- 2021 INDIES Winner
- Bronze, Multicultural (Adult Nonfiction)
Beyond Diversity is a cogent social science book that recognizes that progressive, meaningful change begins with individuals.
Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown’s progressive and inspiring book Beyond Diversity suggests means of building a more inclusive and accepting world.
Drawing recommendations from attendees at a 2021 diversity summit to promote awareness and advocacy in business spheres, Bhargava and Brown share twelve steps for fostering change. These include critiquing how media outlets tell stories, nurturing an expansive understanding of identity, and pushing for governmental progress. A wide range of voices and experiences are included, including transgender people and people of color, and the text leans into the successes that people have had when faced with challenges, helping to show what’s possible.
Envisioning a more just world in which dominant cultures and subcultures find a way to “co-exist, sometimes blend, and never be used for exclusion of discrimination,” each chapter includes specific questions to prompt introspection, while also sharing ways to bring about a better, diverse, and inclusive future–one that “starts with each of us choosing to respect perspectives other than our own.” It introduces real-world examples of such change in action, as with Vienna, Austria’s gender mainstreaming urban planning initiative, which seeks to better meet the needs of every citizen.
Each chapter begins with a concise summation of the coming material, resulting in a clear, navigable text. Examples also head the chapters, as of two fifteen-year-olds encountering race issues in the classroom and electing to take a stand; subheadings are used to break the material down in a way that centers progress, explaining “how it is,” “how things are changing,” “what needs to happen,” and “what you can do.” The result is a book that makes daunting arenas, including those of family, personal identity, and work, feel accessible to change.
The prose is straightforward and direct, and is complemented by the book’s bold design choices and approachable, short paragraphs. But its accessiblity belies the power of its vision for what societies might achieve. It acknowledges hard realities, as of racism, while asking people to hold institutions accountable for any inequalities in them. And it welcomes discussions about identity, which it says should be approached with “less judgment and more patience.” Its thoughtful mix of ideas that can be implemented in groups with those that operate on the individual level are concrete; they recognize that “changing ourselves and our actions is hard,” but still say that diversity is worth the effort.
Beyond Diversity is a cogent social science book that knows that progressive, meaningful change, though it may require collective action, begins with individuals.
Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.