Dismantling Racism & Social Justice Resources

Dismantling Racism in Action

The Old Presbyterian Meeting House upholds all people as children of God. We are called to dismantle systems that perpetuate poverty, racism, and other forms of discrimination. We seek to build a just and beloved community. The OPMH Dismantling Racism Team (DRT), part of the church’s Service and Justice Ministry, was created on July 1, 2020, in response to the racial unrest triggered by the police killings of Breonna Taylor on March 13, 2020, and George Floyd on May 25, 2020. Our mission is to help inform and advance the work of racial harmony and social justice in Alexandria and beyond.  The Team promotes opportunities for education and awareness, and encourages OPMH members to get involved in efforts to call out and reverse systemic discrimination and injustice in our community. Since its founding, our group has been guided by three main principles: education, partnership, and advocacy

We thank everyone who has been actively involved in ongoing discussions and actions to dismantle systemic racism as a congregation. For the most up-to-date information within our OPMH Community, please join us on Realm, the church communication tool, where you can receive regular updates through the Member Bulletin Board group and Dismantling Racism group.


If you are purchasing books, please consider ordering from a black-owned, independent bookstore. To order from a local black-owned bookstore, try Harambee Books and Artworks in Alexandria or Loyalty Bookstore in Silver Spring, MD. For children’s books we recommend looking at Puppy Dogs and Ice Cream,  and Scholastic Books.

How to be an Antiracist—Ibram X. Kendi
White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism—Robin DiAngelo
The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness—Michelle Alexander
Interfaith Racial and Economic Justice Book List
Stakes Is High: Race, Faith, and Hope for America—Michael W. Waters
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness—Austin Channing Brown
So You Want to Talk About Race—Ijeoma Uluo
“Why are all the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?” A Psychologist Explains the Development of Racial Identity—Beverly Daniel Tatum
Raising White Kids: Bringing up Children in a Racially Unjust America—Jen Harvey
A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for Building the Beloved Community – Reverend Adam Russell Taylor
Jesus and the Disinherited – Howard Thurman
Stamped from the Beginning – Ibram X. Kendi
Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates’ 
How the Word is Passed – Clint Smith
Policing the Black Man
—Angela J. Davis
The Color of Law—Richard Rothstein

All People Are Beautiful by Vincent Kelly
Be a King. Dr. Martin Luther King Jrs’ Dream
by Carole Boston Weatherford
The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage by Selina Alko
Gator, Gator, Gator! by Daniel Bernstrom
I am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer
The “Lola” series by Anna McQuinn
My Rainbow Book of Everyday Prayers by Su Box
Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats
Stamped (for Kids) by Sonja Cherry-Paul
“Rosa Loves” series by Jessica Spanyol
The Library Book by Tom Chapin
We Are Alike, We Are Different by Janice Behrens
We Shall Overcome by Bryan Collier

Discount School Supply Books
Discount School Supply Puzzles

Dismantling Racism—Resources from National Capital Presbytery
Racial Justice Resources—PC(USA)
Support Justice in Policing Act—PC(USA) Office of Public Witness, part of GA’s anti-racism call
Scaffolded Anti-Racist Resources—extensive list with various levels of stages of white identity development, resources and what to do next
Read, Watch, Listen and Learn: a curated collection on combating racism and advancing inequality—Yale Alumni web site
Racial Justice Resources—St. David’s Episcopal Church, Austin, TX
Becoming Beloved Community—movement/program of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement
An Essential Reading Guide for Fighting Racism—Buzz Feed News
8 Lessons from: “The Future of Solidarity: How White People Can Support the Movement of Black Lives”—The Catalyst Project
How to be an Ally to the Black Community—Washington Post
Justice in June—cultivates a community rooted in truth, inspires action and is committee to awareness
26 ways to be in the struggle, beyond the streets—Disability Visibility Project
Alexandria Community Remembrance Project—”Helping Alexandria understand its history of racial terror hate crimes and to work toward creating a welcoming community bound by equity and inclusion”
What I Learned from Cancer—Ibram X. Kendi (The Atlantic)
Antiracism, Health Equity, and a Post-COVID Future—Ibram X. Kendi (interview with for Ethics Talk, journal editor in chief, Dr Audiey Kao, AMA Journal of Ethics)
13 Books to Read Right Now If You Want to Be Anti-Racist (Chalice Press)
What is Owed (New York Times Magazine)
Unearthing the Roots of Systemic Racism (INSEAD
Reading About Race – Alexandria Library
African American History- Alexandria Library
Juneteenth – Alexandria Library

Multicultural and Social Justice Board Books for Children—Social Justice Books
Books to Teach White Children and Teens How to Undo Racism and White Supremacy—Charis Books & More

Anti-Racism Resources by Forming Faithful Families
11 Children’s Books to Teach Your Kid about Racism and Discrimination—Essence
The Conversations We Must Have with Our White Children—On Being
Resources for Talking about Racism with Youth
The 2018 Ultimate List of Diverse Children’s Books—Here Wee Read
30 books to help you talk to your kids about racism—Today’s Parent
These Books Can Help You Explain Racism and Protest to Your Kids—NY Times
Picture Books for Antiracists—Virginia Theological Seminary
Talking with Our Children about Race—Wendy Claire Barrie
A Short Family Guide to Supporting Racial Justice Now—Wendy Claire Barrie
10 Tips for Teaching and Talking to Kids about Race—Embrace Race
Talking to Children after Racial Incidents—University of Pennsylvania, Graduate School of Education
Beyond the Golden Rule: A Parent’s Guide to Preventing and Responding to Prejudice—Teaching Tolerance
Talking about Race—National Museum of African American History & Culture
Talking About Race and Racism with Children—Christine V. Hides
Resources for Addressing Race and Racism with Young Children—Lovery
You’re Kids Aren’t Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup—Pretty Good Design
Raising White Kids: Bringing Up Children in a Racially Unjust America—Jennifer Harvey

