We cannot be indifferent to racism. How many times have you heard “this doesn’t happen here” or “there are two sides of every story”? Those are subtle signs of indifference towards the bigger problem.
The Wageningen Young Academy (WYA) strongly condemns any form of racism, harassment, or discrimination and acknowledges their harmful impacts. We stand in solidarity with those engaging in protests of systemic racism, oppression, and brutality, and we are committed to continue working in anti-racist ways. As Bonjour, van den Brink & Taartmans (2020) stated in their research, it’s imperative that the responsibility for diversity and inclusion measures do not only fall on the diversity offices. This is why we want to contribute as much as possible. Scroll to ‘Books and other readings’ for a summary and the link to their original article.
On this page we share resources that have had a personal impact on us in terms of our own thinking, practice and action. We believe that learning and making use of these resources can increase self-awareness and share informed knowledge, in all formats!
Please check out the resources below and share! We will be adding more. If you have a useful resource, please let us know! firstname.lastname@example.org
How to start a conversation?
Viola Davis once said: “in a racist society, it is not enough to be non-racist. We must be anti-racist.”. One relatively easy way to start is to have conversations. It’s extremely important that these conversations get approached with respect. Conversations about race can get really emotionally heavy for some. In order to guarantee a safe space for everyone involved we have found these Ground Rules to be very helpful.
Furthermore, be aware of your privileges and biases. We all have biases. Being aware of our own implicit attitudes towards racism is a good first step to limiting them. Take a short test yourself and challenge others! Click on the link and select “race IAT”. Test your own implicit attitudes!
If you’re white...
Yes racism mainly affects non-white people. No, you don’t always have to talk to non-white people about race. Engaging in conversations about race with the people closest to you, like family members and close friends, is a great way to normalize talks about race. They may be the most uncomfortable conversations to have but are crucial to move towards an anti-racist society.
As this article states: “A common misconception white people have when starting to learn about racism is that we should ask for help from non-white people of color and Black people, and look to them to explain racism to us. While it is very important to center the voices of non-white POC and Black people in our research and education processes (following BIPOC (which stands for “Black, Indigenous, and people of color) on social media, reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching videos created by BIPOC), it is equally as important to remove the burden of education from them.”
To read more click on this link: How white people can talk to each other about disrupting racism
Documentaries, movies and other footage
Good documentaries, movies or other types of footage are the epitome of the phrase ‘I can show you better than I can tell you’. They are a great way to get a visual explanation of the complexity and nuances of racism and its related issues. It will add more context to problems that seem out of the blue or inexplicable and is a very good way to learn. In this thread we’ve added a few links to documentaries you can watch to learn more about racism.
- We recommend, 13TH, a documentary about the impact that the 13th Amendment of the USA Constitution (ratified mid 19th century) has had on the shaping of racial discrimination, inequality, and black “criminality” in the USA society we currently know. It’s quite shocking how basically all politicians have been taking advantage of this to win power (and white votes) during the elections and terms.
- In “The Colour White", Sunny Bergman explores how many white people in The Netherlands feel about their white privilege and how they position themselves in the Anti-Racism debate.
- Luister is a YouTube documentary about the lives of black students at the Stellenbosch University in South Africa. Covering experiences with racial prejudice and other challenges during their academic journey.
- This documentary, “Will Britain Ever Have A Black Prime Minister” adds an interesting perspective of how racism manifests itself on an institutional level and limits young black people from reaching their full potential.
- Even though it is not a documentary, Dear White People - On Netflix shows a diverse range of young black activists with different perspectives. It proves that black people, even in 1 fight and 1 goal, are multidimensional. It adds just enough comedic relief to a serious topic to make it an entertaining yet educational watch.
- You might’ve seen Black Panther because you’re a Marvel comic fan. However, try watching Black Panther again with the perspective of a black kid that for the first time ever, sees an amazing super hero that looks like him. The movie made Africa and African heritage look modern, cool and futuristic. This positive portrayal is rarely done on TV. Black Panther had a huge cultural impact and an even bigger significance in black cultures across the world.
To learn about how students are discriminated against in their daily university life, Emilie recommends watching https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dWtuEYBjTk
in which a Muslim student at Oxford shares how she and others experienced discrimination at the university.
- The links between capitalism and racism are hard to ignore. In this short video Ruth Wilson Gilmore explains why and how, and what is at stake if we ignore or simplify these relations.
- In this video clip, Black by rapper Dave eloquently raps about what it means to be black to him. He sheds light in a very poetic way on positive and negative sides of his pigment.
Books and other readings
In this thread we share some impactful and inspirational books recommended by members of the WYA. Visit our Facebook group “On the same page”. It's our book club initiative where we recommend some readings on the topics of racism.
- ‘The Black Archives’ organization in The Netherlands is a huge archive of interesting book collections, archives and artifacts of Black Dutch writers and scientists, They have more than 10.000 books that focus on racism, race issues, slavery, (de)colonization, gender and femenism and much more. It’s definitely a good idea to follow them, support their movement and pay them a visit for more information.
