January Resource Review: 5 Titles to Add to Your 2019 Reading list


Did you know that reading more books ranks as the seventh most popular New Year’s resolution that people make? That’s one goal that we can get behind! Whether you have committed to reading more in 2019 and are looking for books to add to your to-read list–or if you simply want to gain a better understanding of the issues that impact women and girls in our communities –we’ve compiled a list of highly recommended books that we suggest you pick up this year. (Looking for more recommendations? Check out our other reading list we put together in 2017.


Birthing Hope: Giving Fear to the Light  by Rachel Marie Stone

This award-winning memoir about birth, death, and the spaces in between will send tingles down your spine. Stone’s artfully-crafted reflections on faith and our reproductive decisions call us all to deeper, more intentional conversations about life’s greatest complexities. Weaving together lessons and errors from ancient texts, modern learning, and personal stories, this book includes discussions of contraception, abortion, disability, and AIDS.


Eloquent Rage: A Black Feminist Discovers Her Superpower  by Brittany Cooper 

Both raw and personal, Cooper’s collection of essays about life as a Black woman in America is required reading for everyone. She explores topics like growing up as a Black girl in the South, the power of friendship, and Black feminism. Cooper also dives into her encounters with the church and how they have shaped her sense of self–for better and at times, for worse. 


Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds  by adrienne maree brown

Fans of Octavia Butler’s Afrofuturism will devour Brown’s book–a hybrid of tactics, self-reflection prompts, personal stories, and group exercises aimed at doing the work of changing the world in a truly collaborative fashion. Advocates and activists, this would be an excellent book for your organization to discuss as a group and to consider how you might integrate some of her strategies and tactics into your work. 



Pure: Inside the Evangelical Movement That Shamed a Generation of Young Women and How I Broke Free  by Linda Kay Klein

An unapologetic critique of the “purity industry,” Pure dives into the damaging, long-lasting effects of purity culture on the lives and relationships of those who were immersed in it as young people. Klein argues that “purity” is not a product of the evangelical Christianity alone, but one that secular culture upholds alongside the church.


A Spark of Light  by Jodi Picoult 

In her latest novel Picoult’s harrowing story of an anti-choice terrorist who enters Mississippi’s last remaining abortion clinic reads more like fact than fiction. Hour-by-hour, Picoult explores the thoughts, beliefs, and fears of those who oppose abortion, those who provide abortion care, and those who are desperate to terminate a pregnancy. One of the characters, Dr. Louie Ward who travels to the clinic to provide abortions, was inspired by our friend and colleague Dr. Willie Parker.


Is there a book you’d like for us to feature in a future Faith in Women book club discussion? Would you like our help in starting a book club of your own featuring one of these books? Please send us an email. We’d love to hear from you!  

Finding Hope in Troubling Times + Book Giveaway

Finding hope in troubling times is essential to our well-being and sustains our energy as we engage  in the long work of resisting oppression and creating sustainable, positive change in the world. This month we want to share with you some of the innovative tools, inspiring events, and uplifting work happening now that gives us hope, heals our hearts, and strengthens our resolve to continue working for a more just, compassionate world. Be sure to enter our book giveaway. Information is at the bottom of the post. 

We want to hear from you! 

What gives you hope right now? Join the conversation in our Facebook group!


Contacting our legislators doesn’t have to be a headache. Built and operated 100% by volunteers, ResistBot is a multi-platform tool that takes the headache out of contacting Congressional offices and other elected officials. If you’re having trouble getting in touch with a Congressional office about your concerns, ResistBot can ensure that your voice is heard by delivering your message on your behalf.

Anyone with a smartphone can text the word RESIST to 50409, and ResistBot identify your senators and representative. You can also connect with ResistBot through Twitter or Facebook messenger.  Type any message, and using simple commands, ResistBot will send your message for you and confirm that it has been delivered. It can remind you to take daily action, give you resources on what topics to write about, and even send your letter to your local paper for publication.

Learn more at resist.bot.

Mississippi Teens Advocating for Better Sexuality Education 

Young people are such an inspiration these days! Current Mississippi law requires sexuality education in public schools, but the quality of that education leaves a lot to be desired. A group of Mississippi teens, organized by our partner Teen Health Mississippi, is working to change the current law to ensure that all sexuality education curricula are medically-accurate, evidence-based, and cover a wide-range of ages.

