In many ways, cultural competence is a very personal journey. Neeley students, faculty and staff are invited to stop by the Neeley Office of Inclusive Excellence (NEEL 2313 Sumner Hays Hall) to check out inclusive excellence books from The Pullin Family Diversity Library. See our selection below. You can use the search field to search by author, title, or topic. Use the form in the gray section to indicate your interest in reserving a book.

Photo: Becoming

Becoming

by Michelle Obama
Topic: Race and Culture

In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.

In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.

Photo: Between the World and Me

Between the World and Me

by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Topics: Race and Culture, Anti-racism

In a profound work that pivots from the biggest questions about American history and ideals to the most intimate concerns of a father for his son, Ta-Nehisi Coates offers a powerful new framework for understanding our nation’s history and current crisis. Americans have built an empire on the idea of “race,” a falsehood that damages us all but falls most heavily on the bodies of black women and men—bodies exploited through slavery and segregation, and, today, threatened, locked up, and murdered out of all proportion. What is it like to inhabit a black body and find a way to live within it? And how can we all honestly reckon with this fraught history and free ourselves from its burden?Between the World and Me is Ta-Nehisi Coates’s attempt to answer these questions in a letter to his adolescent son. Coates shares with his son—and readers—the story of his awakening to the truth about his place in the world through a series of revelatory experiences, from Howard University to Civil War battlefields, from the South Side of Chicago to Paris, from his childhood home to the living rooms of mothers whose children’s lives were taken as American plunder. Beautifully woven from personal narrative, reimagined history, and fresh, emotionally charged reportage, Between the World and Me clearly illuminates the past, bracingly confronts our present, and offers a transcendent vision for a way forward.

Photo: Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body and Spirit

Black Fatigue: How Racism Erodes the Mind, Body and Spirit

by Mary-Frances Winters
Topics: Race and Culture, Inclusive Leadership

This is the first book to define and explore Black fatigue, the intergenerational impact of systemic racism on the physical and psychological health of Black people—and explain why and how society needs to collectively do more to combat its pernicious effects.

Black people, young and old, are fatigued, says award-winning diversity and inclusion leader Mary-Frances Winters. It is physically, mentally, and emotionally draining to continue to experience inequities and even atrocities, day after day, when justice is a God-given and legislated right. And it is exhausting to have to constantly explain this to white people, even—and especially—well-meaning white people, who fall prey to white fragility and too often are unwittingly complicit in upholding the very systems they say they want dismantled.

This book, designed to illuminate the myriad dire consequences of “living while Black,” came at the urging of Winters's Black friends and colleagues. Winters describes how in every aspect of life—from economics to education, work, criminal justice, and, very importantly, health outcomes—for the most part, the trajectory for Black people is not improving. It is paradoxical that, with all the attention focused over the last fifty years on social justice and diversity and inclusion, little progress has been made in actualizing the vision of an equitable society.

Black people are quite literally sick and tired of being sick and tired. Winters writes that “my hope for this book is that it will provide a comprehensive summary of the consequences of Black fatigue, and awaken activism in those who care about equity and justice—those who care that intergenerational fatigue is tearing at the very core of a whole race of people who are simply asking for what they deserve.”

Photo: Black Like Me

Black Like Me

by John Howard Griffin
Topic: Anti-racism

In the Deep South of the 1950’s, a color line was etched in blood across Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia. Journalist John Howard Griffin decided to cross that line. Using medication that darkened his skin to deep brown, he exchanged his privileged life as a Southern white man for the disenfranchised world of an unemployed black man.

What happened to John Howard Griffin—from the outside and within himself—as he made his way through the segregated Deep South is recorded in this searing work of nonfiction. His audacious, still chillingly relevant eyewitness history is a work about race and humanity every American must read.

Photo: Blacks and Whites in Christian America

Blacks and Whites in Christian America

by Jason Shelton & Michael O. Emerson
Topics: Religion, Race and Culture

Conventional wisdom holds that Christians, as members of a “universal” religion, all believe more or less the same things when it comes to their faith. Yet black and white Christians differ in significant ways, from their frequency of praying or attending services to whether they regularly read the Bible or believe in Heaven or Hell.

