Study Guides

 The New Jim Crow Study Guide and Call to Action

“An urgent invitation to transformation.” ~Dr. Vincent Harding

NJC_teaching guide cover

Drawing from and expanding on the themes of Michelle Alexander’s acclaimed best-seller, The New Jim Crow, this in-depth guide provides a launching pad for groups wishing to engage in deep, meaningful dialogue about race, racism, and structural inequality in the age of mass incarceration. ¬†The Study Guide and Call to Action spans the entirety of The New Jim Crow, engaging the critical questions of how we managed to create, nearly overnight, a penal system unprecedented in world history, and how that system actually functions — as opposed to the way it is advertised. ¬†This important new resource also challenges us to search for and admit the truth about ourselves, our own biases, stereotypes, and misconceptions, and the many ways in which we might actually be part of the problem.

Interlaced with the words and thoughts of Martin Luther King Jr., the Study Guide and Call to Action’s narrative sections, discussion topics and questions steer readers beyond the four corners of The New Jim Crow, challenging us to discover what is required of us at this critical moment in our nation’s history. Prepared over the course of 2012, this long-awaited publication from the Veterans of Hope Project promises to play a key role in the growing movement to end one of the most pressing human rights crises of our time.

The New Jim Crow Study Guide and Call to Action is designed as a companion to The New Jim Crow. A free, downloadable pdf of the guide is available to groups that have read or are planning to read The New Jim Crow together, and to educators and students using the book.

To request free copies for your study group, please click here.


The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, a network of several thousand progressive black churches, has created a faith-based study guide for The New Jim Crow to help facilitate study groups and consciousness raising in black faith communities. Click here to purchase the guide.


The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has selected The New Jim Crow as their 2012-2013 Common Read. Click here to download the UUA New Jim Crow discussion guide.


The Campaign to End the New Jim Crow (CENJC), an organizing project of the Riverside Church Prison Ministry, has created a study guide designed to raise consciousness among readers who are interested in thoughtful reflection on the issues raised in the book, recommended additional resources, and step-by-step guidance. Click here to download the CENJC study guide.


The Woodstock Jewish Congregation Task Force to End the New Jim Crow has created a study guide as a resource to assist Jewish communities in group readings of Michelle Alexander’s life-altering book, The New Jim Crow. It differs from other study guides in that it asks you to consider the material from a Jewish perspective. Click here to download the study guide.

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Guides for high school students and guides aimed at the support of grassroots organizing efforts are also in early stages of development by organizations that share a commitment to ending mass incarceration.


For guidance on how to best assemble a study group using these guides, please contact the New Jim Crow Outreach Coordinator at outreach @ newjimcrow.com