Justice Books to Make a Difference

Mar 13, 2024 4:08:00 PM / by Broadleaf Books


We are each called to fight for the common good, but it can be difficult to keep our heads up, forge ahead, and keep working toward equity—even as we know how important it is to do so. Explore this collection of thought-provoking books that delve into pressing issues such as race in higher education, violence against Black men, and poverty in America, as well as provide innovative solutions to advance justice moving forward. These diverse and groundbreaking perspectives will inspire all of us who are striving to make a positive impact in the world. 



We Refuse to Be Silent

Angela P. Dodson (editor)

Publication date: April 30, 2024

The women have something to say. In this powerful and needed collection, editor Angela P. Dodson brings together the voices of more than thirty-five accomplished women writers on the topic of violence and injustice against Black men. Each lends her voice to shine a new light on the injustices and dangers Black men face daily, and how women feel about the vulnerability of our sons, husbands, brothers, fathers, uncles, friends, and other males we care about as they navigate a world that often stereotypes and targets them. 

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Cedar Monroe

Publication date: March 5, 2024

Human beings are not trash, and the system that enables humans to imagine each other as such needs to end. Daily, 66 million poor white people pay the price for failing whiteness. In Trash, activist and chaplain Cedar Monroe introduces us to the poor residents of a small town in Washington who grapple with a collapsing economy and their own racism. Trash asks us to see the peril in which poor white people live and the choices we all must make.

Read an excerpt here.

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Black Women, Ivory Tower

Jasmine L. Harris

Publication date: January 16, 2024

Black women are heading to college in record numbers, and more and more Black women are teaching in higher education. But the very structure of higher education ensures that we're still treated as guests, outsiders to the institutional family—outnumbered and unwelcome. In Black Women, Ivory Tower, Dr. Jasmine Harris shares her own experiences attempting to be a Vassar girl and reckoning with a lack of legacy and agency. Moving beyond the "data points," Dr. Harris examines the day-to-day impacts on Black women as individuals, the longer-term consequences to our professional lives, and the generational costs to our entire families.

Read an excerpt here.

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Preparing for War

Bradley Onishi

Publication date: January 3, 2023

Watching the eerie footage of the January 6 insurrection, Bradley Onishi wondered: If I hadn't left evangelicalism, would I have been there?

The insurrection at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, was not a blip or an aberration. It was the logical outcome of years of a White evangelical subculture's preparation for war. Religion scholar and former insider Bradley Onishi maps the origins of White Christian nationalism and traces its offshoots in Preparing for War. Through chapters on White supremacy and segregationist theologies, conspiracy theories, the Christian-school movement, purity culture, and the right-wing media ecosystem, Onishi pulls back the curtain on a subculture that birthed a movement and has taken a dangerous turn. 

Read an excerpt here.

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We Cry Justice

Liz Theoharis (editor)

Publication date: October 12, 2021

From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible proclaims justice and abundance for the poor. Yet these powerful passages about poverty are frequently overlooked and misinterpreted. Enter the Poor People's Campaign, a movement against racism, poverty, ecological devastation, militarism, and religious nationalism. In We Cry Justice, Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the campaign, is joined by pastors, community organizers, scholars, low-wage workers, lay leaders, and people in poverty to interpret sacred stories about the poor seeking healing, equity, and freedom. 

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Pregnant While Black

Monique Rainford

Publication date: April 11, 2023

Despite medical advances over the last twenty years, for Black women the overwhelming dangers of carrying and delivering children remain, and it only seems to be getting worse. In Pregnant While Black, Dr. Monique Rainford begins the work of "repairing the damage of the past" with an examination of the conditions that plague Black pregnancies. This important book carries the hopes and dreams of a generation looking to effect change, here and now.

Read an excerpt here.

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Social Justice for the Sensitive Soul

Dorcas Cheng-Tozun

Publication date: June 20, 2023

Social justice work, we often assume, is raised voices and raised fists. But what does social justice work look like for those of us who don't feel comfortable battling in the trenches? Alongside inspiring, real-life examples of highly sensitive world-changers, Social Justice for the Sensitive Soul expands the possibilities of how to have a positive social impact, affirming the particular gifts and talents that sensitive souls offer to a hurting world.

Read an interview here.

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The Work Is the Work

Brian C. Johnson

Publication date: May 7, 2024

In a series of tender narrative essays written to his daughter, activist and author Brian C. Johnson shares what he's learned from his struggles, victories, and defeats over twenty-five years of advocacy work. The Work Is the Work is an inspiring collection of field notes that is perfect for new or seasoned activists who want to lead well in the work for transformational change.

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The Bodies Keep Coming

Brian H. Williams

Publication date: September 26, 2023

Dr. Brian H. Williams has seen it all, from gunshot wounds to traumatic brain injuries. In The Bodies Keep Coming, Williams ushers us into the trauma bay, where the wounds of a national emergency amass. He draws a through line between white supremacy, gun violence, and the bodies he tries to revive, and he trains his surgeon's gaze on the structural ills that manifest themselves in the bodies of his patients. Black bodies will continue to be wracked by violence, racism, and healthcare inequities until we enact changes of policy and law.

Read an excerpt here.

