Social justice rhetoric is prevalent in contemporary America, but are we as a nation ready to do the work to effect real change? Emily Allen Williams has gathered a group of essays that interrogate matters of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access. In doing so, the essays contribute to what Williams call “tilling the ground,” i.e. a process by which the nation is prepared for the changes that must follow the rhetoric through the work of diversity and inclusion in a variety of social arenas. With subject matters ranging from the Black Lives Matter movement and children’s literature to the contemporary workplace and university, the collected essays present and analyze progress that is already being made and outline ways for our society to continue to move this process forward until the rhetoric of social justice manifests in actual conditions of inclusion, diversity, equity, and access throughout the nation.
Emily Allen Williams is Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh.
Introduction: Finding Our Way Together: Discussions on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access
Emily Allen Williams, Editor
Part 1: Interrogations of Blackness, Whiteness, Racism, and Beyond: Historical and 21st Century Considerations
Chapter One: Black Lives Matter: Dismantling Racism and Rewriting History in the Confederate Monuments
Nancy Wellington Bookhart
Chapter Two: The Black Lives Matter Movement and Anglophone African Caribbean Impact: Transposition of the Caribbean Experience in the Complexities of the African American Context
Sharon Albert Honore
Chapter Three: The New Back to Africa Movement: The Black Diaspora Seeking Opportunity and Refuge in the Motherland
Karl Ellis Johnson
Part 2: Excluded or Included? African American, Non-Conformist, and Transgender
Chapter Four: (Re)Defining Hi-stories: Conducting and Preserving Oral Histories in Africana Studies
Catherine L. Adams
Chapter Five: Did You Bring Me Here to Be Like You? Philosophizing About Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Anthony Sean Neal
Chapter Six: Missing the Whole Picture: A Content Analysis of Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Characters in Children’s Literature
Eden-Reneé Hayes and Saisha Manan
Chapter Seven: Organizational Culture: Pivoting on DEI
Chapter Eight: Approaching Diversity, Equity, and Race Work in 21st Century America
Part 3: Challenging 21st Century Notions of Diversity on College and University Campuses
Chapter Nine: Black Lives Matter on Campus: Choreographing Protest
Peter A. Campbell
Chapter Ten: Black Maleness at a Public Regional University
Mark Wagner and Katherine L. Cleary
Chapter Eleven: Meta-Reflections: Teaching Black Psychology at a Predominately White Undergraduate Institution
Sandra Virginia Gonsalves-Domond
Chapter Twelve: The Case for Inclusive Instructional Design
About the Contributors
This collection centers one of the most significant issues in American society today—diversity. As headlines continue to relay news about democracy in peril or police violence, conversations about diversity become a sine qua non that will help define Americans' shared future. As part of this vital conversation, this text functions as a conduit enabling readers to interpret highly complex issues while affirming why engaging with them is so important. Contributors ponder how Americans move from talking to doing, emphasizing the need for action now by highlighting the events that led to the January 6 insurrection. The book succeeds in underscoring this urgency by what Williams calls “tilling the ground”—excavating and elevating the complex layers of pressing diversity matters through stirring narratives. For instance, Nancy Wellington Bookhart examines the Black Lives Matter movement's influence on the fight against racism. Willette Neal discusses the mutually constitutive nature of organizational culture and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Samantha Calamari’s final chapter is also a classic example of “tilling the ground,” focusing on inclusive instructional design, crucial to advancing DEI in educational institutions. This is a useful resource for sociology, organizational studies, communication studies, public policy, history, and higher education administration. Highly recommended. Advanced undergraduates through faculty; professionals.
Emily Allen Williams has curated an impressive collection of writings by scholars and practitioners bearing witness to this critical moment of racial reckoning in American history and to inaction of true service to the ideals of inclusivity, diversity, equity, and access. Looking at current social justice movements from within the United States and through an African diasporic lens, the authors till the soul/soil of history, culture, policy, and education, exploring how America got 'here,' where it needs to go, and how it might get there.
With her introduction 'Finding Our Way Together: Discussions on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access,' Dr. Emily Allen Williams, along with experienced professors and practitioners, deliver an outstanding volume of essays for those who wish to move from discussions to action regarding diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. In her words, Dr. Williams wrote, it is time '…to match rhetoric to reality and to avoid endless engagement in discourse intent on defining only more discourse and verbosity on rhetoric versus reality…'
Diversity Matters: The Color, Shape, and Tone of Twenty-First-Century Diversity examines America's sincerity to once again, during this resurrected period of reconstruction or reckoning on race, explore and honor expressed commitments to improve race relations in terms of diversity, inclusion, and equal access to goods, services, and opportunities as it relates to Black America. Dr. Williams and the other authors offer sound reason and stimulate provocative thought in their examination of America's current state of racial affairs.