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Book Club

Join a small group of professionals for facilitated conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion through the reading of books that spark conversation and thinking related to these key topics. Past books that we have explored include DEI Deconstructed by Lily Zheng, Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown, and Me & White Supremacy by Lalya Saad. 

This year, we've selected all of the books we are reading for the year and they are related to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as nonprofit industry topics. This book club is offered through a partnership between AshbeanPDX Marketing and Nonprofit Professionals Now

All Book Club Meetings

What to Expect from Book Club

Each time we start a new book, participants will have the chance to introduce themselves, set their intentions, and create our community agreements. At each meeting, we'll discuss the content from that week's reading. Participants have a chance to process the content, share personal stories, and receive insights from one another. 

We find that traditional book clubs where you have one meeting that discusses the full book are not as impactful in integrating the teachings and learnings of the book into our practices. We look forward to growing this group and inviting new members to process important diversity, equity, and inclusion topics in community. 

Sign up using the form below for all of the Book Club meetings. Or if you're only interested in some of the books, you can sign up for the ones that you are most interested in. Our meetings are always on Fridays from 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time. 

What We're Reading in 2024

Use the links below to jump to the section about that book. 

Rob Reich Book - Just Giving Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How it Can Do Bette

March 2024

During the month of March, we'll be reading Just Giving: Why Philanthropy is Failing Democracy and How it Can Do Better by Rob Reich.

Meeting Dates: Friday, March 8, 22, and 29

Meeting Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time

About the Book: 

The troubling ethics and politics of philanthropy. 

Is philanthropy, by its very nature, a threat to today’s democracy? Though we may laud wealthy individuals who give away their money for society’s benefit, Just Giving shows how such generosity not only isn’t the unassailable good we think it to be but might also undermine democratic values. Big philanthropy is often an exercise of power, the conversion of private assets into public influence. And it is a form of power that is largely unaccountable and lavishly tax-advantaged. Philanthropy currently fails democracy, but Rob Reich argues that it can be redeemed. Just Giving investigates the ethical and political dimensions of philanthropy and considers how giving might better support democratic values and promote justice.

About the Author: 

Rob Reich is a Professor of Political Science at Stanford University, Director of the Center for Ethics in Society, Co-Director of the Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, and Associate Director of the Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence. 

April 2024

During the month of April, we'll be reading How Does it Feel to Be a Problem? Being Young and Arab in America by Moustafa Bayumi

Meeting Dates: Friday, April 5, 12, and 26

Meeting Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time

About the Book: 

An eye-opening look at how young Arab- and Muslim-Americans are forging lives for themselves in a country that often mistakes them for the enemy.

Moustafa Bayumi Book - How Does it Feel to Be a Problem Being Young and Arab in America.jp

Just over a century ago , W.E.B. Du Bois posed a probing question in his classic The Souls of Black Folk: How does it feel to be a problem? Now, Moustafa Bayoumi asks the same about America's new "problem"-Arab- and Muslim-Americans. Bayoumi takes readers into the lives of seven twenty-somethings living in Brooklyn, home to the largest Arab-American population in the United States. He moves beyond stereotypes and clichés to reveal their often unseen struggles, from being subjected to government surveillance to the indignities of workplace discrimination. Through it all, these young men and women persevere through triumphs and setbacks as they help weave the tapestry of a new society that is, at its heart, purely American.

About the Author: 

