Outstanding Academic Titles 2020: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

This week's sneak peek from our 2020 Outstanding Academic Titles list: books in the realm of diversity, equity and inclusion.

This week’s sneak peek from our 2020 Outstanding Academic Titles list: books in the realm of diversity, equity and inclusion.

1. Racism : science & tools for the public health professional
ed. by Chandra L. Ford et al APHA, 2019

This volume brings together scientific research that demonstrates how racism affects health. The book is coauthored by Chandra L. Ford (Univ. of California Los Angeles), founding director of the Center for the Study of Racism, Social Justice, and Health, and colleagues, all leading scholars on the intersection between social influences and health. The organization of the book makes it easy for readers to use as either a reference tool or cover-to-cover page-turner. Part 1 discusses antiracism efforts within the context of public health. Part 2 describes the processes involved in the way racism impacts health. Part 3 offers responses that public health practitioners can use to resist racism; and part 4 reports experiences from the perspective of many different minority groups. The text ends by articulating a multilevel approach to understanding the impact of racism on health, specifically summarizing how public health workers can confront racism. While this book is written for the public health professional, the tips provided can also be applied in other disciplines.
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2. Advancing diversity, inclusion, and social justice through human systems engineering
ed. by Rod D. Roscoe, Erin K. Chiou and Abigail R. Wooldridge CRC Press, 2020

This book, organized by three editors who are university professors of engineering, brings together work by 43 contributing authors, arranged in three sections: “Understanding and Supporting Healthy Communities,” “Including and Empowering Diverse People,” and “Inspiring Strategies for an Inclusive Future.” The discipline of human systems engineering (HSE) tackles human-centered problems from an engineering perspective. But, the editors advise, “designing for sameness has set us back centuries … in terms of social justice.” Keywords addressed by contributors under the notion of diversity include “disabled,” “elderly,” “race,” “skin color,” “gender,” and “LGBTQ.” As the papers show, inclusion requires actively recognizing, welcoming, and respecting diverse perspectives by design. “Social justice” as conceptualized in this volume means dismantling systems that create injustice while building systems that promote diversity and inclusion. “Equity” (striving for equal outcomes) is emphasized, while “equality” (equal treatment) is shown to be a distraction. Social justice requires equal outcomes if possible. Scenarios addressed include health care, education, and the workplace, but there is scant coverage on crime and policing or climate change. Some discussion of implicit bias, transgender bathrooms, and benefits for same-gender partners appears. View on Amazon

3. Rethinking diversity frameworks in higher education
Chun, Edna B. by Edna B. Chun and Joe R. Feagin Routledge, 2019

When reading this volume by Chun, a leader in the education community, and Feagin (sociology, Texas A&M Univ.), the quality of the content quickly becomes apparent. Excellently researched and organized, this study looks at the everyday discrimination and exclusion minority groups face at historically white campuses. The authors discuss reactions to racial integration, the imposition of racial identity, microaggressions—as well as the human cost of dealing with such daily transgressions, such as the career costs of discrimination—the effects of stress, and the necessity of coping mechanisms. In addition to research, Chun and Feagin draw on the experiences of faculty, students, and administrators gleaned from interviews. These stories help readers connect to and empathize with nondominant groups and highlight how prevalent implicit bias and discrimination are on college campuses. Refreshingly, the authors provide realistic suggestions for creating sustainable change in this timely, easy-to-digest, thought-provoking book. This reviewer’s only complaint is that she wanted to read more.
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4.Degrees of difference : reflections of women of color on graduate school
ed. by Kimberly D. McKee and Denise A. Delgado Illinois, 2020

Editors Mckee (Grand Valley State Univ.) and Delgado, an independent scholar, have capably compiled this collection of graduate students’ personal narratives as students of color and indigenous students, steeped in critical race and feminist theories. Evoking Sara Ahmed’s notion of the “feminist killjoy,” authors share stories of marginalization to ensure these experiences are not “told only in whispers, off the record” (p. 8). With contributions from women in North America of different races, sexual orientations, and religious affiliations coming from different disciplines, professions, and educational levels, this volume is careful to avoid reducing their experiences to tokenism. Contributors offer advice on combating microaggressions, analyze structured programs that support underrepresented students earning PhDs, note the importance of mentorship and affinity groups, and discuss the complex history of ethnic studies. Carrie Sampson’s chapter highlighting her caretaking responsibilities while a Chicana graduate student will likely resonate with many readers raising families or taking care of aging parents.
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5Technology segregation: disrupting racist frameworks in early childhood education
Tager, Miriam. Lexington Books, 2020

The author’s experience working in early childhood education is evident from the numerous vignettes and sample conversations she recounts—elements that give face to students of color affected by the segregative practices she details. Tager (Westfield State Univ.) presents numerous citations and statistics illustrating the level of inequity and the inaccurate assumptions regarding many young students’ access to technology. Beyond the discussion of technology segregation, the book explores deeper issues of racism in schools and the historical development of the modern segregated school and segregated neighborhood as they grew out of economic and political events. The economic aspect of technology segregation, and of racism on the whole, is a central topic and the subject of much reflection throughout the book. The work culminates in suggestions for disrupting systemic racism as it currently manifests in school systems using a multifaceted approach.
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