In this engaging and accessible sociological study of white and black Christian beliefs, Jason E. Shelton and Michael O. Emerson push beyond establishing that there are racial differences in belief and practice among members of American Protestantism to explore why those differences exist. Drawing on the most comprehensive and systematic empirical analysis of African American religious actions and beliefs to date, they delineate five building blocks of black Protestant faith which have emerged from the particular dynamics
of American race relations. Shelton and Emerson find that America’s history of racial oppression has had a deep and fundamental effect on the religious beliefs and practices of blacks and whites across America.

Photo: Blink

Blink

by Malcolm Gladwell
Topic: Inclusive Leadership

Blink is a book about how we think without thinking, about choices that seem to be made in an instant-in the blink of an eye-that actually aren't as simple as they seem. Why are some people brilliant decision makers, while others are consistently inept? Why do some people follow their instincts and win, while others end up stumbling into error? How do our brains really work-in the office, in the classroom, in the kitchen, and in the bedroom? And why are the best decisions often those that are impossible to explain to others?

In Blink we meet the psychologist who has learned to predict whether a marriage will last, based on a few minutes of observing a couple; the tennis coach who knows when a player will double-fault before the racket even makes contact with the ball; the antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance. Here, too, are great failures of "blink": the election of Warren Harding; "New Coke"; and the shooting of Amadou Diallo by police.

Blink reveals that great decision makers aren't those who process the most information or spend the most time deliberating, but those who have perfected the art of "thin-slicing"-filtering the very few factors that matter from an overwhelming number of variables.

Photo: Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

by Isabel Wilkerson
Topics: Race and Culture, Anti-racism

In this brilliant book, Isabel Wilkerson gives us a masterful portrait of an unseen phenomenon in America as she explores, through an immersive, deeply researched narrative and stories about real people, how America today and throughout its history has been shaped by a hidden caste system, a rigid hierarchy of human rankings.

Beyond race, class, or other factors, there is a powerful caste system that influences people’s lives and behavior and the nation’s fate. Linking the caste systems of America, India, and Nazi Germany, Wilkerson explores eight pillars that underlie caste systems across civilizations, including divine will, bloodlines, stigma, and more. Using riveting stories about people—including Martin Luther King, Jr., baseball’s Satchel Paige, a single father and his toddler son, Wilkerson herself, and many others—she shows the ways that the insidious undertow of caste is experienced every day. She documents how the Nazis studied the racial systems in America to plan their out-cast of the Jews; she discusses why the cruel logic of caste requires that there be a bottom rung for those in the middle to measure themselves against; she writes about the surprising health costs of caste, in depression and life expectancy, and the effects of this hierarchy on our culture and politics. Finally, she points forward to ways America can move beyond the artificial and destructive separations of human divisions, toward hope in our common humanity.

Photo: Covering: The Hidden Assault on our Civil Rights

Covering: The Hidden Assault on our Civil Rights

by Kenji Yoshino
Topics: Race and Culture, LGBTQIA+, Religion, Disabilities

Everyone covers. To cover is to downplay a disfavored trait so as to blend into the mainstream. Because all of us possess stigmatized attributes, we all encounter pressure to cover in our daily lives. Racial minorities are pressed to “act white” by changing their names, languages, or cultural practices. Women are told to “play like men” at work. Gays are asked not to engage in public displays of same-sex affection. The devout are instructed to minimize expressions of faith, and individuals with disabilities are urged to conceal the paraphernalia that permit them to function. Given its pervasiveness, we may experience this pressure to be a simple fact of social life.

Against conventional understanding, Kenji Yoshino argues that the work of American civil rights law will not be complete until it attends to the harms of coerced conformity. Though we have come to some consensus against penalizing people for differences based on race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, and disability, we still routinely deny equal treatment to people who refuse to downplay differences along these lines.

At the same time, Yoshino is responsive to the American exasperation with identity politics, which often seems like an endless parade of groups asking for state and social solicitude. He observes that the ubiquity of covering provides an opportunity to lift civil rights into a higher, more universal register. Since we all experience the covering demand, we can all make common cause around a new civil rights paradigm based on our desire for authenticity—a desire that brings us together rather than driving us apart.