Moustafa Bayoumi was born in Zürich, Switzerland, grew up in Kingston, Canada, and moved to the United States in 1990 to attend Columbia University, where he received his Ph.D. in English literature. He is currently a professor of English at Brooklyn College, City University of New York. He is also the author of "How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?: Being Young and Arab in America" (Penguin), which won an American Book Award and the Arab American Book Award for Non-Fiction. (The book has also been translated into Arabic by Arab Scientific Publishers.) His writing has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, New York Magazine, The National, The Guardian, CNN.com, The London Review of Books, The Nation, and many other places. His essay "Disco Inferno" was included in the collection "Best Music Writing of 2006" (DaCapo). He is also the co-editor (with Andrew Rubin) of "The Edward Said Reader" (Vintage) and editor of "Midnight on Mavi Marmara: the Attack on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla and How It Changed the Course of the Israel/Palestine Conflict" (O/R Books and Haymarket Books). He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The Chicago Sun-Times, and on CNN, FOX News, Book TV, National Public Radio, and many other media outlets from around the world. Panel discussions on "How Does It Feel To Be a Problem?" have been convened at The Museum of the City of New York, Drexel Law School, the Lower East Side Tenement Museum, and through PEN American Center, and the book has been chosen as the common reading for incoming freshmen at universities across the country.

Michelle Mijung Kim Book - The Wake Up.jpg

May 2024

During the month of May, we'll be reading The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change by Michelle Mijung Kim

Meeting Dates: Friday, May 10, 17, 24, and 31

Meeting Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time

About the Book: 

Waking Up to Our Capacity to Transform Ourselves and the World

As we become more aware of various social injustices in the world, many of us want to be part of the movement toward positive change. But sometimes our best intentions cause unintended harm, and we fumble. We might feel afraid to say the wrong thing and feel guilt for not doing or knowing enough. Sometimes we might engage in performative allyship rather than thoughtful solidarity, leaving those already marginalized further burdened and exhausted. The feelings of fear, insecurity, inadequacy are all too common among a wide spectrum of changemakers, and they put many at a crossroads between feeling stuck and giving up, or staying grounded to keep going. So how can we go beyond performative allyship to creating real change in ourselves and in the world, together?
 
In The Wake Up, Michelle MiJung Kim shares foundational principles often missing in today's mainstream conversations around "diversity and inclusion," inviting readers to deep dive into the challenging and nuanced work of pursuing equity and justice, while exploring various complexities, contradictions, and conflicts inherent in our imperfect world. With a mix of in-the-trenches narrative and accessible unpacking of hot button issues—from inclusive language to representation to "cancel culture"—Michelle offers sustainable frameworks that guide us how to think, approach, and be in the journey as thoughtfully and powerfully as possible. 
 
The Wake Up is divided into four key parts:

  • Grounding: begin by moving beyond good intentions to interrogating our deeper "why" for committing to social justice and uncovering our "hidden stories."

  • Orienting: establish a shared understanding around our historical and current context and issues we are trying to solve, starting with dismantling white supremacy.

  • Showing Up: learn critical principles to approach any situation with clarity and build our capacity to work through complexity, nuance, conflict, and imperfections.

  • Moving Together: remember the core of this work is about human lives, and commit to prioritizing humanity, healing, and community.

 
The Wake Up is an urgent call for us to move together while seeing each other's full and expansive humanity that is at the core of our movement toward justice, healing, and freedom.

About the Author: 

Michelle MiJung Kim (she/her) is a queer immigrant Korean American woman writer, speaker, and social entrepreneur challenging the status quo in tech and beyond. She is CEO and co-founder of Awaken, a leading provider of interactive equity and inclusion education programs facilitated by majority BIPOC educators, where she has consulted hundreds of organizations and top executives from Fortune 500, tech giants, nonprofits, and government agencies to spark meaningful change. Michelle has been a lifelong social justice activist and has served on a variety of organizations such as the San Francisco LGBTQ Speakers Bureau, San Francisco Human Rights Commission’s Advisory Committee, LYRIC nonprofit’s Board of Directors, and Build Tech We Trust Coalition. Michelle currently serves on the board of Asian Americans for Civil Rights and Equality (AACRE). Her work has appeared on world-renowned platforms such as Harvard Business Review, Forbes, The New York Times, and NPR, and she has been named Medium’s Top Writer in Diversity three years in a row. Michelle is the author of The Wake Up (Hachette, Fall 2021).

July 2024

During the month of July, we'll be reading Pleasure Activism: The Politics of Feeling Good by adrienne maree brown.

