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Part I: Systemic Racism | Challenging Perceptions

Richmond protest

How did we get here?

COVID-19 and recent, high-profile instances of police brutality against Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and George Floyd have brought issues around systemic racism and racial disparities to the forefront. In this virtual panel discussion, join us as we explore the historic roots of these inequities and how they persist today.

Moderator  - Adrienne Cole Johnson, MSW, Social Entrepreneur, Educational Leader, Businesswoman and Community Advocate


  • Elvatrice Belsches, Public Historian, Author, Filmmaker
  • Dr. Mignonne Guy, Ph.D., Associate Professor, VCU Department of African American Studies
  • Trey Hartt, Project Director, Performing Statistics
  • Christopher Rashad Green, Community Advocate & Activist

Continue the conversation on social media with #VPMtalk.

In this VPM virtual discussion series, community experts and participants will explore:

  • Richmond's history of systemic racism and its impact on our current culture
  • Systemic racism's influence over systems, processes and procedures
  • Disparities in health, housing, policing, wealth building and education in Black communities are rooted in systemic racism
  • New ways to absorb information about unjust systems and encourage authentic conversations with your families and peer groups.

Panelist Resources

Below are recommended resources from the moderator and panelists to continue the discussion and deepen our understanding of the role racism plays in our society. For books, we recommend searching your local library [Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield] or ordering from a Black-owned independent bookstore.

Additional resources will be added as the series continues.

Type Genre Title
Documentary History Reconstruction: America After The Civil War
Documentary Racism The Talk: Race In America
Article Racism 11 Terms You Should Know To Better Understand Structural Racism by The Aspen Institute 
Book Racism Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos or Community by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Book Racism So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Book Racism How to be an Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
Book Racism White Fragility by Robin Diangelo
Book Racism White Rage: The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Dr. Carol Anderson
Website Racism Movement for Black Lives
Documentary Health A Public Calamity by The Future of America's Past
Book Health Medical Apartheid: The Dark History of Medical Experimentation on Black Americans from Colonial Times to the Present by Harriet A. Washington
Book Health Making a Place for Themselves: The Black Hospital Movement 1920-1945 by Vanessa Northington Gamble
Podcast Policing Cops See It Differently by This American Life
Podcast Policing American Police by Throughline
Book Policing Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
Book Policing Are Prisons Obsolete? by Dr. Angela Davis
Book Policing The End of Policing by Alex Vitale
Book Policing The New Jim Crow: Colorblindness in the Age of Mass Incarceration by Michelle Alexander
Podcast Policing Caught by WNYC Studios
Website Policing Performing Statistics
Website Policing Dignity In Schools
Website Policing Youth First Initiative
Website Policing RISE for Youth
Podcast Education Nice White Parents from the New York Times