A long series of horrific news stories about African Americans killed by police has shocked most Americans and led to broad shifts in attitudes about racism, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the need to reform policing practices. In an increasingly divided country, there is growing agreement that change must come.
But changing systems is hard. Many well-intentioned reforms have failed, or even backfired. Effective change requires clear thinking and careful attention to evidence. When passions are high there is a heightened risk of groupthink, particularly for “wicked problems.” It is precisely in such cases where those who truly want to solve problems would most benefit from exploring multiple perspectives, welcoming new insights that can correct for the problem of confirmation bias and refining their proposals for reform.
To make a contribution to such constructive change, and to the many discussions that will soon be held in classrooms across the country and around the world, we asked the Heterodox Academy Advisory Council this question:
What books, articles, or videos do you recommend to help students and professors better understand this historic moment and the possibilities for change with regard to race, racism, policing and the criminal justice system, or the everyday experiences of African Americans?
Suggestions from seven of the Advisory Council members, Xavier de Souza Briggs, Robby George, Irshad Manji, Eboo Patel, Judith Shapiro, Nadine Strossen, and Cornel West, can be found here.