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What We Remember Will Be Saved

Stephanie Saldaña

Publication date: September 12, 2023

A woman who sewed her city into a dress. A musician who rescued his ancient songs. A couple who rebuilt their pharmacy. What we salvage tells our story. What We Remember Will Be Saved is a breathtaking, elegiac odyssey into the heart of the largest refugee crisis in modern history. Journalist Stephanie Saldaña crosses nine countries to give voice to stories from the people of Iraq and Syria about hope, home, and what they rescued from war when everything else had been lost. 

Read an excerpt here.

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The Just Kitchen

Derrick Weston and Anna Woofenden

Publication date: October 10, 2023

Food and faith podcasters Derrick Weston and Anna Woofenden invite you into a kitchen where a passion for food, sharing meals, showing hospitality, and understanding cultures, and local foodways collide. Answer the call of a just kitchen, where meal preparation is as much an act of resistance against injustice as are marches and protests.

Read an excerpt here.

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The Social Justice Investor

Andrea Longton

Publication date: April 23, 2024

Whether you have $100 or $100 million in the bank, you have the power to change the world for the better. The Social Justice Investor is a step-by-step guide to personal finance for those interested in building wealth while also aligning their finance decisions with their values, intentions, and commitments to social justice.  

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Before the Streetlights Come On

Heather McTeer Toney

Publication date: April 18, 2023

Climate change is an issue of racial justice. Black Americans are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change—making up 13 percent of the US population but breathing 40 percent dirtier air and being twice as likely to be hospitalized or die from climate-related health problems than white counterparts. In Before the Streetlights Come On, climate activist Heather McTeer Toney insists that as our country delves deeper into solutions for systemic racism and past injustices, the movement must shift direction and leadership toward those most affected and most affecting change: Black communities.

Read an excerpt here.

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Jesus and the Abolitionists

Terry J. Stokes

Publication date: May 28, 2024

Isn't anarchy just chaos? How could it possibly relate to Christianity? In Jesus and the Abolitionists, Terry J. Stokes introduces us to the ancient practice of anarchy and how it intersects with Christian beliefs and values. We learn how beliefs about God, humanity, divine-human interaction, the Bible, and more can be illuminated and faithfully reformulated through an anarchist lens to help us build a more ethical and just world. 

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Plenty Good Room

Andrew Wilkes

Publication date: June 25, 2024

Unleash your ingenuity for systems that offer plenty good room—not for just a few but for all. Plenty Good Room helps us understand Black Christian socialism, a stream of the Black radical tradition, from the perspective of a Brooklyn pastor and political scientist's civic awakening. As the former director of the Drum Major Institute, founded by America's most famous democratic socialist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Andrew Wilkes mounts a challenge to the endless greed, inequality, and profiteering of racial capitalism.

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Troubling the Water

Ben McBride

Publication date: October 24, 2023

Can you imagine a future that includes your enemies? If not, what happens next? From one of the most courageous and visionary leaders of our time comes Troubling the Water, an immersive book about the violence and injustice that threaten to drown us all. With a blend of provocation and good humor, Ben McBride leads us beyond inaction and invites us to trouble the waters—speak hard truths in situations that appear calm but that cloak injustice. What results is an unforgettable manifesto—a troublemaking reverend's call to the most urgent task of our time.

Read an excerpt here.

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In Spite of the Consequences

Lacino Hamilton

Publication date: July 25, 2023

Falsely convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, Lacino Hamilton sent thousands of letters during his incarceration. After twenty-six years, including eleven years in solitary confinement, and a years-long campaign of public and political pressure, Hamilton was exonerated and released on September 30, 2020. The letters he wrote during his incarceration, advocating for his innocence—literally writing for his life—made him a leading voice on issues of abolition, imprisonment, and justice. Now collected into In Spite of the Consequences, these letters offer an incisive critique of our criminal justice system. With his voice, we sense something unexpected and profound: hope for a reimagining of our systems—a humanity-affirming model of justice.

Read an excerpt here.

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BL our last best act new

Our Last Best Act

Mallory McDuff

Publication date: December 7, 2021

How do we align our end-of-life choices with our values? In a world experiencing a climate crisis and a culture that avoids discussions about death and dying, environmentalist and educator Mallory McDuff takes us on a journey to discover new, sustainable practices around death and dying—and how it's possible to make end-of-life choices that honor our values, create a sustainable legacy, and help to heal the earth.

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BL A More Perfect Union

A More Perfect Union

Adam Russell Taylor

Publication date: September 14, 2021

America is at a pivotal crossroads. The soul of our nation is at stake and in peril. A new narrative is needed to counter the discord in her politics and culture, a new way forward rooted in Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision of community. In A More Perfect Union, Adam Russell Taylor, president of Sojourners, reimagines a contemporary version of the Beloved Community that transcends ideology and partisanship to inspire and unite Americans across our differences. 

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BL Baptized in Tear Gas

Baptized in Tear Gas

Elle Dowd

Publication date: August 10, 2021

For years Elle Dowd considered herself an advocate for justice, but her well-meaning support always took a back seat to what Martin Luther King Jr. called the tension-free, ordered "negative peace" of white moderates. Then Michael Brown, a Black man, was murdered by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, and the subsequent Ferguson Uprising changed everything. In Baptized in Tear Gas, Dowd invites readers to experience her transformation from a white moderate to a courthouse-occupying abolitionist.

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