Meeting dates and times: TBD

We will meet in person in Portland, OR for this book. If you'd like to be included, send us an email

About the Book: 

How do we make social justice the most pleasurable human experience? How can we awaken within ourselves desires that make it impossible to settle for anything less than a fulfilling life?

adrienne maree brown book - pleasure activism.jpg

Author and editor adrienne maree brown finds the answer in something she calls “pleasure activism,” a politics of healing and happiness that explodes the dour myth that changing the world is just another form of work. Drawing on the black feminist tradition, she challenges us to rethink the ground rules of activism. Her mindset-altering essays are interwoven with conversations and insights from other feminist thinkers, including Audre Lorde, Joan Morgan, Cara Page, Sonya Renee Taylor, and Alexis Pauline Gumbs. Together they cover a wide array of subjects—from sex work to climate change, from race and gender to sex and drugs—building new narratives about how politics can feel good and how what feels good always has a complex politics of its own.

Building on the success of her popular Emergent Strategy, brown launches a new series of the same name with this volume, bringing readers books that explore experimental, expansive, and innovative ways to meet the challenges that face our world today. Books that find the opportunity in every crisis!

About the Author: 

adrienne maree brown, co-editor of Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction from Social Justice Movements and author of Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds, is a social justice facilitator, healer, and doula living in Detroit.

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded Book.jpg

August 2024

During the month of August, we'll be reading The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-profit Industrial Complex

Meeting Dates: Friday, August 9, 16, and 23

Meeting Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time

About the Book: 

A trillion-dollar industry, the US non-profit sector is one of the world's largest economies.

From art museums and university hospitals to think tanks and church charities, over 1.5 million organizations of staggering diversity share the tax-exempt 501(c)(3) designation, if little else. Many social justice organizations have joined this world, often blunting political goals to satisfy government and foundation mandates. But even as funding shrinks, many activists often find it difficult to imagine movement-building outside the non-profit model. The Revolution Will Not Be Funded gathers essays by radical activists, educators, and non-profit staff from around the globe who critically rethink the long-term consequences of what they call the "non-profit industrial complex." Drawing on their own experiences, the contributors track the history of non-profits and provide strategies to transform and work outside them. Urgent and visionary, The Revolution Will Not Be Funded presents a biting critique of the quietly devastating role the non-profit industrial complex plays in managing dissent.

September 2024

During the month of September, we'll be reading The Smart Non-profit: Staying Human-Centered in an Automated World by Beth Kanter and Allison Fine

Meeting Dates: Friday, September 6, 13, 20, and 27

Meeting Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time

About the Book: 

A pragmatic framework for nonprofit digital transformation that embraces the human-centered nature of your organization.

Beth Kanter and Allison Fine Book - The Smart Non-profit.jpg

The Smart Nonprofit turns the page on an era of frantic busyness and scarcity mindsets to one in which nonprofit organizations have the time to think and plan — and even dream. The Smart Nonprofit offers a roadmap for the once-in-a-generation opportunity to remake work and accelerate positive social change. It comes from understanding how to use smart tech strategically, ethically and well.  

Smart tech does rote tasks like filling out expense reports and identifying prospective donors. However, it is also beginning to do very human things like screening applicants for jobs and social services, while paying forward historic biases. Beth Kanter and Allison Fine elegantly outline the ways smart nonprofits must stay human-centered and root out embedded bias in order to success at the compassionate and creative work that only humans can and should do.

About the Author:

Beth Kanter is the author of Beth’s Blog: How Nonprofits Can Use Social Media, one of the longest running and most popular blogs for nonprofits. Beth has over 30 years working in the nonprofit sector in technology, training, capacity building, evaluation, fundraising, and marketing. Beth is an internationally recognized trainer who has developed and implemented effective sector capacity building programs that help organizations integrate social media, network building, and relationship marketing best practices. Beth is an expert in facilitating online and offline peer learning, curriculum development based on traditional adult learning theory, and other instructional approaches. She has trained thousands of nonprofits around the world.