The teens involved with Mississippi Youth Council, or MY Council, were recently featured in an MTV News segment on their Facebook page. Watch as these young folks organize, strategize, and advocate with their elected officials to change Mississippi law to ensure every young person has the information and support needed to make healthy decisions about their sexuality.

To learn more about MY Council, visit Teen Health Mississippi’s website.

Mississippi Book Festival

Sometimes we need a break from the digital world and just want a good, old-fashioned book. On August 18th at the Mississippi State Capitol hundreds of authors will join thousands of book-readers for a celebration of books, reading, and learning. Launched in 2015 by literary activists the annual Mississippi Book Festival has reached more than 6,400 people. This completely free event will feature panel discussions as well as music events and activities for kids. This year’s speaker line-up includes award-winning novelist Jesmyn Ward, author of Sing, Unburied Sing which won the 2017 National Book Award.

To learn more, visit msbookfestival.com.

In honor of the Book Festival, Faith in Women is hosting a book giveaway

We’d like to help spark a little more joy in the world, so we’re passing on some good reads to our friends. If you’d like to be entered to win a free copy of Cecilie Richard’s Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead–My Life Story or Austin Channing Brown’s I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, please fill out this form by July 31st. The winners will be notified in August.



May Resource Review: Books We’re Reading


This month we are excited to pilot our first ever Faith in Women virtual book club! Some of our fantastic Mississippi-based faith leaders and activists are currently reading Life’s Work by Dr. Willie Parker. Together we’ll be engaging in some dynamic group discussions via video conference this week. To celebrate our latest endeavor, this month we’re highlighting five of our favorite faith + justice books for activists, clergy, and parents. (Don’t have time to pick one of these up? Not to worry! Check out our other posts on podcasts and documentaries we recommend.)


Sex + Faith: Talking with Your Child from Birth to Adolescence by Dr. Kate Ott

Does talking about sex with your children make you squeamish? It doesn’t have to! Written for parents and caregivers this book discusses how to talk about sexuality with kids at every stage of development. Readers will gain tools for incorporating faith values in their ongoing dialogue about sexuality in a way that is inclusive and supportive of sexual differences.


Reproductive Justice: An Introduction by Loretta J. Ross and Rickie Solinger

Have you heard the phrase “reproductive justice” but you’re not exactly sure what it means? This book serves as a primer for anyone wanting to gain a better understanding of the intersectional approach of reproductive justice. Written for scholars, activists, and everyone in between, Reproductive Justice covers the history of the term,  examples from the field, and strategies for taking action today.


Good Christian Sex by Bromleigh McCleneghan

If you’re looking for an exploration of sexuality from a Christian perspective that doesn’t hinge on extremes, consider picking up a copy of McCleneghan’s Good Christian Sex: Why Chastity Isn’t the Only Option–And Other Things the Bible Says About Sex. Pulling from the insight of theologians and practitioners, this book is a refreshing change of pace from other takes on the bible and sex. Her nuanced, thoughtful perspective will engage both your head and your heart.


The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

The United States currently incarcerates over 2 million of our citizens in public and private prisons. Why do we imprison so many people–and why are so many of those incarcerated people of color? Alexander traces the legacy of segregation laws that shapes today’s legislation and feeds into our system of mass incarceration. Both a much-needed history lesson and a call for justice, this book dispels the cultural myth of “colorblindness” once and for all. 


Life’s Work: A Moral Argument for Choice by Willie Parker [Faith in Women Book Club Pick!]
When Dr. Willie Parker trained as an obstetrician and gynecologist, he never intended to become an abortion provider, but over time he realized that his Christian faith called him to help women in need of this particular form of medical care. Part memoir and part theological reflection,  Parker weaves together his faith, study of scripture, scientific training, and experience as an African American living in the South to make a moral argument for supporting women’s access to abortion.

Is there a book you’d like for us to feature in a future Faith in Women book club discussion? Would you like our help in starting a book club of your own featuring one of these books? Please send us an email. We’d love to hear from you!