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Diversity Discussions Book of the Month

August Book of the Month

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White Awake by David Hill

Daniel Hill will never forget the day he heard these words:

"Daniel, you may be white, but don't let that lull you into thinking you have no culture. White culture is very real. In fact, when white culture comes in contact with other cultures, it almost always wins. So it would be a really good idea for you to learn about your culture."

Confused and unsettled by this encounter, Hill began a journey of understanding his own white identity. Today he is an active participant in addressing and confronting racial and systemic injustices. And in this compelling and timely book, he shows you the seven stages to expect on your own path to cultural awakening.

It's crucial to understand both personal and social realities in the areas of race, culture, and identity. White Awake will give you a new perspective on being white and also empower you to be an agent of reconciliation in our increasingly diverse and divided world.


Previous Books of the Month

2019

July Book of the Month

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Driven by Difference

by David Livermore

Today’s boardrooms think tanks, and staff lounges are more diverse than ever before. But these cultural differences can either lead to gridlock among uniformed thinkers or they can catalyze innovation and growth among an expansive team of creative, distinctive individuals. Diverse teams are far more creative than homogenous teams--but only when they are managed effectively. In Driven by DifferenceDavid Livermore identifies the management practices necessary to minimize conflict while maximizing the informational diversity found in varied values and experiences. Drawing on the cultural intelligence, or CQ, of diversity success stories from Google, Alibaba, Novartis, and other groundbreaking companies, this must-have resource teaches managers of diverse groups how to:• Create an optimal environment• Consider the various audiences when selecting and selling an idea• Design and test for different users• Fuse differing perspectives• Align goals and expectations• And more new perspectives and talents have joined their company’s ranks in recent years.

June Book of the Month

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Diversity Explosion

by William H. Frey

 Through a compelling narrative and eye-catching charts and maps, eminent demographer Frey interprets and expounds on the dramatic growth of minority populations in the United States. He finds that without these expanding groups, America could face a bleak future: this new generation of young minorities, who are having children at a faster rate than whites, is infusing our aging labor force with vitality and innovation. In contrast with the labor force-age population of Japan, Germany, Italy, and the United Kingdom, the U.S. labor force-age population is set to grow 5 percent by 2030. Diversity Explosion shares the good news about diversity in the coming decades, and the more globalized, multiracial country that the U.S. is becoming.

May Book of the Month

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Not Quite Not White

by Sharmila Sen

 At the age of 12, Sharmila Sen emigrated from India to the U.S. The year was 1982, and everywhere she turned, she was asked to self-report her race - on INS forms, at the doctor's office, in middle school. Never identifying with a race in the India of her childhood, she rejects her new "not quite" designation - not quite white, not quite black, not quite Asian -- and spends much of her life attempting to blend into American whiteness. But after her teen years trying to assimilate--watching shows like General Hospital and The Jeffersons, dancing to Duran Duran and Prince, and perfecting the art of Jell-O no-bake desserts--she is forced to reckon with the hard questions: What does it mean to be white, why does whiteness retain the magic cloak of invisibility while other colors are made hypervisible, and how much does whiteness figure into Americanness?

Part memoir, part manifesto, Not Quite Not White is a searing appraisal of race and a path forward for the next not quite not white generation --a witty and sharply honest story of discovering that not-whiteness can be the very thing that makes us American.

April Book of the Month

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American Born Chinese

by Gene Luen Yang

American Born Chinese starts at a new school where Jin Wang is the only Chinese-American student. When a boy from Taiwan joins his class, Jin doesn't want to be associated with someone like him. Jin just wants to be an all-American boy, because he's in love with an all-American girl. Danny is an all-American boy: great at basketball, popular with the girls. But his obnoxious Chinese cousin’s annual visit is such a disaster that it ruins Danny's reputation at school, leaving him with no choice but to transfer somewhere he can start all over again. The Monkey King has lived for thousands of years and mastered the arts of Kung Fu and the heavenly disciplines. He's ready to join the ranks of the immortal gods in heaven. But there's no place in heaven for a monkey. Each of these characters cannot help himself alone, but how can they possibly help each other? They're going to have to find a way―if they want to fix the disasters their lives have become.

