What We're Reading

February 20, 2018

Looking for books on leadership and social change that can challenge you, spark change, and ingite your curiosity?  Here are some of the reads that we've been sharing with each other as a practice. Many of them have inspiried us to think more deeply about crucial questions of what it means to work toward social change in these underctain and volatile times.  We hope you'll find them useful, too. What's on your reading list? Leave a comment below. 

Reading Blog

When We Fight We Win
by Greg Jobin-Leeds, AgitArte
These days, we can all use a little bit more inspiration to stay in the fight. This book collects powerful stories from some of the most consequential social change movements and campaigns of the last ten years and weaves in powerful examples of how culture and art move narratives of social transformation forward.

So You Want to Talk About Race?
by Ijeoma Oluo
A direct, accessible, and unapologetically honest primer into conversations about race. Oluo weaves in personal stories to illustrate important concepts and always brings us back to the central question: how can these courageous conversations make a real difference in breaking down systemic racism?


Reinventing Organizations
by Federic Laloux

What's broken about the way we structure our organizations? Is it time to make a leap into new ways of being at work? How can we foster more autonomy but also a greater sense of belonging? This book explores those questions and much more. For an important critique, make sure you also read "The Most Dangerous Notion in Reinventing Organizations" by Jessica Prentice. 

Emergent Strategy
by adrienne maree brown

adrienne maree brown is a visionary leader who draws from life, nature, science fiction, and a host of other sources of inspiration to outline an approach to leadership that embraces change and encourages us to understand and embrace the patterns all around us. 

Black Women's Liberatory Pedagogies: Resistance, Transformation, and Healing Within and Beyond the Academy
by Olivia N. Perlow (Editor),‎ Durene I. Wheeler (Editor),‎ Sharon L. Bethea (Editor),‎ BarBara M. Scott (Editor)
This anthology collects voices of Black women academics exploring what it means to develop pedagogies that center healing and transformation. If you're a trainer, facilitator, or educator, this book offers perspectives of what it means to approach the act of teaching as a liberatory practice (often from within oppressive institutions). 

Dismantling Racism: A Resource Book for Social Change Groups (PDF)
From Western States Center
No single resource can be a shortcut to an issue as complex as dismantling racism, but this free PDF from Western States Center lays out some crucial concepts and offers key insights into what it might look like to start confronting racism on your team, at your organization, or from inside a movement. 


Coaching for Transformation
From Leadership That Works
Our friends and partners at Leadership That Works capture the fundamental elements of their approach to coaching: a model that engages mind, heart, body and spirit and that can be applied not just to personal growth, but to wider social change efforts. 


The Revolution Will Not be Funded
This book is a powerful and essential critique of the nonprofit industrial complex that challenges all of us to step into awareness about the philanthropic structures we operate in and how they hinder instead of enable radical social change. 


Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants
by Robin Wall Kimmerer
How can we reconnect with different ways of knowing? Robin Wall Kimmerer shows us how what we think of as scientific and objective knowledge can live in harmony with indigenous, ancestral knowledge. 

Who We Be: A Cultural History of Race in Post-Civil Rights America:
by Jeff Chang
As we approach a "minority-majority" future, what does the next chapter of American history look like? Jeff Chang remixes writing, comic books, and art to ask "Do We See Each Other More Clearly?", "What Will the New Mainstream Look Like?" and other vital questions. 


Recent Posts

Project Director Lupe Poblano challenges readers—white and people of color—to confront white dominant culture within your nonprofit as the best way to move your organization toward equity. Lupe also provides practical, real suggestions on steps you can take to initiate change.

How can an organization build equity in its compensation process through distributed leadership? This piece will share how CompassPoint empowered a peer-led group to provide review and oversight to a compensation process that was designed to build more equity into our system.

As we all find ourselves being pushed, challenged, and transformed by this moment in time, it should be no surprise that dominant culture habits may be creeping back into our work, our teams, and our organizations. 

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