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7 Must-Read Books For Your 2023 DEI Book Club

For the past few years, we’ve shared various DEI-related books (2019, 2020, 2021)  that can spark deeper conversations and create room for more understanding and change within your workplaces. This year, we’ve selected books that may be needed now more than ever in our current social climate and political landscape.

If you think 2023 might be the year to have dedicated time to discuss DEI on both the personal and professional fronts, then a book club might be on your list of next steps. Whether you want to discuss and practice closing the DEI gap between intentions and actions, address and heal from internalized oppressions, or have challenging conversations with your colleagues, we hope that one of the books in this blog post will support you and your workplaces.

Here are the top 7 DEI-related books we’ve selected for 2023: 

Diversity Gap: Where Good Intentions Meet True Cultural Change  by Bethany B. Wilkinson 

Many companies work towards becoming more racially and ethnically diverse. However, there must be a link between reaching quotas and creating systemic and cultural change within workplaces. Using research, storytelling, and frameworks, the author helps leaders reflect on how to bridge the gap between good intentions and cultural impact within the workplace.

DEI Deconstructed: Your No-Nonsense Guide to Doing the Work and Doing It Right by Lily Zheng 

Written by one of LinkedIn’s most popular voices on DEI, Zheng shares why many workplace DEI strategies and initiatives aren’t successful and why there’s often more harm than good done to the people they’re supposed to support. In response, Zheng provides evidence-based tips and action items any DEI practitioner, ally, and leader can implement to do honest and impactful DEI work in honor of organizational change. 

Inclusion on Purpose  by Ruchika Tulshyan

“Inclusion doesn’t just happen. We have to work for it.” Like anything else, Tulshyan reminds us that being inclusive co-workers and leaders takes intentional practice and dedication. In this book, Tulshyan centers workplace experiences of women of color to help readers understand the impact biases and exclusion have at the intersection of race and gender. She proposes that dismantling systemic biases is part of being inclusive on purpose and provides tangible examples of what each of us can do. 

We Can’t Talk About That At Work: How to Talk About Race, Religion, Politics, and Other Polarizing Topics by Mary-Frances Winters 

This book can be a helpful guide for any organization struggling to discuss topics that feel polarizing and deeply personal. Winters reminds us that discussing race, religion, and politics at work shouldn’t necessarily be avoided at all costs. She provides insight into how we can create spaces where differences can be raised and common ground can also be found. 

I Never Thought of it That Way: How To Have Fearlessly Curious Conversations in Dangerously Divided Times by Mónica Guzmán

Sensitive topics are even more challenging to discuss during societal chaos and crisis. In this book, Guzmán begins by sharing her personal story of being a liberal daughter to Mexican immigrants with different political views. Through this storytelling, she presents us with the possibility of curiosity and how it may shift our relationships, especially with those we love, even if we disagree. 

Do Better: Spiritual Activism For Fighting and Healing White Supremacy  by Rachel Ricketts

Ricketts offers a refreshing approach to activism by proposing that the fight towards racial justice should also include spirit-based practices at the core of it. This book contains examples of how to engage with various spiritual practices daily that will support us in healing individually and collectively as we work towards our collective liberation.

Heal Your Way Forward: The Co-Conspirator’s Guide to an Anti-Racist Future by Myisha T. Hill

This book is for anyone, especially white allies and co-conspirators, wanting an in-depth guide on creating a hopeful future for new generations while addressing how racism impacts our ability to access and experience true liberation, even when we’re fighting for it. After each chapter, Hill offers guiding questions and prompts that can be reflected on individually or with a group of people.