March Book of the Month

Book cover of What Works: Gender Equality by Design by Iris Bohnet

 What Works: Gender Equality by Design 

 by Iris Bohnet 

What Works is built on new insights into the human mind. It draws on data collected by companies, universities, and governments in Australia, India, Norway, the United Kingdom, the United States, Zambia, and other countries, often in randomized controlled trials. It points out dozens of evidence-based interventions that could be adopted right now and demonstrates how research is addressing gender bias, improving lives and performance. What Works shows what more can be done―often at shockingly low cost and surprisingly high speed.

February Book of the Month

Diversity Matters: Race, Ethnicity, & the Future of Christian Higher Education

by Karen A. Longman, Ph. D. 

Diversity Matters: Race, Ethnicity, & the Future of Christian Higher Education features essays from student development professionals and scholars across the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities, including several from Wheaton College including our very own  '84, October 7, 1962 - December 30, 2018.

In their essays, Wheaton College staff, faculty, alumni and a trustee reflect on their experiences as members of campuses that seek to develop Christ-centered diversity.

In his chapter "The Music God Puts in Your Heart: Reflections from an Ongoing Journey" Rodney Sisco, the former Director of the Office of Multicultural Development, compares his years of service at Wheaton College to someone listening to a complex jazz composition: a combination of consistency and artistry. He writes,

“The complexity of music pales in comparison to the complexity of understanding diversity in contemporary society. Just as listening to a complex composition requires focus and diligence, so too does the conversation of diversity. Longevity in Christian higher education for me has been to find that balance of consistency and artistry akin to finding the groove of a song.”

He adds that a sense of the Lord’s unique calling has enabled him to persist in his service at Wheaton for more than three decades.

January Book of the Month

I'm Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness

by Austin Channing Brown  

In a time when nearly all institutions (schools, churches, universities, businesses) claim to value "diversity" in their mission statements, I'm Still Here is a powerful account of how and why our actions so often fall short of our words. Austin writes in breathtaking detail about her journey to self-worth and the pitfalls that kill our attempts at racial justice, in stories that bear witness to the complexity of America's social fabric--from Black Cleveland neighborhoods to private schools in the middle-class suburbs, from prison walls to the boardrooms at majority-white organizations. 

I'm Still Here is an illuminating look at how white, middle-class, Evangelicalism has participated in an era of rising racial hostility, inviting the reader to confront apathy, recognize God's ongoing work in the world, and discover how blackness--if we let it--can save us all.

2018

December Book of the Month

A Sojourner's Truth: Choosing Freedom and Courage in a Divided World

by Natasha Sistrunk Robinson 

A Sojourner's Truth is an African American girl’s journey from South Carolina to the United States Naval Academy, and then to her calling as an international speaker, mentor, and thought-leader.

Intertwined with Natasha's story is the story of Moses, a leader who was born into a marginalized people group, resisted the injustices of Pharaoh, denied the power of Egypt, and trusted God even when he did not fully understand where he was going. Along the way we explore the spiritual and physical tensions of truth-telling, character and leadership development, and bridge building across racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, and gender lines.

Join the journey to discover your own identity, purpose, and truth-revealing moments.

November Book of the Month

The House on Mango Street Book Cover

The House on Mango Street

by Sandra Cisneros  

Told in a series of vignettes stunning for their eloquence, The House on Mango Street is Sandra Cisneros's greatly admired novel of a young girl growing up in the Latino section of Chicago. Acclaimed by critics, beloved by children, their parents, and grandparents taught everywhere from inner-city grade schools to universities across the country, and translated all over the world, it has entered the canon of coming-of-age classics.

Sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous, The House on Mango Street tells the story of Esperanza Cordero, whose neighborhood is one of harsh realities and harsh beauty. Esperanza doesn't want to belong -- not to her rundown neighborhood, and not to the low expectations the world has for her. Esperanza's story is that of a young girl coming into her power, and inventing for herself what she will become.