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Key to our mission at YWCA McLean County is eliminating racism and standing up for social justice.

At a time where our nation's progress and highest values are at stake, we're proud to promote and protect civil rights for all. On this page, you'll find resources for trainings, recommended readings, and ways you can support underrepresented and marginalized groups.

Children's Books

Keep your family educated and aware from a young age with these family-friendly recommended reads.


All the Colors We Are/Todos Los Colores de Nuestra Piel 

The Story of How We Get Our Skin Color/La Historia de Por Qué Tenemos Diferentes Colores de Piel

by Katie Kissinger 

This bilingual (English/Spanish) book offers children a simple, scientifically accurate explanation about how our skin color is determined by our ancestors, the sun, and melanin. It's also filled with colorful photographs that capture the beautiful variety of skin tones. Reading this book frees children from the myths and stereotypes associated with skin color and helps them build positive identities as they accept, understand, and value our rich and diverse world. Unique activity ideas are included to help you extend the conversation with children. Recommended for ages 3 and up.

Intersectionallies: We Make Room For All

By Chelsea Johnson, LaToya Council, and Carolyn Choi 

IntersectionAllies is a smooth, gleeful entry into intersectional feminism. The nine interconnected characters proudly describe themselves and their backgrounds, involving topics that range from a physical disability to language brokering, offering an opportunity to take pride in a personal story and connect to collective struggle for justice. Recommended for ages 6-12. 

The Undefeated

by Kwame Alexander 

Alexander’s poetry is a poignant and powerful ode to the resilience and strength of black life and history in America. This story adopts a picture book format with a new title, accompanied by stunning oil paintings in Nelson's trademark photorealistic style. The evocative illustrations stand out against stark white backgrounds and vary in their composition. On some spreads, the focus is on a single expressive portrait; others feature collages of African American icons from various disciplines, or refer to significant historical moments.  Recommended for ages 6 and up. 

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Knowledge is POWER.

Expand your knowledge about issues of race and bias, and expand understanding of systemic racism, white privilege, and the long legacies of slavery and white supremacy in American history.

In the spirit of furthering our racial justice analysis and working towards collective liberation, below are books we recommend:

Discover more ways to learn:

While there are many worthwhile books about race and anti-racism, there are also plenty of resources to be found in other mediums, like film, with much to teach viewers about this history.

Below are feature films and documentaries that help contextualize racism and marginalization in today's world:


Feature Films:

· American Son (Kenny Leon) — Netflix

· Black Power Mixtape: 1967-1975 — Available to rent

· BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee) — Hulu

· Blindspotting (Carlos López Estrada) — Hulu with Cinemax or available to rent

· Boyz in the Hood — Showtime

· Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu) — Hulu

· Dear White People (2017; Justin Simien) — Netflix

· Disclosure — Netflix

· Do the Right Thing — Netflix

· Fruitvale Station (Ryan Coogler) — Available to rent

· If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) — Hulu

· Malcolm X — Netflix

· Just Mercy (Destin Daniel Cretton) — Available to rent for free in June in the U.S.

· See You Yesterday (Stefon Bristol) — Netflix

· Selma (Ava DuVernay) — Available to rent

· The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) — Hulu with Cinemax


· 13th (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

· 16 Shots — Showtime

· 3 ½ Minutes, 10 Bullets — HBO

· Baltimore Rising — HBO

· Beyond Activism: Four Decades of Social Justice — YouTube

· Disclosure — Netflix

· King In The Wilderness — HBO

· Latin Vote: Dispatches from the Battleground — PBS

· Harvest of Empire — Prime Video

· I Am Not Your Negro (James Baldwin doc) — Prime Video, Kanopy, or YouTube

· ¡Palante, Siempre Palante! The Young Lords — PBS

· Paper Children — YouTube

· Rest in Power: The Trayvon Martin Story — Paramount

· Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland — Hulu

· Strong Island — Netflix

· The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution — Prime Video

· The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson — Netflix

· Teach Us All — Netflix

· They’ve Gotta Have Us — Netflix

· Time: The Kalief Browder Story — Netflix

· True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality — HBO

· What I Hear When You Say — PBS

· Whose Streets? — YouTube

TV Series:

· Amend: The Fight for America — Netflix

· America to Me — Starz

· Atlanta — Hulu

· Black-ish — Hulu

· Dear White People (2014; Justin Simien) — Netflix

· Gentefied — Netflix

· Kim’s Convenience — Netflix

· Self Made — Netflix

· Stay Woke: The Black Lives Matter Movement — BET or Prime Video

· The Black List Vol 1-3 — Vimeo

· The Boondocks — HBO

· The Chi — Showtime

· Underground— WGN

· Watchmen — HBO

· When They See Us (Ava DuVernay) — Netflix

· Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas — HBO


· 1619 (New York Times)

· About Race

· Bound for Justice · Code Switch (NPR)

· Converge for Change: The Business of Social Justice

· Intersectionality Matters! hosted by Kimberlé Crenshaw

· Generation Justice · Momentum: A Race Forward Podcast

· Our Small Majority · Pod For The Cause (from The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights)

· Pod Save the People (Crooked Media)

· Relevant Conversations for All

· Seeing White

· SJW: Social Justice Weirdos

· Social Justice Matters

· The Activist Files

· The Other Side

· The Soul of the Nation

· Tiny Spark: Investigating the Business of Doing Good

"Anti-racism is the commitment to fight racism wherever you find it, including in yourself." -Ijeoma Oluo