Photo: The Critical Few

The Critical Few

by Jon Katzenbach
Topics: Race and Culture, Inclusive Leadership


In a global survey by the Katzenbach Center, 80 percent of respondents believed that their organization must evolve to succeed. But a full quarter of them reported that a change effort at their organization had resulted in no visible results. Why?

The fate of any change effort depends on whether and how leaders engage their culture: the self-sustaining patterns of behaving, feeling, thinking, and believing that determine how things are done in an organization. Culture is implicit rather than explicit, emotional rather than rational--that's what makes it so hard to work with, but that's also what makes it so powerful.

For the first time, this book lays out the Katzenbach Center's proven methodology for identifying your culture's four most critical elements: traits, characteristics that are at the heart of people's emotional connection to what they do; keystone behaviors, actions that would lead your company to succeed if they were replicated at a greater scale; authentic informal leaders, people who have a high degree of "emotional intuition" or social connectedness; and metrics, integrated, thoughtful measures to track progress, encourage the self-reinforcing cycle of lasting change and link to business performance.

By leveraging these critical few elements, you can tap into a source of catalytic change within your organization. People will make an emotional, not just a rational, commitment to new initiatives. You will elicit enthusiasm and creativity and build the kind of powerful company that people recognize for its innate value and effectiveness.

Photo: Crucial Conversations

Crucial Conversations

by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan & Al Switzler
Topics: Race and Culture, Inclusive Leadership

“[Crucial Conversations] draws our attention to those defining moments that literally shape our lives, our relationships, and our world. . . . This book deserves to take its place as one of the key thought leadership contributions of our time.”
―from the Foreword by Stephen R. Covey, author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

“The quality of your life comes out of the quality of your dialogues and conversations. Here’s how to instantly uplift your crucial conversations.”
―Mark Victor Hansen, cocreator of the #1 New York Times bestselling series Chicken Soup for the Soul®

The first edition of Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene and revolutionized the way millions of people communicate when stakes are high. This new edition gives you the tools to:

Prepare for high-stakes situations
Transform anger and hurt feelings into powerful dialogue
Make it safe to talk about almost anything
Be persuasive, not abrasive
Photo: Evicted

Evicted

by Matthew Desmond
Topics: Privilege, Race and Culture

In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they each struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Hailed as “wrenching and revelatory” (The Nation), “vivid and unsettling” (New York Review of Books), Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of twenty-first-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

Photo: Failing Forward

Failing Forward

by John C. Maxwell
Topics: Inclusive Leadership

New York Times best-selling author John C. Maxwell has the answer: The difference between average people and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.

Most people are never prepared to deal with failure. Maxwell says that if you are like him, coming out of school, you feared it, misunderstood it, and ran away from it. But Maxwell has learned to make failure his friend, and he can teach you to do the same.

"I want to help you learn how to confidently look the prospect of failure in the eye and move forward anyway," says Maxwell. "Because in life, the question is not if you will have problems, but how you are going to deal with them. Stop failing backward and start failing forward!"

Photo: How to Be an Antiracist

How to Be an Antiracist

by Ibram X. Kendi
Topic: Anti-racism

Antiracism is a transformative concept that reorients and reenergizes the conversation about racism—and, even more fundamentally, points us toward liberating new ways of thinking about ourselves and each other. At its core, racism is a powerful system that creates false hierarchies of human value; its warped logic extends beyond race, from the way we regard people of different ethnicities or skin colors to the way we treat people of different sexes, gender identities, and body types. Racism intersects with class and culture and geography and even changes the way we see and value ourselves. In How to Be an Antiracist, Kendi takes readers through a widening circle of antiracist ideas—from the most basic concepts to visionary possibilities—that will help readers see all forms of racism clearly, understand their poisonous consequences, and work to oppose them in our systems and in ourselves.

Kendi weaves an electrifying combination of ethics, history, law, and science with his own personal story of awakening to antiracism. This is an essential work for anyone who wants to go beyond the awareness of racism to the next step: contributing to the formation of a just and equitable society.

Photo: How to  Talk to Strangers

How to Talk to Strangers

by Tammy Turner
Topic: Inclusive Leadership

"How To Talk To Strangers" provides the college student, the novice networker and seasoned professional with tools necessary to advance their careers by learning various techniques to build, nurture and maintain business relationships.

