You are here

Multicultural Leadership School 2010 participants.

Particpants from the 2010 Multicultural Leadership School.

Resources about Racism and Classism for Religious Education

For Congregations

  • Classism Workshop (PDF) by Judith A. Frediani
    Originally published as Session 7 in Weaving the Fabric of Diversity: An Anti-Bias Program for Adults, ed. by Judith A. Frediani and Jacqui James. As with any form of exclusion, we might ask ourselves: Who are we hurting? What are we missing? The workshop invites participants to draw connections between classism and other forms of oppression such as racism.
  • Long Challenge: The Empowerment Controversy (1967-1977) by Victor H. Carpenter
    A look back at the conflict between African American and white Unitarian Universalists (UUs) which exposed deep tensions that remain with us today. Chicago: Meadville Lombard, 2003.
  • Empowerment: One Denomination's Quest for Racial Justice (1967-1982) (PDF)
    A 1983 study of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) by the Commission on Appraisal. This report is of our denomination's responses to the black empowerment conflict.
  • Wilderness Journey: The Struggle for Black Empowerment and Racial Justice within the Unitarian Universalist Association, 1967-1970.
    Ron Cordes interviewed many UU leaders who lived through the complex times of the black empowerment conflict and produced a 76-minute, essential UUA historical record. Available from District libraries or from the UUA's office of Multicultural Growth & Witness.

For Religious Educators


  • Educating for Human Dignity: Learning About Rights and Responsibilities by Betty Reardon. A K-12 teaching resource. Comprehensive guidance, support materials and resource lists for human rights education programs. Published by University of Penn. Press (Philadelphia, PA) in 1995.
  • The Gift of Faith: Tending the Spiritual Lives of Children: Celebrates the importance of religious community, both as a support for parents and as an environment in which the spirituality of children can flourish. Revised edition includes a new preface, a new chapter about the home, and rituals for marking the events in children's lives as religious occasions. 128 pp. By Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar.
  • Multicultural Religious Education. Supports the reality of multiculturalism in religious education through a Christian perspective. Published by Religious Education Press (Birmingham, AL) in 1997.
  • Multicultural Teaching, Fifth Edition by Pamela L. Tiedt & Iris M. Tiedt. A handbook of activities, information, and resources. Published by Allyn and Bacon (Boston, MA) in 1999.
  • Together and Equal: Fostering Cooperative Play and Promoting Gender Equity in Early Childhood Programs: This handbook is a treasure of ideas, examples, activities, and resources to promote gender equity and cooperation. By Carol Schlank and Barbara Metzger.

Additional Print Resources

  • Children's Book Press. Multicultural books and audiocassettes for children, including folktales and contemporary stories. 246 First Street, Suite 820, Oakland, CA 94105; (415) 995-2200.
    Roots & Wings Educational Catalog: P.O. Box 19678, Boulder, CO 80308-2678; (800) 833-1787
  • Teaching for Change: A catalog of multicultural education resources. Network of Educators on the Americas, P.O. Box 73038, Washington, DC 20056-3038; (202) 238-2379.


  • AMAZE: A non-profit organization of parents, educators and other caring adults working to create safe and respectful communities by promoting the knowledge and skills needed to work together across our differences.
  • Cross Cultural Communication Centre: 965 Bloor Street, W. Toronto, Ontario M6H 1L7, CANADA; (416) 530-4117.
  • Cultural Connections P.O. Box 1582, Alameda, CA 94541; (510) 538-8237.
  • The Leadership Conference: Resources include Talking to Our Children About Racism and Diversity, a brochure that helps parents and children talk together about racism, prejudice, and diversity, and All Together Now, a diversity curriculum for teachers of young children. 1629 K Street, NW, 10th fl, Washington, DC 20006.
  • Early Childhood Equity Alliance: Bilingual educational organization that nurtures and connects people engaged in racial and social justice education and action with and for young children, families, and communities. 1403 34th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122; (206) 324-4744.
  • Engaging Schools: Catalog and resources for children, youth and adults. 23 Garden St., Cambridge, MA 02138; 1-(800) 370-2515.
  • GroundSpark: This national organization produces documentary films and videos that offer a perspective on economic and social justice to inspire diverse audiences to put their values into action. Videos include It's Elementary: Talking About Gay Issues in School and That's a Family! Resource for Kids on Family Diversity.
  • Information Center on Children's Cultures: U.S. Committee for UNICEF, 331 E. 38th Street, New York, NY 10016; (212) 686-5522.
  • MAVIN Foundation: The nation's leading organization that builds healthy communities that celebrate and advocate for mixed heritage people and families. 600 First Avenue, Suite 600, Seattle, WA 98104; (888) 77MAVIN.
  • Teaching Tolerance: National education project dedicated to helping teachers foster social and economic justice, respect, and understanding in the classroom and beyond. Publishes a semi-annual magazine. Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL 36104.
  • World of Difference: Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith: Provides workshops, videos and materials to help parents raise non-biased, non-prejudiced children, focusing on developing positive inter-group relations. 823 United National Plaza, New York, NY 10017; (212) 490-2525.

To Guide Anti-Racist Religious Education & Practices

  • Considerations for Cultural Borrowing: Questions to Ask (and Answer), prepared by the 2003 UUA Cultural (Mis) Appropriations Ad Hoc Committee, Judith Frediani, Chair.
    This document offers a comprehensive set of questions to consider when potentially integrating culture specific practices into Unitarian Universalist worship and teaching.
  • Reckless Borrowing or Appropriate Cultural Sharing? By Jacqui James.
    The author writes, "It is important that we learn to differentiate between drawing from the wisdom and appropriating rituals, artifacts, and other elements of the spiritual traditions of other religions."
  • Cornrows, Kwanzaa and Confusion: The Dilemma of Cultural Racism and Misappropriation, by Rev. Marjorie Bowens-Wheatley.
    This article opens a dialogue on the complex issue of cultural racism. Is it possible to honor the need and the right of each culture to affirm and celebrate its own heritage and traditions, while inviting others to join in?
  • Lessons from the Kwanzaa Candles, by Gail Forsyth-Vail.
    How can a white Anglo-American Unitarian Universalist respectfully address Kwanzaa? This award-winning worship service addresses this question as well as the history and meaning of Kwanzaa. The author writes, &quotThe Kwanzaa candles encourage me to learn what it means to be white in the United States , learn what my forebears exchanged for a place in the American melting pot. I must search for and claim the red, the past, my past, before I can truly envision a fair world, a world of justice, equity, and compassion in human relations.&quot

For more information contact