Resources I’ve Used to Become a Peacemaker

I’m a privileged multi-racial small business owner and mother of three living in San Francisco. In the last few years, I decided to become a peacemaker. I went from understanding very little about race and social justice to understanding enough to take action, including serving on the Board of The Mosaic Project, leading discussions on empathy and diversity in my school community, and writing articles like this and this.

There’s always more to know, so I try to spend at least an hour a day continuing to learn, whether it’s volunteering, starting social justice and empathy-oriented campaigns like The Future is in Your Hands and Write_On, listening to podcasts on my commute, or reading books like the ones below and discussing them with friends and family.

Here are some of the resources I’ve used so far to educate myself. If you have others to recommend, please add them in the comments. I’m always looking to learn more.

Empathy, Compassion & Curiosity

Brene Brown on Empathy, Compassion and Boundaries (video)

Brene Brown on Empathy (video)

Born for Love: Why Empathy Is Essential — and Endangered, by Bruce D. Perry and Maia Szalavitz

The Compassionate Instinct: The Science of Human Goodness, by Dacher Keltner, Jason Marsh, Jeremy Adam Smith

The Compassionate Mind: A New Approach to Life’s Challenges, by Paul Gilbert

Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends On It, by Ian Leslie

Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, by Sharon Salzberg

A Fearless Heart: How the Courage to Be Compassionate Can Transform Our Lives, by Thupten Jinpa

Stereotyping, Systemic Racism & Inequality

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald

The Impact of Inequality: How to Make Sick Societies Healthier, by Richard G. Wilkinson

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

Privilege: The Making of an Adolescent Elite at St. Paul’s School , by Shamus Rahman Khan

The Problem We All Live With (This American Life episode) with Nikole Hannah-Jones

People Like Us: Social Class in America (PBS documentary)

Repairing the Breach: A Brief History of Youth of Color in the Justice System, by James Bell, The Burns Institute

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League, by Jeff Hobbs

The Spirit Level: Why Greater Equality Makes Societies Stronger, by Kate Pickett and Richard Wilkinson

Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, by Annette Lareau

Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude M. Steele

Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: And Other Conversations About Race, by Beverly Daniel Tatum

Management, Policy, Communication and Community Organizing

A Guide for White Allies Confronting Racial Injustice, by Cameron Hough (via Mandela Schumacher-Hodge)

Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Peter H. Diamandis and Steven Katle

Building a Movement to End the New Jim Crow: An Organizing Guide
by Daniel Hunter

Changing States: A Framework for Progressive Governance, USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, by Manual Pastor, Jennifer Ito, and Madeline Wander

Decriminalizing Childhood for Youth of Color , by Laura Ridolfi and Tracy Benson, Burns Institute

How to Be an Ally if You Are a Person with Privilege, by Frances E. Kendall, Ph.D. (via Mandela Schumacher-Hodge)

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life: Life-Changing Tools for Healthy Relationships, by Marshall B. Rosenberg PhD

A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn

Parenting

The Awakened Family: A Revolution in Parenting by Shefali Tsabary

Between Parent and Child: The Bestselling Classic That Revolutionized Parent-Child Communication by Dr. Haim G. Ginott and Alice Ginott

The Conscious Parent, by Shefali Tsabary

It’s OK to Go Up the Slide: Renegade Rules for Raising Confident and Creative Kids, by Heather Shumaker

Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids: How to Stop Yelling and Start Connecting, by Laura Markham

The Price of Privilege, by Madeline Levine

The Spiritual Child: The New Science on Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving, by Dr. Lisa Miller

Zen Parenting Radio (podcast)

Spirituality & Psychology

Autobiography of a Yogi, by Paramahansa Yogananda

Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation, translated by Stephen Mitchell

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead, by Brene Brown

The Enlightened Mind, by Stephen Mitchell

Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, by Richard Rohr

Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness, by Jon Kabat-Zinn

The Four Things That Matter Most : A Book About Living, by Ira Byock

Insights from the Edge (Podcast), with Tami Simon

Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life by Byron Katie

Mindset: The New Psychology of Success, by Carol Dweck

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose, by Eckhart Tolle

On Being: The Big Questions of Meaning (Podcast), with Krista Tippett

Out of the Blue: True-Life Experiences of Awakening, Revelation, and Transformation, by Mary Terhune

The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment, by Eckhart Tolle

Radical Acceptance, by Tara Brach

Self-Compassion: The Proven Power of Being Kind to Yourself, by Kristin Neff

Silent Compassion: Finding God in Contemplation, by Richard Rohr

Tao Te Ching, translated by Stephen Mitchell

What’s in the Way Is the Way: A Practical Guide for Waking Up to Life, by Mary O’Malley

Children’s Books & Music

Children’s Songs for Peace and a Better World, by The Mosaic Project featuring Brett Dennen

Crickwing, by Janell Cannon

The Golden Rule, by Ilene Cooper

I’m Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self-Esteem, by Jamie Lee Curtis

I am Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ordinary People Change the World, by Brad Meltzer

I am Rosa Parks (Ordinary People Change the World), by Brad Meltzer

I am Helen Keller (Ordinary People Change the World), by Brad Meltzer

I am Abraham Lincoln (Ordinary People Change the World), by Brad Meltzer

If You Plant a Seed, by Kadir Nelson

The Three Questions, by Jon Muth

Horton Hears a Who!, by Dr. Seuss

One, by Kathryn Otashi

Incredible You!: 10 Ways to Be Happy Inside and Out, by Wayne Dyer

The Invisible Boy, by Trudy Ludwig

Better Than You, by Trudy Ludwig

Tiger-Tiger is it True?: Four Questions to Make You Smile Agai, by Byron Katie

Whoever You Are, by Mem Fox


Do you have more books or resources to recommend? Please add them in the comments.

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