Photo: Inclusive Conversations: Fostering Equity, Empathy, and Belonging across Differences

Inclusive Conversations: Fostering Equity, Empathy, and Belonging across Differences

by Mary-Frances Winters
Topic: Race and Culture

Effective dialogue across different dimensions of diversity, such as race, gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation, fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion, which in turn leads to greater productivity, performance, and innovation. Whether in the workplace, faith communities, or educational settings, our differences can tear us apart rather than bring us together if we do not know how to communicate. Recognizing our collective responsibility to earnestly address our differences and increase understanding and empathy will not only enhance organizational goals but will also lead to a healthier, kinder, and more compassionate world.Effective dialogue across different dimensions of diversity, such as race, gender, age, religion, or sexual orientation, fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion, which in turn leads to greater productivity, performance, and innovation. Whether in the workplace, faith communities, or educational settings, our differences can tear us apart rather than bring us together if we do not know how to communicate. Recognizing our collective responsibility to earnestly address our differences and increase understanding and empathy will not only enhance organizational goals but will also lead to a healthier, kinder, and more compassionate world.

Award-winning diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant Mary-Frances Winters has been leading workshops on what she calls Bold, Inclusive Conversations for years. In this book she offers specific dialogue strategies to foster greater understanding on the following topics:

  • Recognizing the importance of creating equity and sharing power
  • Dealing with the "fragility" of dominant groups--their discomfort in engaging with historically subordinated groups
  • Addressing the exhaustion historically marginalized groups feel from constantly explaining their different lived experience
  • Exploring how to build trust and create psychologically safe spaces for dialogue

This guide is comprehensive for anyone who wants to break down the barriers that separate us and facilitate discussions on potentially polarizing topics.

Photo: Just Mercy

Just Mercy

by Bryan Stevenson
Topics: Privilege, Anti-racism

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.

Just Mercy is at once an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Photo: Just Who Loses? Discrimination in the United States, Vol. 2

Just Who Loses? Discrimination in the United States, Vol. 2

by Samuel Roundfield Lucas
Topic: Anti-racism

In Just Who Loses? Samuel Roundfield Lucas continues his penetrating and comprehensive assessment of sex and race discrimination in the United States that he began in Theorizing Discrimination in an Era of Contested Prejudice.

This new volume demonstrates that the idea of discrimination being a zero-sum game is a fallacy. If discrimination costs women, men do not necessarily reap the gains. Likewise, if discrimination costs blacks, non-blacks do not reap the gains. Lucas examines the legal adjudication of discrimination, as well as wider public debates about policy on the issue, to prove how discrimination actually operates.

He uses analytic methods to show that across the socioeconomic lifecycle–including special education placement, unemployment, occupational attainment, earnings, poverty, and even mortality–both targets and non-targets of discrimination lose.

In Just Who Loses? Lucas proposes the construction of a broad-based coalition to combat the pervasive discrimination that affects social relations and law in the United States.

Photo: Microaggressions  in Everyday Life

Microaggressions in Everyday Life

by Derald Wing Sue & Lisa Beth Spanierman
Topic: Privilege

Photo: The Miner's Canary

The Miner's Canary

by Lani Guinier & Gerald Torres
Topics: Race and Culture, Politics

Like the canaries that alerted miners to a poisonous atmosphere, issues of race point to underlying problems in society that ultimately affect everyone, not just minorities. Addressing these issues is essential. Ignoring racial differences--race blindness--has failed. Focusing on individual achievement has diverted us from tackling pervasive inequalities. Now, in a powerful and challenging book, Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres propose a radical new way to confront race in the twenty-first century.

Given the complex relationship between race and power in America, engaging race means engaging standard winner-take-all hierarchies of power as well. Terming their concept "political race," Guinier and Torres call for the building of grass-roots, cross-racial coalitions to remake those structures of power by fostering public participation in politics and reforming the process of democracy. Their illuminating and moving stories of political race in action include the coalition of Hispanic and black leaders who devised the Texas Ten Percent Plan to establish equitable state college admissions criteria, and the struggle of black workers in North Carolina for fair working conditions that drew on the strength and won the support of the entire local community.

