Continuing the Conversation: Resources for Racial Justice


On June 1, 2020 Mainstream Coalition pledged to continue working with our partners who are lifting up communities of color in a letter from our Executive Director Michael Poppa. You can read that letter here This resource page is just part of our response. We must all take steps to start the journey to understanding and dismantling racism. We invite you to join us as we move forward, together.

This is the Mainstream Coalition's position statement on Anti-Racism:

"The Mainstream Coalition asserts that racism exists in our country, and is institutionalized in our government and communities. We commit to stand with those who experience racism, and work to reform the policies and institutions that perpetuate it. To make meaningful progress towards an anti-racist society, we will actively fight racism in the criminal justice system, education funding policies, health care access, fair housing, and other policy areas."

Click here to see where we stand on other issues.

If you have any questions, or any resources you'd like us to add, please let us know at the Mainstream Coalition Facebook page to request.

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion:

WATCH: our panel discussion on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion from June 18, 2020. Rachel Ross, community activist and Pastor LaRon Thompson Paseo Baptist Church join us. 


READ:  What white children need to know about race Does this sound familiar? Read more. "Growing up in the suburban Midwest, I (Ali Michael) never talked about race with my family. We were white, all of our neighbors were white, and it never occurred to us that there was anything to say about that. As a result, in later years, I developed a deep sense of shame whenever I talked about race — particularly in college, where I was expected to make mature personal and academic contributions to race dialogues.                                                                                                                                                       

READ: Who Gets to be Afraid in America? "Americans don’t see me, or Ahmaud Arbery, running down the road—they see their fear." By Ibram S. Kendi, Director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University.


WATCH: our panel discussion on Racial Equity & Education with single mom and activist Sheila Davis-Norman, social justice activist Justice Horn and David Smith Chief Communications Officer for the Shawnee Mission School District from June 30, 2020.



  CBS News Analysis: 50 states, 50 different ways of teaching America’s past,this short story by Ibram X. Kendi            reviews current history curriculum production and use across the United States.

READ: 10 Ways Well Meaning White Teachers Bring Racism into our Schools "Whether we acknowledge it or not, we are constantly inundated with racist messaging about what students can and can’t achieve."

READ: What do anti-racist teachers do to make a difference? What Anti-racist Teachers Do Differently They view the success of black students as central to the success of their own teaching.

White Privilege:

Watch: our conversation with Loretta Summers of The Summers Advisory Group, Inc. Loretta discusses White Privilege & Unconscious Bias and talks about the Implicit Bias test. She also shares her experiences living in a predominately white KC suburb. From June 23, 2020:


READ: Recognizing white privilege begins with truly understanding the term itself. What is White Privilege, Really?  

READ: I was taught to see racism only in individual acts of meanness, not in invisible systems conferring dominance on my group." This list of 50 daily effects of racism..."I am never asked to speak for all the people of my racial group,  I can be pretty sure that if I ask to talk to the "person in charge", I will be facing a person of my race, I can go shopping alone most of the time, pretty well assured that I will not be followed or harassed." White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack                                                                                             

TAKE THE TEST: Take the skin tone IAT test to help recognize your implicit bias. Implicit Bias test 

What We've Learned So Far:

Watch: Our conversation with panelists Amy Axtel, John Pauldine and Laura Wassmer as they discuss what they've learned, how they've changed and how they intend to step up. 


Voter Rights & Voter Suppression:

Watch: Our conversation on Voter Rights & Voter Suppression with panelists Linnaia McKenzie of the Advocacy and Awareness Group: Johnson County, Nigel Morton of URGE and Melissa Stiehler Citizen Participation Field Organizer for the ACLU of Kansas.


Unconscious Bias:

READ: Everyday we hear and use racial microagressions. Are you aware of them? Racial microagressions you hear on a daily basis

LISTEN: to Dr. Mary T. Bassett discuss How Does Racism Affect your Health? Racism affects the health of the black community. Dr. Bassett is the Director of the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University, as well as the FXB Professor of the Practice of Health and Human Rights at the Harvard School of Public Health.


  If someone tells you racism isn't real, have them watch this short video because Racism is Real. Where have you seen racism happen? What have you done, how have you reacted? How will you react in the future?

Learn More:


 W. Kamau Bell and Conan O'Brien have an honest, open conversation on #Blacklivesmatter & The Importance of Showing Your Work. Listen to Kamau's recommendation's to "be comfortable with doing things wrong initially" and it's not just about "what can you do now in the moment but what can you do that will last?" What are you doing to make a lasting difference?


 A New York filmmaker filmed a documentary during the protests over the killing of George Floyd. Here's what he learned: What have you learned over the past few weeks? What have you done? Real Life is More Tragic than Fiction

READ: Why do these protests feel different than the past? "These people feel that their own understanding of what it means to be a citizen in this country is not complete because certain people in this country are not treated as full people. It’s been interesting, inspiring, and beautiful to watch so many of the protests taking place." These protests feel different because they’re shifting public opinion 


 Learn more about redlining in the American suburbs. The suburbs weren't designed to be idylic spots for everyone. Did you grow up in one of these original communities? Did you ever think about why it was that way? The Disturbing History of the Suburbs 


  A reporter stops people on the streets to talk about what they think racism is. You'll be surprised by the answers. Think about what you would say if you were stopped and asked. White people talking about Racism 

LEARN MORE: If you're looking for books to read on race, racism, white privilege, unconcious bias and more check out these lists:

18 books on race and white privilege that will show you what's really happening in America right now 


Check out more than 20 must-read books to learn more about Black history, racism and social justice                                       

And what about the kids? It's never too soon to start talking about racism with our kids. Here's a list of Books for Kids by age.