shows that the work of racial justice begins with ourselves. When conflict and division are everyday realities, our instincts tell us to close ranks, to find the safety of our own tribe, and to blame others. The practice of embodied mindfulness--paying attention to our thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations in an open, nonjudgmental way--increases our emotional resilience, helps us to recognize our unconscious bias, and gives us the space to become less reactive and to choose how we respond to injustice. It is only by healing from injustices and dissolving our personal barriers to connection that we develop the ability to view others with compassion and to live in community with people of vastly different backgrounds and viewpoints.
Recommended by YWCA Madison

Cover of Just Mercy : A Story of Ju
by Bryan Stevenson

A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice--from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.
Recommended by YWCA Madison

Cover of Locking Up Our Own: Crime
by James Forman

Recounts the tragic role that some African Americans--as judges, prosecutors, politicians, police officers, and voters--played in escalating the war on crime

Cover of The New Jim Crow : Mass In
by Michelle Alexander

Argues that the War on Drugs and policies that deny convicted felons equal access to employment, housing, education, and public benefits create a permanent under caste based largely on race. [10th anniversary edition]

Recommended by Nehemiah Center for Urban Leadership Development (Justified Anger)Groundwork, MOSES, YWCA Madison

Cover of Racing to Justice: Transfo
by John A. Powell

Renowned social justice advocate John A. Powell persuasively argues that we have not achieved a post-racial society and there is much work to do to redeem the American promise of inclusive democracy. Culled from a decade of writing about social justice and spirituality, these meditations on race, identity, and social policy provide an outline for laying claim to our shared humanity and a way toward healing ourselves and securing our future.
Recommended by YWCA Madison

Cover of Racism without Racists: Co
by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

Eduardo Bonilla-Silva s acclaimed Racism without Racists documents how, beneath our contemporary conversation about race, lies a full-blown arsenal of arguments, phrases, and stories that whites use to account for and ultimately justify racial inequalities. This provocative book explodes the belief that America is now a color-blind society. [2014 edition]
Recommended by YWCA Madison

Cover of Sister Outsider: Essays an
by Audre Lorde

In this charged collection of fifteen essays and speeches, Lorde takes on sexism, racism, ageism, homophobia, and class, and propounds social difference as a vehicle for action and change. Her prose is incisive, unflinching, and lyrical, reflecting struggle but ultimately offering messages of hope.
Recommended by YWCA Madison

Cover of Unapologetic: A Black, Que
by Charlene A. Carruthers

Drawing on Black intellectual and grassroots organizing traditions, including the Haitian Revolution, the US civil rights movement, and LGBTQ rights and feminist movements, this book challenges all of us engaged in the social justice struggle to make the movement for Black liberation more radical, more queer, and more feminist and provides a vision for how social justice movements can become sharper and more effective through principled struggle, healing justice, and leadership development. 

Cover of Uprooting Racism: How Whit
by Paul Kivel

There's a long tradition of white people opposing racism--but there are also many excuses we give for not getting involved. Now in a fully updated 4th edition, Uprooting Racism is the supportive, practical go-to guide for helping white people work with others for equal opportunity, democracy, and justice in these divisive and angry times.

recommended by GroundworkInstitute for Healing of Racism

Cover of We Want to Do More Than Su
by Bettina Love

Following in the tradition of activists like Ella Baker, Bayard Rustin, and Fannie Lou Hamer, We Want to Do More Than Survive introduces an alternative to traditional modes of educational reform and expands our ideas of civic engagement and intersectional justice.
Recommended by YWCA Madison

Cover of Women, Race and Class
by Angela Davis

A powerful study of the women's movement in the U.S. from abolitionist days to the present that demonstrates how it has always been hampered by the racist and classist biases of its leaders.