Dismantling Racism

Following the murder of George Floyd summer of 2020, there was a visceral response nationwide.  CMCL staff and congregants responded in support of local Black Lives Matter gatherings. And we wanted to do more. We recognized the deep impact of systemic racism through the past 300+ years that continues to affect not only how we live but also how we are church in this time and place.

We choose to work in many different ways to name our complicity with racism and to find ways to dismantle racism in our church, community and world, knowing also that this is a long-term process.

Through the Program Commission, CMCL has identified a Dismantling Racism Committee (Malinda Clatterbuck (through 2/15/21), John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens, Susan Gascho-Cooke, Jeff Hawkes, Marty Kelley, Deb Napolitan, Elizabeth Nissley and Diane Umble) to guide our work as a congregation BUT this is the work of all of us.

One way to move us forward in knowing our own racism and in finding ways to change is this CMCL Webpage which offers resources and opportunities to choose new patterns of living and relating across racial barriers.

This is a “living document” and we seek your input on this Webpage and also in the work that will be required of all of us.

Your comments and suggestions are welcome.

Reflections of CMCL Book Study
These reflections were delivered by Jeff Hawkes over six weeks in the spring of 2021 as part of a congregation-wide study of the book I’m Still Here, by Austin Channing Brown.

When possible support black owned businesses: https://susquehannastyle.com/food/shopping/60-black-owned-businesses-to-support-in-the-susquehanna-vall/

Local groups actively working on dismantling racism and welcoming new members.


Children’s Books:

  • I am Enough by Grace Byers
  • Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
  • The Story of Ruy Bridges by Robert Coles
  • Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Pena
  • Wherever You Are, by Mem Fox
  • Sulwe by Lupita Nyong’o and Vashti Harrison
  • Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison
  • Little Leaders: Exceptional Men in Black History by Vashti Harrison
  • Shine On: A Story Bible by MennoMedia
  • He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands by Kadir Nelson
  • Stamped: Racism, AntiRacism, and You Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Raynolds
  • We Are Grateful: Otsaliheliga by Tracy Sorell
  • Wangari’s Trees of Peace by Jeanette Winter
  • The Day You Begin by Jaqueline Woodson

Young Adult Books:

  • The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas


  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
  • The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin 
  • The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett
  • I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness  by Austin Channing Brown
  • Black and Mennonite by Hubert Brown
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • We Were Eight Years in Power by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism by Robin D’Angelo
  • Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own  by Eddie S. Glaude, Jr.
  • Trouble I’ve Seen by Drew G.I. Hart
  • Who Will Be a Witness: Igniting Activism for God’s Justice, Love and Deliverance  by Drew G.I. Hart
  • White Too Long by Robert P. Jones
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • Stamped: Racism, AntiRacism, and You Ibram X. Kendi and Jason Raynolds
  • A Call to Conscience: Landmark speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • The Sum of Us:  What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee
  • My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem
  • Stand Up Straight and Sing! a memoir by Jessye Nornan
  • Black Wealth/White Wealth by Melvin L. Oliver & Thomas M. Shapiro
  • The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein
  • Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
  • Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?  By Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks, 1016  Edited by Jesmyn Ward, essays and poetry
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • Caste by Isabel Wilkerson
  • The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Dear White America: Letter to a New Minority by Tim Wise
  • White Like Me: Reflections on Race from a Privileged Son by Tim Wise
Podcasts & Videos