Racial literacy

Empathy begins with awareness, knowledge, and understanding. Our librarians selected these resources to illuminate the history of racism in America so we can work toward understanding and equity.

Community Conversations: What gets in the way?

The time for meaningful change is now. Help the Oregon Department of Justice open pathways to justice & support for marginalized & oppressed people in Oregon during this virtual program series.

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Virtual series: What does it mean to be anti-racist?

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color are fighting everyday to live free from all forms of violence. Join this brave space to learn how to be anti-racist, take strategic action, and share resources.

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History of Racism in America

1619: A podcast from the New York Times
Examine the long shadow of American slavery, tracing this history back to 1619 in what would become the United States.
BlackPast is dedicated to providing reliable and accurate information on the history of African America.
History of Racist Planning in Portland
Discover how historical racist land use planning contributed to racial segregation and inequity for people of color in Portland.
In the Thick: Systemic exhaustion
As thousands of protestors fill the streets, Maria and Julio talk about the #BlackLivesMatter movement and performative allyship.
Hidden Brain: Is he Muslim?
Why do Americans spend so much time worrying about "radical Islamic terrorism?" Hidden Brain takes a look at how the media over-covers some stories and not other.
Race: Power of an Illusion
A companion website to an award-winning documentary film that takes a hard look at the science and history behind racial categorization.

Museums and exhibits


Chicano Park Museum

The Chicano Park Museum is a place to learn about about Chicana/o, Latina/o, and Indigenous culture and history.

tamastslikt museum logo

Tamastslikt Cultural Institute

Immerse yourself in the history, culture and hospitality of the people who have lived on this land for more than 10,000 years.

Understanding racism

A Hidden History
An Oregon Humanities Conversation Project program reveals the stories and struggles of Oregon's African American communities.
Code Switch
A podcast from NPR, hosted by journalists of color, that explores how race impacts every part of society.
Tamarindo podcast
A light-hearted Latinx podcast covering identity, race, gender, and representation in politics, pop culture, and life.
TED Talks
This series takes an honest look at everyday realities of Black Americans and illuminates the way forward.
The trouble with cultural appropriation
It's less about stealing, more about integrity.
There goes the neighborhood
A podcast about how LA has gone from the place to chase your dreams to one of the least affordable cities in the country.

Parent resources

There’s no question: talking about race can be sensitive.


Racial stereotypes and bias begin at a shockingly young age. It can happen without parental input, just by the racial stereotypes so prevalent in society. As early as six months, a baby’s brain can notice race-based differences, and can internalize racial bias by ages two to four.


If you’re curious about how to have this conversation, here are some resources to get started.
Kojo For Kids: Racism and Protests
Jason Reynolds talks to kids about why people are angry and what can we do about racism. Listen to Kojo for kids
Sesame Street: I Love my Hair
Sing along and make the world aware that you love your hair. Watch the video
NPR: Talking Race with Young Children
Listen to tips about how to handle conversations about diversity and inclusion wit children. Listen to NPR

Diversity Studies

View articles that explore cultural differences, influences in society, and more.

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Opposing Viewpoints

Explore opposing sides of the most important issues.

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Local and national resources

Coalition for Communities of Color
The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) addresses the socioeconomic disparities, institutional racism and inequity of services experienced by our communities. learn more
Movement for black lives
A space to discuss the current political conditions and develop shared assessments of what political interventions are necessary in order to achieve key policy change. learn more
Oregon Humanities
Oregon Humanities is committed to bringing people together across difference. learn more