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SVA Library’s Antiracism Resource Guide
June 11, 2020 by SVA Library Staff
"A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back—but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you." -Marian Wright Edelman written on a poster between illustrations of two hands pointing a finger

Poster by BFA Advertising and BFA Design Chair Gail Anderson (BFA 1984 Media Arts) for the Chicago Design Museum, 2018, via SVA Archives.

The SVA Library has created an Antiracism Resource Guide to support information-seeking during the time of international movement against racism and police brutality, following the murder of George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis. Library staff will continue to edit this guide over time and as resources change. Though they will be monitoring these resources, as with all information, they encourage everyone to depend on their critical-thinking skills to determine each’s relevance, accuracy and authority. Many of the websites linked to from this guide are also living documents, and may change if their owners edit them.

The SVA Library Antiracism Resource Guide is sorted into sections, which are outlined and linked below.

The book covers for (from left) "The New Jim Crow," "Me and White Supremacy" and "How to Be an Antiracist."

You can now access these e-books and more via the SVA Library.


When speaking about racism, “allyship”—or being an ally—is a term used to describe someone who is actively working to dismantle systems of racism. Other common terms you might come by are “white ally” or “performative allyship” or “non-optical allyship.” The SVA Library highlights resources concerning how to be an effective ally—and the rest of this guide for books, films and other resources will help you continue your work.


Here, the library provides various ways to access news articles so that you can stay up-to-date on the latest on grassroots and legislative antiracist efforts, as well as links to relevant essays and longform features. 

Bail Funds

A bail fund is an organization that raises money for the purpose of posting bail for people in jail on pre-trial detention, who otherwise could not afford it. Many bail funds recoup the bail money at the end of a person’s case, thereby replenishing the fund for others in need. In this section, the library has provided links to bail funds by state as well as selected online resources on mass incarceration, bail reform and prison labor from the SVA Library’s online collections.


The SVA Library has licensed several antiracism books that are currently out of stock at major book retailers. Some are available for unlimited users (i.e. many people can download at the same time), while some are available to only one reader at a time. This is noted below each title. The library has also provided a list of black-owned bookstores from which people can purchase their own copies.

The movie posters for (from left) "Selma," "I Am Not Your Negro" and "The Hate U Give."

Watch these films and more on Kanopy and other streaming services.


Films are powerful tools for generating empathy. The library has compiled a list of narrative and documentary films about the black experience that are available for streaming via the Kanopy database, as well as others that are available on various commercial streaming services like Netflix and Hulu. They’ve also linked to the Criterion Collection, a film distributor that has lifted their paywall for many films about the black experience.

Local Action

Looking to invest long-term in your communities? The library has listed a selection of New York-based organizations, many of which are run by volunteers. Search for terms like “mutual aid” or “community action” together with the name of your neighborhood or borough to find an organization in your area. 

National Organizations

In this tab, you’ll find a selection of national organizations that are working toward black liberation, antiracism and social justice, which you can learn from and support.


This tab provides necessary know-before-you-go information regarding protesting to help keep you safe, physically and digitally.

An infographic that shows how to protest safely

Infographic on safe protesting tips from U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, via Instagram.

For more on the topic of Black feminism, check out the SVA Library’s Black Feminism resource guide. If you have any questions, contact a librarian here. And follow the SVA Library on Instagram and Twitter for informative content.