Racial Justice Advocacy

As Rochester continues to struggle with our turn in the racial justice spotlight, we at Asbury First are looking for ways to respond faithfully both at this moment and going forward. Many have asked what we can do right now as individuals and as a congregation to confront the realities of racism in our community.

Please continue to check here for different resources, guides, books, films, and more that can assist you on the journey toward racial justice in Rochester and beyond. Join our Facebook group for more interactive links and events at www.facebook.com/groups/racialjusticegroupasburyfirst.
We have also created a specially designated fund called the Racial Justice Advocacy Fund to which any may contribute. These funds will be distributed to local organizations and community efforts that are committed to ending racism in Rochester. Click here to donate.

Video/Training Discussion Guides/Text Discussions Support/ProjectsPodcasts Books Articles


The Next 402 — Continuing Black History Month

We hope you were inspired by our Black History Month sermon series: The First 402. Take some time to watch or re-watch these amazing sermons by visiting our worship archive.

Worship archive

Black History is American History, and remembering these stories is a lifelong commitment. To join us in an ongoing effort to educate ourselves about our nation’s history, we’ve compiled a list of resources for learning. You can also find more tools and resources for learning below. 


  • The New Jim Crow, by Michelle Alexander
  • A Black Theology of Liberation, by James H. Cone 
  • How to be an Antiracist, by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor, by Layla F. Saad
  • Sisters in the Wilderness, by Delores Williams 
  • The 1619 Project: A New Origin Story, Edited by Nikole Hannah Jones
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America, by Ibram X. Kendi
  • The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism, by Edward Baptist
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk about Racism, by Robin DiAngelo
  • A Black Women’s History of the United States, by Daina Ramey Berry and Kali Nicole Gross
  • Waking Up White: and Finding Myself in the Story of Race, by Debby Irving

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Organizations to Partner With

Video Training/Discussions

  • Crossing the Color Line — Brennon Thompson, TEDxSUNYGeneseo

Guides/Text Discussions

  • Confronting Racial Covenants: How They Segregated Monroe County and What to Do About Them — Guide provided by City Roots Community Land Trust and The Yale Environment Protection Clinic
  • Where Are We Today? — Slide presentation by Brennon Thompson about racism in Rochester and Monroe County
  • Power, Race, and Identity — Slide presentation by David Carr for Asbury First




  • America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America by Jim Wallis
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Beyond Respectability: The Intellectual Thought of Race Women by Brittney C. Cooper
  • Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment by Patricia Hill Collins
  • Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower by Brittney C. Cooper
  • Heavy: An American Memoir by Kiese Laymon
  • How To Be An Antiracist by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson
  • My Grandmother's Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
  • So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
  • Stamped From the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Dr. Ibram X. Kendi
  • The Broken Heart of America: St. Louis and the Violent History of the United States by Walter Johnson
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander (and Study Guide and Call to Action)
  • This Bridge Called My Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color by Cherríe Moraga (Editor), Gloria Anzaldúa (Editor)
  • White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin DiAngelo
  • White Rage The Unspoken Truth of Our Racial Divide by Carol Anderson
  • Witnessing Whiteness: The Need to Talk About Race and How to Do It by Shelly Tochluk
  • Discrimination and Disparities by Thomas Sowell
  • The Triumphs of Joseph by Robert Woodson
  • White Guilt by Shelby Steele
  • Race and Economics by Walter Williams
  • The Black American Experience by Ben Carson


For more information about any of our outreach programs, please contact Rev. Jacqueline Nelson at jnelson@asburyfirst.org or by calling 585-271-1050 x104.