The aim of political race is not merely to remedy racial injustices, but to create truly participatory democracy, where people of all races feel empowered to effect changes that will improve conditions for everyone. In a book that is ultimately not only aspirational but inspirational, Guinier and Torres envision a social justice movement that could transform the nature of democracy in America.

Photo: Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office

Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office

by Lois P. Frankel
Topic: Inclusive Leadership

Photo: The Power of Meeting New People

The Power of Meeting New People

by Debra Fine
Topic: Inclusive Leadership


Are you reluctant introducing yourself to new people?  Do you fear talking with people who you don't know? Ever get lost for words?  Are you afraid of saying something stupid... being rejected... or feeling like an interlude? Would you like to feel more comfortable mingling with others and be able to make friends more easily? The power of meeting new people will help you:
 
  • Overcome the fear of meeting new people, starting a conversation and connection with others- regardless of the occasion, event or situation.
  • Be composed and self-assured when talking to prospects and clients.
  • Feel more at ease and self- assured when talking to prospects and clients.
  • Feel more at ease and make everywhere you go a people-meeting adventure.
  • Avoid pregnant pauses and awkward silences and prevent foot-in-mouth disease.
  • Convey warmth and caring so other people are more likely to feel friendly toward you.
  • Make a positive, lasting impression from the moment you say hello by using icebreakers, body language and casual conversation.
  • Acquire listening skills so you can become a better conversationist and friend.
Would you like the rich rewards that can come only by increasing the number of people you meet? Deb, going from a shy nerd to an outgoing people person, shares how she did just that. Her easy-to-use tips and techniques can help too, reach new levels of achievement. 
Photo: Presumed Incompetent II

Presumed Incompetent II

by Yolanda Flores Niemann, Gabriella Guiterrez y Muhs and Carmen G. Gonzalez
Topic: Race and Culture

Presumed Incompetent is a pathbreaking account of the intersecting roles of race, gender, and class in the working lives of women faculty of color. Through personal narratives and qualitative empirical studies, more than 40 authors expose the daunting challenges faced by academic women of color as they navigate the often hostile terrain of higher education, including hiring, promotion, tenure, and relations with students, colleagues, and administrators. The narratives are filled with wit, wisdom, and concrete recommendations, and provide a window into the struggles of professional women in a racially stratified but increasingly multicultural America.

Photo: The Production of Difference: Race and the Management of Labor in US History

The Production of Difference: Race and the Management of Labor in US History

by David Roediger & Elizabeth Esch

In this eye-opening book, David Roediger and Elizabeth Esch offer a radically new way of understanding the history of management in the United States, placing race, migration, and empire at the center of what has sometimes been narrowly seen as a search for efficiency and economy. Ranging from the antebellum period to the coming of the Great Depression, the book examines the extensive literature slave masters produced on how to manage and "develop" slaves; explores what was perhaps the greatest managerial feat in U.S. history, the building of the transcontinental railroad, which pitted Chinese and Irish work gangs against each other; and concludes by looking at how these strategies survive today in the management of hard, low-paying, dangerous jobs in agriculture, military support, and meatpacking. Roediger and Esch convey what slaves, immigrants, and all working people were up against as the objects of managerial control. Managers explicitly ranked racial groups, both in terms of which labor they were best suited for and their relative value compared to others. The authors show how whites relied on such alleged racial knowledge to manage and believed that the "lesser races" could only benefit from their tutelage. These views wove together managerial strategies and white supremacy not only ideologically but practically, every day at workplaces. Even in factories governed by scientific management, the impulse to play races against each other, and to slot workers into jobs categorized by race, constituted powerful management tools used to enforce discipline, lower wages, keep workers on dangerous jobs, and undermine solidarity.

Photo: A Promised Land

A Promised Land

by Barack Obama
Topic: Race and Culture

In the the stirring, highly anticipated first volume of his presidential memoirs, Barack Obama tells the story of his improbable odyssey from young man searching for his identity to leader of the free world, describing in strikingly personal detail both his political education and the landmark moments of the first term of his historic presidency—a time of dramatic transformation and turmoil.

Obama takes readers on a compelling journey from his earliest political aspirations to the pivotal Iowa caucus victory that demonstrated the power of grassroots activism to the watershed night of November 4, 2008, when he was elected 44th president of the United States, becoming the first African American to hold the nation’s highest office.

