We Must Do Better

Graphic by Faith Spenik, June 2020

Hi all,

Many of us are feeling deep sadness and frustration at the murder Black Americans as a result of the systems built on white supremacy within this country. We must again face the horrific reality of lost Black lives as a consequence of systems of inequality, systematic oppression, white supremacy, explicit racism against Black and brown communities, and police brutality. Despite the world operating at a standstill, violence against Black Americans continues to endure.

We want to extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, Sean Reed, and countless others who have been murdered by police brutality and both covert and overt racism. We stand in solidarity with Black communities and individuals at UVA and throughout the Charlottesville community, and hope to use our privilege and platform to amplify Black voices and promote resources to educate, inform, and invoke action. As students of a predominantly white institution, built by enslaved Black laborers, a University with buildings named after slave owners and eugenicists, we must do our part in dismantling the racist systems that surround us.

While we are extremely thankful for the work you’ve done as a part of CSSC for your projects, we want to remind you that it is okay and encouraged to take a step back and refocus your energy towards racial equity movements taking place across the country. This is an essential moment in our country and it would be a grave injustice to be silent or passive. You are free to continue fundraising or raising awareness for your own projects, as organizations and vulnerable populations in Charlottesville still are in need of aid, but we also encourage you to donate to organizations serving Black communities if you have the financial means to do so. We further urge you to educate yourself on the deep history of racism in this nation beyond what you were taught in school, and to then educate others. It is not the responsibility of our Black peers to educate us and to continuously bear this burden that we have as a nation. We’ve included organizations across the country that are taking donations at the bottom of this article, and have also included resources for education and further action steps.


Lauren Xue on behalf of CSSC


Please remember that this list is non-exhaustive and that there have already been many lists compiled by BIPOC creators, which we encourage you to seek out / are happy to provide. This document will be updated periodically.






  • Are Prisons Obsolete? - Angela Y. Davis

  • Ain't I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism by bell hooks

  • As We Have Always Done by Leanne Beta Simpson

  • Assata: An Autobiography by Assata Shakur

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • Critical Race Theory: An Introduction by Jean Stefancic and Richard Delgado

  • Hood Feminism by Mikki Kendall

  • Is Prison Necessary? by Ruth Wilson Gilmore

  • On Intersectionality: Essential Writings by Kimberlé Crenshaw

  • Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde

  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

  • Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis

  • White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

  • The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein

  • Citizen by Claudia Rankine

  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin

  • Blindspot; Hidden Biases of Good People by Banaji Mahzarin and Anthony Greenwald

  • Recitatif by Toni Morrison

  • The Possessive Investment in Whiteness by George Lipicz

  • Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People about Race by Reni-Eddo Lodge

  • Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America by James Foreman Jr.

  • This Birdge Called My Back by Cherrie Moraga and Gloria Anzaldua

  • How to Be An Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad

  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson

  • A Taste of Power by Elaine Brown

  • Conversations in Black: On Politics, Power, and Leadership by Ed Gordon

  • Chokehold: Policing Black Men by Paul Butler

  • An African-American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz

  • What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Blacker: A Memoir in Essay by: Damon Young

  • Rainbow Milk by Paul Mendez

  • The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

  • Stamped From the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi

  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo

  • Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor’s Reflections on Race and Medicine by Damon Tweedy MD



  • 13th

  • Selma

  • The Hate U Give

  • Atlanta

  • Just Mercy

  • Clemency

  • I Am Not Your Negro



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