- WitHuiswerk.nl is an organization in The Netherlands that has a website and a book that is especially for people that want to contribute to the fight against racism but don’t really know where to start. It is in Dutch and is a sort of archive for several resources and references to learn more in becoming anti-racist.
- Saskia Bonjour, Marieke van den Brink and Gwendelyn Taartmans wrote an article where they provided an overview of diversity policy measures based on an analysis of policy reports of 12 Dutch universities and 18 interviews with university diversity professionals. Click here for a Summary in English. You can read the full report in Dutch here.
Betina recommends a classic book “To kill a Mockingbird”.
Whether you have read it in highschool or it’s still in your to-read list, this book will always remain highly relevant. It’s a fiction book about racism and classism. What made a meaningful impact on Betina was that it’s told from the innocent perspective of Scout, a little girl who is being shaped by the events occurring in the racist society she lives in, and the tolerant and equiliatrian teachings of her own dad. It really demonstrates how important it is for new generations to receive a tolerant and open-minded education from the start.
- The only women in the room: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39971465-the-only-woman-in-the-room
- The culture map: https://www.amazon.com/Culture-Map-INTL-ED-Decoding-ebook/dp/B06XCJ125R#:~:text=As%20its%20name%20suggests%2C%20The,trusting%2C%20disagreeing%2C%20and%20scheduling.
- Witness for nature: http://www.lindalear.com/rachel_carson__witness_for_nature__27233.htm
- Anti-racist reading list from Chicagoo Public Library https://chipublib.bibliocommons.com/list/share/204842963/1357692923?fbclid=IwAR3lxDsv84mU0RPvzF7X5gdOEVQklHxKv_-r1MhrYDXx3unZjUvXFgcm2CY
Kevin recommends The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,
an engaging personal story that examines the intersection between race and health. While this book focuses on cancer, related issues are at the heart of our current pandemic and how it disproportionately affects people of color: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6493208-the-immortal-life-of-henrietta-lacks
Cathelijne recommends Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates, written as a letter to the author’s son that discusses race in the context of American history and what it is like to live in a black body. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/220290/between-the-world-and-me-by-ta-nehisi-coates/
Angela Saini’s book Superior: the return of race in science,
a book that examines the destructive nature of race science (scientific research about race), highlighting that biologically, people are biologically far more alike than different. https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/may/27/superior-the-return-of-race-science-by-angela-saini-book-review
Jessica learned a lot reading the book “The Cooking Gene''
by Michael Twitty, a culinary historian. Using his own family’s history, Twitty weaves together the story of the African origins of Southern cuisine in the USA. In doing so, he illuminates how his African ancestors came to feed and still feed Americans. In doing so, he forces us to recognize that the widely celebrated Southern food is directly derived from African, Indigenous American and European foodways. Reading this book forces deep reflection on our food cultures and the way race and colonialism are so often erased from these.
For more on race and food systems, Jessica also recommends: An Annotated Bibliography on Structural Racism Present in the U.S. Food System and Growing Justice: Transcending racism in the food system
Given the power and influence of US media around the world, Jessica recommends the book Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, by Melissa Harris-Perry
White Innocence - Gloria Wekker
This book explores how Dutch Culture is simultaneaoulsy in denial of racism and colonial history while still being aggreively racist and xenophobic. A very interesting book, especially because it’s written by an afro-dutch professor.
Kevin recommends this 5 episode podcast series, which was created to reflect on the 400 years since the first African slaves arrived in America: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/22/podcasts/1619-trailer.html
24 podcasts that confront racism in America. https://bellocollective.com/16-podcasts-that-confront-racism-in-america-f8f69baf529d
Anti-Racism toolkit https://www.aptrweb.org/page/toolkitoverview. This toolkit was developed by APTR members to support the APTR Policy: Role of Academia in Combating Structural Racism in the United States. APTR designed the toolkit resources to assist health professions faculty address and seek to reduce the effects of systemic racism in our society through their professional work: as teachers, as clinical and public health practitioners, as researchers, and as members of a university community. The toolkit has an organizing structure and provides resources such as websites, files, research articles and recommended readings.
ARA WUR: Anti-Racist Association Wageningen (ARA Wageningen) is a diverse group of concerned and motivated community members who believe in a city that actively works against racism and discrimination. Follow them on Facebook and/or follow them on Instagram
Talking about race toolkit. https://nmaahc.si.edu/learn/talking-about-race
Anti-racist organizational change: Resources and tools for nonprofits (report). http://communitywise.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/AROC-Resources-and-Tools_web.pdf
Guidelines for being strong white allies. https://www.racialequitytools.org/resourcefiles/kivel3.pdf
Talking about race. https://s.si.edu/2E0ZFuJ
Resources for justice and peace https://bit.ly/2ZHkrbc
Social justice projects and lessons. https://padlet.com/cinehead3/socialjustice