Reflecting on the presidency, he offers a unique and thoughtful exploration of both the awesome reach and the limits of presidential power, as well as singular insights into the dynamics of U.S. partisan politics and international diplomacy. Obama brings readers inside the Oval Office and the White House Situation Room, and to Moscow, Cairo, Beijing, and points beyond. We are privy to his thoughts as he assembles his cabinet, wrestles with a global financial crisis, takes the measure of Vladimir Putin, overcomes seemingly insurmountable odds to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, clashes with generals about U.S. strategy in Afghanistan, tackles Wall Street reform, responds to the devastating Deepwater Horizon blowout, and authorizes Operation Neptune’s Spear, which leads to the death of Osama bin Laden.

A Promised Land is extraordinarily intimate and introspective—the story of one man’s bet with history, the faith of a community organizer tested on the world stage. Obama is candid about the balancing act of running for office as a Black American, bearing the expectations of a generation buoyed by messages of “hope and change,” and meeting the moral challenges of high-stakes decision-making. He is frank about the forces that opposed him at home and abroad, open about how living in the White House affected his wife and daughters, and unafraid to reveal self-doubt and disappointment. Yet he never wavers from his belief that inside the great, ongoing American experiment, progress is always possible.

This beautifully written and powerful book captures Barack Obama’s conviction that democracy is not a gift from on high but something founded on empathy and common understanding and built together, day by day.  

Photo: Rise and Grind

Rise and Grind

by Damond John
Topic: Inclusive Leadership

Daymond John knows what it means to push yourself hard--and he also knows how spectacularly a killer work ethic can pay off. As a young man, he founded a modest line of clothing on a $40 budget by hand-sewing hats between his shifts at Red Lobster. Today, his brand FUBU has over $6 billion in sales.Daymond John knows what it means to push yourself hard--and he also knows how spectacularly a killer work ethic can pay off. As a young man, he founded a modest line of clothing on a $40 budget by hand-sewing hats between his shifts at Red Lobster. Today, his brand FUBU has over $6 billion in sales.

Convenient though it might be to believe that you can shortcut your way to the top, says John, the truth is that if you want to get and stay ahead, you need to put in the work. You need to out-think, out-hustle, and out-perform everyone around you. You've got to rise and grind every day.

In the anticipated follow-up to the bestselling The Power of Broke, Daymond takes an up close look at the hard-charging routines and winning secrets of individuals who have risen to the challenges in their lives and grinded their way to the very tops of their fields. Along the way, he also reveals how grit and persistence both helped him overcome the obstacles he has faced in life and ultimately fueled his success.

Photo: So You Want to Talk about Race

So You Want to Talk about Race

by Ijeoma Oluo
Topics: Privilege, Anti-racism

Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy -- from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans -- has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair -- and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend? Widespread reporting on aspects of white supremacy -- from police brutality to the mass incarceration of Black Americans -- has put a media spotlight on racism in our society. Still, it is a difficult subject to talk about. How do you tell your roommate her jokes are racist? Why did your sister-in-law take umbrage when you asked to touch her hair -- and how do you make it right? How do you explain white privilege to your white, privileged friend?

In So You Want to Talk About Race, Ijeoma Oluo guides readers of all races through subjects ranging from intersectionality and affirmative action to "model minorities" in an attempt to make the seemingly impossible possible: honest conversations about race and racism, and how they infect almost every aspect of American life.

Photo: Talent Is  Never Enough

Talent Is Never Enough

by John C. Maxwell
Topic: Inclusive Leadership

New York Times best-selling author Dr. John C. Maxwell has a message for you, and for today's corporate culture fixated on talent above all else: TALENT IS NEVER ENOUGH.

People everywhere are proving him right. Read the headlines, watch the highlights, or just step out your front door: Some talented people reach their full potential, while others self-destruct or remain trapped in mediocrity. What makes the difference? Maxwell, the go-to guru for business professionals across the globe, insists that the choices people make-not merely the skills they inherit-propel them onto greatness. Among other truths, successful people know that:

  • Belief lifts your talent.
  • Initiative activates your talent.
  • Focus directs your talent.
  • Preparation positions your talent.
  • Practice sharpens your talent.
  • Perseverance sustains your talent.
  • Character protects your talent. . . . and more!!

