Power Shift Project Book Club

Power Shift Project Book Club

The Power Shift Project is curating a list of books, documentaries and podcasts for aspiring allies who are dedicated to learning.

We’ve tapped the wisdom of our Power Shift Project board members, summit participants and Workplace Integrity trainers for their recommendations.

These recommendations include works that some have found transformational, and that many consider essential for those committed to diversity.

The list will continue to grow as we continue to reach out for new selections.

Recommendations are listed here with a personal note from each person who nominated a selection about why they chose it.

DB PSP Book Club Sort by Topic

Topic: History of Race, Gender and Privilege


podcast by Nikole Hannah-Jones

Recommended by Alicia Shepard, Cal Poly State University

“If you didn’t have time to wade through all the well-researched material in the magazine version of 1619, the podcast is an easily accessible way to learn about the critical, unacknowledged role African American slaves played in our country’s development and how the brutality and discrimination then plays out today. Wish there were more than six episodes.”

“Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents”

book by Isabel Wilkerson

Recommended by Jill Geisler, Freedom Forum/Loyola University Chicago

“The terrific reviews “Caste” is getting are justified!”

“Homelands: Four Friends, Two Countries, and the Fate of the Great Mexican-American Migration”

book by Alfredo Corchado

Recommended by Ricardo Sandoval, PBS

“After almost 40 years in professional journalism, I am more convinced that two critical words — history and context — are too often ignored by mainstream and legacy publishers. What’s left after distillation by stereotype and conventional wisdom are wafer-thin stories and truncated narratives. This is damaging to people whose stories are not told often enough and who remain outside the mainstream.

“Homelands” is among the books that can help us understand immigrants — in particular, Mexican immigrants, who account for a significant portion of the American demographic pie. We think we know so much about them because of the ubiquitous coverage given to Mexican food and music. Yet so much of what we think we know about Mexicans is actually leftover misconception. What “Homelands” does is explore the why of immigration, the how of assimilation, and depth of change that results — both in the immigrants depicted and in their new communities.

I am an immigrant, and I came away from the read feeling like I saw something familiar in these stories. Yet I felt like I learned something new about the highs and lows of our collective experiences. And, I came away wholly satisfied with Alfredo’s entertaining, non-fiction storytelling.”

“Inferior: How Science Got Women Wrong — and the New Research That’s Rewriting the Story”

book by Angela Saini

Recommended by Sandeep Ravindran, freelance science writer

“Provides an excellent history of gender and race science and an overview of what we know now.”

“Race/Gender/Class/Media: Considering Diversity Across Audiences, Content, and Producers”

book by Rebecca Ann Lind

Recommended by Gracie Lawson-Borders, Howard University

“Lind provides a broad range of research and essays to examine the intersectionality of race, gender, ethnicity, class and media.”

“Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger”

book by Soraya Chemaly

Recommended by Kate McCarthy, Women’s Media Center

“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind”

book by Yuval Noah Harari

Recommended by Leslie Hill, former Freedom Forum/Newseum trustee

“Evolution of humans and why we are how we are.”

“Superior: The Return of Race Science”

book by Angela Saini

Recommended by Sandeep Ravindran, freelance science writer

“Provides an excellent history of gender and race science and an overview of what we know now.”

“Tell Them We Are Rising: The Story of Historically Black Colleges and Universities”

film by Stanley Nelson and Marco Williams

Recommended by Shirley Carswell, Howard University

“Provides loads of information and history about the important role of HBCUs in creating an African American middle and professional class.”

“White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism”

book by Robin DiAngelo

Recommended by Traci Schweikert, POLITICO

“This book gave me perspectives to check my own privileges and more importantly, how to use it to help others.”