These 7 books will help you build a truly inclusive workplace

At the root of any inclusive company is compassion, which only comes about when we acknowledge and attempt to understand the hardships of others. As business leaders look – actively look – to build companies that are explicitly anti-racist, now is the time to educate ourselves about privilege and the United States’ history of racism in order to foster the understanding and compassion needed to succeed in this mission.

With that in mind, Fast Company has compiled a list of some of the best readings reading if you want to create a truly inclusive work environment, which you can find below.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo: This book takes a closer look at a prevailing theme in today’s political discourse, which Oluo calls “the nation’s oldest pyramid scheme”: white supremacy. Acknowledging that conversations around race are difficult for some, this book provides clear guidance for readers who need a basic primer on topics like intersectionality and microaggressions, especially relevant issues when it comes to the well-being of POC in the workplace.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin: A modern-day classic, Baldwin’s 1963 bestseller consists of two essays and coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, with a New Preface by Khalil Gibran: How did Black Americans come to be labeled as criminals in American cities? That is the question posed by the author in this sociological review of the evolving connection between race and crime.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge: This insightful book by British author Reni Eddo-Lodge burst onto the scene as the companion to her wildly popular 2014 essay of the same name. Her book takes a larger view of the rise of whitewashed feminism, along with discussions of white dominance in politics, to offer a framework for those seeking to broaden their understanding of race, class, and the danger of white obliviousness.

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi: Kendi makes the case that not actively speaking out about racism is just as problematic as doing or saying explicitly racist things. Moreover, Kendi explains that racists are far from willfully ignorant or obtuse; instead, they are people obstructing change, trying to maintain racial disparity and long-held policies in American society.  

Diversity in the Workplace by Bärí A. Williams: As Williams explains in the book, many companies are simply not aware that their ethical problems may actually be diversity problemsDiversity in the Workplace takes on topics like battling the unconscious bias and provides concrete examples of professional successes that were either lifted up by diversity or temporarily obstructed by a lack of it.

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide by Crystal M. Fleming: Sociologist and Africana studies professor Crystal M. Fleming points out the noticeable holes in our modern conversation about race. Fleming makes the argument that, despite years of struggle, the message is still not getting across to those that need to hear it.

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These 7 books will help you build a truly inclusive workplace

At the root of any inclusive company is compassion, which only comes about when we acknowledge and attempt to understand the hardships of others. As business leaders look – actively look – to build companies that are explicitly anti-racist, now is the time to educate ourselves about privilege and the United States’ history of racism in order to foster the understanding and compassion needed to succeed in this mission.

With that in mind, Fast Company has compiled a list of some of the best readings reading if you want to create a truly inclusive work environment, which you can find below.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo: This book takes a closer look at a prevailing theme in today’s political discourse, which Oluo calls “the nation’s oldest pyramid scheme”: white supremacy. Acknowledging that conversations around race are difficult for some, this book provides clear guidance for readers who need a basic primer on topics like intersectionality and microaggressions, especially relevant issues when it comes to the well-being of POC in the workplace.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin: A modern-day classic, Baldwin’s 1963 bestseller consists of two essays and coincided with the 100th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, as well as the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America, with a New Preface by Khalil Gibran: How did Black Americans come to be labeled as criminals in American cities? That is the question posed by the author in this sociological review of the evolving connection between race and crime.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge: This insightful book by British author Reni Eddo-Lodge burst onto the scene as the companion to her wildly popular 2014 essay of the same name. Her book takes a larger view of the rise of whitewashed feminism, along with discussions of white dominance in politics, to offer a framework for those seeking to broaden their understanding of race, class, and the danger of white obliviousness.

Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi: Kendi makes the case that not actively speaking out about racism is just as problematic as doing or saying explicitly racist things. Moreover, Kendi explains that racists are far from willfully ignorant or obtuse; instead, they are people obstructing change, trying to maintain racial disparity and long-held policies in American society.  

Diversity in the Workplace by Bärí A. Williams: As Williams explains in the book, many companies are simply not aware that their ethical problems may actually be diversity problemsDiversity in the Workplace takes on topics like battling the unconscious bias and provides concrete examples of professional successes that were either lifted up by diversity or temporarily obstructed by a lack of it.

How to Be Less Stupid About Race: On Racism, White Supremacy, and the Racial Divide by Crystal M. Fleming: Sociologist and Africana studies professor Crystal M. Fleming points out the noticeable holes in our modern conversation about race. Fleming makes the argument that, despite years of struggle, the message is still not getting across to those that need to hear it.

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