She co-authored the book titled “The Networked Nonprofit” with Allison Fine published by J Wiley in 2010 that introduced the nonprofit field to a new way of working in an age of connected networks. Her second book, Measuring the Networked Nonprofit, with Co-Author KD Paine, was published in October, 2012 and awarded the Terry McAdam Nonprofit Book Award for 2013. Both books have reached #1 on the list of nonprofit books on Amazon and used in college courses around the world.

She was named by Fast Company Magazine as one of the most influential women in technology and one of Business Week’s “Voices of Innovation for Social Media.” She is Visiting Scholar for Social Media and Nonprofits for the David and Lucile Packard Foundation in 2009-2013. 

Claude M Steele Book - Whistling Vivaldi.jpg

October 2024

During the month of October, we'll be reading Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude M. Steele.

Meeting Dates: Friday, October 4, 11, 18, and 25

Meeting Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time

About the Book: 

The acclaimed social psychologist offers an insider’s look at his research and groundbreaking findings on stereotypes and identity.

Claude M. Steele, who has been called “one of the few great social psychologists,” offers a vivid first-person account of the research that supports his groundbreaking conclusions on stereotypes and identity. He sheds new light on American social phenomena from racial and gender gaps in test scores to the belief in the superior athletic prowess of black men, and lays out a plan for mitigating these “stereotype threats” and reshaping American identities.

About the Author:

Claude M. Steele is an American social psychologist and a Professor of Psychology at Stanford University.

He is best known for his work on stereotype threat and its application to minority student academic performance. His earlier work dealt with research on the self (e.g., self-image, self- affirmation) as well as the role of self-regulation in addictive behaviors. In 2010, he released his book, Whistling Vivaldi and Other Clues to How Stereotypes Affect Us, summarizing years of research on stereotype threat and the underperformance of minority students in higher education.

November 2024

During the month of November, we'll be reading Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas.

Meeting Dates: Friday, November 1, 8, and 15

Meeting Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM Pacific Time

About the Book: 

The groundbreaking investigation of how the global elite's efforts to "change the world" preserve the status quo and obscure their role in causing the problems they later seek to solve. An essential read for understanding some of the egregious abuses of power that dominate today’s news.

Anand Giridharadas Book - Winners Take All.jpg

Anand Giridharadas takes us into the inner sanctums of a new gilded age, where the rich and powerful fight for equality and justice any way they can—except ways that threaten the social order and their position atop it. They rebrand themselves as saviors of the poor; they lavishly reward “thought leaders” who redefine “change” in ways that preserve the status quo; and they constantly seek to do more good, but never less harm.  
 
Giridharadas asks hard questions: Why, for example, should our gravest problems be solved by the unelected upper crust instead of the public institutions it erodes by lobbying and dodging taxes? His groundbreaking investigation has already forced a great, sorely needed reckoning among the world’s wealthiest and those they hover above, and it points toward an answer: Rather than rely on scraps from the winners, we must take on the grueling democratic work of building more robust, egalitarian institutions and truly changing the world—a call to action for elites and everyday citizens alike.

About the Author:

Anand Giridharadas is a writer. He is the author of "Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World", "The True American: Murder and Mercy in Texas," and "India Calling: An Intimate Portrait of a Nation’s Remaking." A former foreign correspondent and columnist for The New York Times for more than a decade, he has also written for The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and Time, and he is the publisher of the popular newsletter The Ink. He has spoken on stages around the world and taught narrative journalism at New York University. He is a regular on-air political analyst for MSNBC. 

 

Born in Cleveland, Ohio, he was raised there, in Paris, France, and in Maryland, and educated at the University of Michigan, Oxford, and Harvard. His writing has been honored by the Poynter Fellowship in Journalism at Yale, the Porchlight Business Book of the Year award, the Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award for Humanism in Culture from Harvard, and the New York Public Library’s Helen Bernstein Award. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Priya Parker, and their two children.

March 2024
April 2024
May 2024
June/July 2024
August 2024
September 2024
October 2024
November 2024
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