It's what you add to your talent that makes the greatest difference. With authentic examples and time-tested wisdom, Maxwell shares thirteen attributes you need to maximize your potential and live the life of your dreams.

You can have talent alone and fall short of your potential. Or you can have talent plus, and really stand out.

Photo: Talking to Strangers

Talking to Strangers

by Malcolm Gladwell
Topic: Inclusive Leadership

Photo: Think and Grow Rich - A Black Choice

Think and Grow Rich - A Black Choice

by Dennis Kimbro & Napoleon Hill
Topic: Race and Culture

Author and entrepreneur Dennis Kimbro combines bestseeling author Napolean Hilll's law of success with his own vast knowledge of business, contemporary affairs, and the vibrant culture of Black America to teach you the secrets to success used by scores of black Americans, including: Spike Lee, Jesse Jackson, Dr. Selma Burke, Oprah Winfrey, and many others. The result is inspiring, practical, clearly written, and totally workable. Use it to unlock the treasure you have always dreamed of--the treasure that at last is within your reach.

Photo: Waking Up White

Waking Up White

by Debby Irving
Topic: Race and Culture

For twenty-five years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships. As a colleague and neighbor, she worried about offending people she dearly wanted to befriend. As an arts administrator, she didn't understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction. As a teacher, she found her best efforts to reach out to students and families of color left her wondering what she was missing. Then, in 2009, one "aha!" moment launched an adventure of discovery and insight that drastically shifted her worldview and upended her life plan. In Waking Up White, Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story with such openness that readers will turn every page rooting for her-and ultimately for all of us.

Photo: We Can't Talk about That at Work! How to Talk about Race, Religion, Politics and Other Polarizing Topics

We Can't Talk about That at Work! How to Talk about Race, Religion, Politics and Other Polarizing Topics

by Mary-Frances Winters
Topics: Race and Culture, Anti-racism, Religion

Politics, religion, race - we can't talk about topics like these at work, right? But in fact, these conversations are happening all the time, either in real life or virtually via social media. And if they aren't handled effectively, they can become more polarizing and divisive, impacting productivity, engagement, retention, teamwork, and even employees' sense of safety in the workplace. But you can turn that around and address difficult topics in a way that brings people together instead of driving them apart.

As a thought leader in the field of diversity and inclusion, Mary-Frances Winters has been helping clients create inclusive environments for over three decades. In this concise and powerful book, she shows you how to lay the groundwork for having bold, inclusive conversations.

Even with the best of intentions, you can't just start talking about taboo topics - that's wandering into a minefield. Winters offers exercises and tools to help you become aware of how your cultural background has shaped your perceptions and habits and to increase your understanding of how people from other cultures may differ from you, particularly when it comes to communicating and handling conflict.

Once you're ready (you can take the self-assessment included in the book to make sure), Winters gives detailed instructions on exactly how to structure these conversations. She emphasizes that this is a process, not a destination—you may not be able to resolve major issues nicely and neatly in just one conversation. And while the process is important, so is intent. She urges readers to “come from your heart, learn from your mistakes, and continue to contribute to making this a more inclusive world for all.”

Photo: Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do

Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do

by Claude M. Steele
Topic: Privilege

Claude M. Steele, who has been called “one of the few great social psychologists,” offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.
Photo: White Fragility

White Fragility

by Robin DiAngelo
Topic: Anti-racism

The New York Times best-selling book exploring the counterproductive reactions white people have when their assumptions about race are challenged, and how these reactions maintain racial inequality.

In this “vital, necessary, and beautiful book” (Michael Eric Dyson), antiracist educator Robin DiAngelo deftly illuminates the phenomenon of white fragility and “allows us to understand racism as a practice not restricted to ‘bad people’ (Claudia Rankine). Referring to the defensive moves that white people make when challenged racially, white fragility is characterized by emotions such as anger, fear, and guilt, and by behaviors including argumentation and silence. These behaviors, in turn, function to reinstate white racial equilibrium and prevent any meaningful cross-racial dialogue. In this in-depth exploration, DiAngelo examines how white fragility develops, how it protects racial inequality, and what we can do to engage more constructively.