Learning Resources for Racial Equity

Absher is following through with the commitment we made in our public statement addressing Racial Injustice. We committed to: 

1. Opening a dialogue on racial inequities among all of our staff through our internal Culture of Care program. 

2. Forming a task force to increase our company diversity and inclusion. 

3. Hiring an outside consultant to help us to recognize our own unconscious biases and systemic policies that may contradict our desire to create a more inclusive organization, and advise us on how we can change those roadblocks to create meaningful change. 

To continue our dialogue as stated above, we recognize that not everyone has the same background knowledge on the subject of racism in this country. To that end, we have compiled a list of resources below for those who want to learn more about racism and the history of our nation and region, as well as its impacts on our industry. 

3 Ways to practice Allyship in the Workplace 

White Fragility Explained 

NPR 30-minute radio interview ‘The History of White People’ by historian Nell Irvin Painter 

Website Resources 

Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) / Legacy Museum and National Memorial / https://museumandmemorial.eji.org/about 

The Equal Justice Initiative (EJI is committed to ending mas incarceration and excessive punishment in the United States, to challenging racial economic injustice, and to protecting basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. Founded in 1989 by Bryan Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer and best-selling author of Just Mercy


History of Redlining: For decades, many banks in the U.S. denied mortgages to people, mostly people of color in urban areas, preventing them from buying a home in certain neighborhoods or getting a loan to renovate their house. The practice — once backed by the U.S. government — started in the 1930s and took place across the country. Many of the nation’s largest cities, such as Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Tampa and others with large minority populations practiced Redlining including in Tacoma. 

Tacoma Interactive Map: https://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/redlining/#loc=14/47.252/-122.477&city=tacoma-wa&area=D3 

Video featuring the late Harold Moss who was Tacoma’s first African American member of the city’s council, and the first African American Mayor. 

Podcast Recommendations 

• Code Switch (NPR) “fearless conversations about race…hosted by journalists of color [they] explore how race impacts every part of society – from politics and pop culture, to history and sports” 

• 1619 (NYT) a 6-part series that examines the long shadow of American slavery. 

• Ear Hustle (Radiotopia) a podcast produced inside of San Quentin State Prisoner by former and current inmates – discussing life before, during and after prison 

• Still Processing (NYT) two culture writers at the NYT discuss the pleasures and pathologies of America in 2020, with a focus on race. 

Short Videos 

“If Someone Doesn’t Understand Privilege, Show Them This Video” ~ (4 min) 

“Ex Cop Speaking Out About Racism in the Police Force” ~Show Me the World (4 min) 

“How can we win?” ~Kimberly Jones (7 min) 

“The Massacre of Tulsa’s Black Walk Street” ~Vox (9 min) 

Systemic Racism Explained – Act.tv (4:23) 

Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man Part 1 (11 Videos By Emmanuel Acho) 

Light Reading 

“Four Ways Diversity Will Save the Construction Industry” ~Construction Executive Magazine (4 min) 

“How Institutional Racism Works” ~Thread Reader, @MimZWay (8 min) 

“How Construction Executives Can Embrace Diversity in an Evolving Workforce” ~Construction Dive (10 min) 

“How the GI Bill’s Promise Was Denied to a Million Black WWII Veterans” ~History.com (10 min) 

“How Racism Kept Black Tacomans From Buying Houses for Decades” ~The News Tribune (12 min) 


“Has Seattle always been so progressive?” ~KUOW (7 min) 

“Here’s How Seattle Became So Segregated” ~Seattle PI (8 min) 

“A ‘Forgotten History’ of How The U.S. Government Segregated America” ~NPR (35 min) 

Heavy Reading 

Tim Wise – Antiracist Author 

It’s More Than Racism: Isabell Wilkerson Explains America’s ‘Caste’ System 

In her new book, Caste, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Isabel Wilkerson says racism is an insufficient term for the systemic oppression of Black people in America. Instead, she prefers to refer to America as having a “caste” system. Wilkerson describes caste an artificial hierarchy that helps determine standing and respect, assumptions of beauty and competence, and even who gets benefit of the doubt and access to resources. Contact Billie Otto if you would like to borrow the book from her.