The Long Road Towards Justice and Beloved Community:

A Civil Rights Pilgrimage

Required Reading and Preparation Assignments

Per the covenant you made during the application process, all participants are required to complete the following reading and reflection assignments prior to the pilgrimage to help prepare ourselves spiritually, mentally, and emotionally for the experience.

  1. Jesus and the Disinherited by Howard Thurman
  2. Characteristics of White Supremacy Culture article by Tema Okun. We also recommend the more extensive exploration of the article at
  3. We are working on a plan to offer the Intercultural Development Inventory® (IDI®) assessment to each participant. We will be in touch with instructions when that is available. Our plans to offer the IDI did not work out so this will not be happening.
  4. Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad
    • Me and White Supremacy is required for participants socialized as White. It is optional reading for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) pilgrims. It is the expectation that pilgrims work through the journal exercises in the book.
  • The Cross and the Lynching Tree by James Cone is not required but is strongly encouraged. This book will provide an important theological lens for the pilgrimage as it relates to our faith and especially as we visit the National Memorial for Peace and Justice. If you do not have time to read the book, we suggest you at least read this book review from the Center for Pastor Theologians.

Recommended but optional resources for BIPOC pilgrims:

Note that all participants would benefit from these but the resources above are of higher priority. We offer these recommendations in recognition that BIPOC participants have different mental, emotional, and spiritual support needs when dealing with the topic of racism and oppression.

Bibliography of Other Resources for Context (not required)(coming soon)

We have curated a list of other resources (films, articles, books, etc.) that relate to the sites we will visit or the history of oppression in the U.S. There is no expectation that participants have engaged any of these additional resources. This list is simply offered as a guide for content that may help you to experience the pilgrimage and the sites we visit with more knowledge and insight. The priority is to complete the required assignments above. The bibliography may also be used as a resource for continued learning and follow up after the pilgrimage. You can download a PDF of the list here.

You may purchase some of the resources above through these Amazon Affiliate Store links that allow The Academy for Spiritual Formation to receive a portion of the sale, helping this ministry at no additional expense to you. Thank you.