Race and the Church—A Group Watch Series and Live Discussion—NEXT Church
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man—Emmanuel Acho
Where Do We Go from Here?—Oprah & OWN Spotlight—free on Amazon Prime
Brené with Ibram X. Kendi on How to be an Antiracist—Brené Brown Unlocking Us Podcast
‘Interrupt the System’: Robin DiAngelo on ‘White Fragility’ and Anti-Racism—NPR podcast
Seeing White—podcast—14-Part Series (as part of Duke’s Center for Documentary Studies and “Scene of the Radio”)
Code Switch—NPR podcast
“Presbyterians and Race” Walk -Video of a reflective walk in Old Town to sites that mark key moments in the story of Presbyterians, White supremacy, and Black resistance from Colonial days to the present.
Prejudice vs. Racism: A Racial Equity Workshop (free download from the (PC (USA)’s Presbyterian Women)
Justice in America (podcast from The Appeal)
White Lies (NPR podcast)
Systemic Racism Explained (YouTube video for younger viewers)

Black Lives Matter videos for kids—YouTube
Black Lives Matter Instructional Library—audio children’s books in English & Spanish
Sesame Street Racism Town Hall—CNN & Sesame Street

  • Attend a DRT meeting! They are usually held biweekly on Sundays at 7:00 PM on Zoom. Please contact Billy Vazquez, williamtvazquez@gmail.com for more information. All are welcome!
  • Join the Dismantling Racism Team group page on Realm.
  • Educate yourself through engaging with some of the resources listed on this page, some of the recordings from our previous events, and seeking out other resources on anti-racist learning.
  • Volunteer your time and talents to helping others in our community, like through the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium, Friends of Guest House, with the Four Mile Run Conservation League, and others.

Organizations to Support

  • August and September 2020 – Zoom Discussions on Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist
  • October 13, 2020 – Zoom Discussion with Alexandria Chief of Police Michael Brown
  • October 4-25, 2020 – Adult Education series about Race and Christianity
  • November 18, 2020 – Zoom Discussion A Gathering for Peace and Renewal
  • December 7, 2020 – Zoom Discussion of the documentary 13th
  • January 2021 – Letter to the Virginia General Assembly
  • February 1, 2021 – Zoom Discussion: Resolved to Be Antiracist
  • April 11, 2021 – Adult Education with Peyton McCrary
  • April 18, 2021 – Adult Education with Delegates Mark Sickles and Don Scott
  • May 1, 2021 – Alexandria History Walk
  • May 2, 2021 – Diaper Drive for local Alexandria organizations
  • June 7, 2021 – Zoom Discussion, Listening Session
  • July 19-26, 2021 – Book study of Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited
  • August 8, 2021 – Alexandria Community Remembrance Project’s memorial event for Benjamin Thomas
  • September 19, 2021 – Adult Education panel on Food Insecurity in Alexandria
  • September 26, 2021 – Adult Education with Reverend Alvin Herring of Faith in Action on Voting Rights
  • October 31, 2021 – Diaper Drive for local Alexandria organizations
  • January 2022 – Martin Luther King, Jr. Service Project, cleanup at Four Mile Run
  • February-March 2022 – Book and puzzle drive for church and preschool libraries
  • March 13-April 10, 2022 – Beloved Community Adult Education class series, studying Reverend Adam Russell Taylor’s A More Perfect Union: A New Vision for the Beloved Community
  • April 23, 2022 – Alexandria Community Remembrance Project’s memorial event for Joseph McCoy
  • October 2, 2022 -Unveiling and Dedication of Enslaved People Plaque (Litany for Repentance.)

    Acknowledging the True Legacy of Our Historic Buildings Historic markers and plaques alert us that something important happened in this place, and we should know and understand this history. The Old Presbyterian Meeting House has two brass plaques on the exterior of our sanctuary. One attests that our church is on the National Register of Historic Places and invites people to learn about our long history in this community. The second and newest plaque acknowledges the enslaved people who helped construct these historic buildings and contributed to this legacy. We have not been able to learn their names and yet we owe them our gratitude for their skills, and we repent for unjustly using their labor.

    Their work can be seen in three buildings: our church sanctuary, constructed in 1837, Flounder House initially built as a parsonage in 1787 and now used as meeting space, and the Elliot House, built in the 1840s as a private residence and converted now to offices and meeting space.

    As a church established before the Revolutionary War, the Old Presbyterian Meeting House was swept into this country’s long struggles over slavery, emancipation, and civil rights. Our church had leaders and members who owned slaves and owe their wealth to their labors; we also had members who spoke out against slavery and advocated for education and just treatment for people of African descent. Our earliest members were the planters, merchants and trades people of Alexandria. The church member rolls included enslaved and free Black people, although today we know too little about their lives and how they were treated. Ours is a church of this community, and the events and attitudes that shaped Alexandria’s history likely can all be found in our history. As an institution of humans, we experienced American history and culture at its best and worst.

    Our Presbyterian faith now declares that God is at work here and now when people deal fairly with each other and labor to change customs and structures that enslave and oppress human beings. In the October 2, 2022 service to dedicate the enslaved people plaque, we spoke a litany repenting for our complicity in white supremacy and our failure to take responsibility for the legacy of slavery, lynchings, and segregation. We further pledged to work toward healing and reconciliation. Guided by our Dismantling Racism Team, this church is seeking to learn about racism and work with others in our community for justice and equality.