Beyond Diversity

12 Non-Obvious Ways To Build A More Inclusive World

Non-Fiction - Social Issues
268 Pages
Reviewed on 11/23/2021
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite

Beyond Diversity by Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown is a collaborative effort directed at steering the world toward acceptance for all regardless of differences. It all started in early 2021, when more than 200 reputable specialists met online to discuss diversity and look for ways to curb injustice and discrimination. This book includes 12 topics that are carefully selected and compiled from this virtual event. Beyond Diversity is not only made up of opinions of different prominent figures but also compiled and reviewed by dozens of people who are passionate about equality. How can we look beyond diversity in storytelling, the workplace, government, and the future? Find out in Beyond Diversity as it reveals conversations, conversation starters, and stories about different people who are already making commendable moves in the world of diversity.

"This is a book about being more than a bystander." Beyond Diversity sows the seeds of change and acceptance through its thoughtful conversation starters and inspiring examples from different amazing people. It includes several quotable, punchy lines that make it easier to remember its messages. The book's design makes it a joy to read and navigate through with its eye-catching titles, subtitles, and highlighted points. I was quite impressed by the level of effort put into Beyond Diversity as it contains several elements that improve assimilation and increase engagement: quotes, reports, action steps, and more. As a Nigerian who has been discouraged from experiencing new cultures in different continents as a result of countless news of racist actions against Blacks, I'm quite excited about Beyond Diversity and recommend it to all readers. The world needs more changemakers like Rohit Bhargava, Jennifer Brown, and everyone that contributed to creating this phenomenal book!

Marie-Hélène Fasquel

Beyond Diversity: 12 Non-Obvious Ways To Build A More Inclusive World by Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown is a truly comprehensive book, including such areas as education, the workplace, the government but also less obvious choices such as storytelling, retail, or even identity. The authors seek a more equal and inclusive society, whatever our race, gender, identity. The ideas presented in this book originated in a week-long online event, the "Non-Obvious Beyond Diversity summit". The sessions can be watched online to complement this reading. It is high time we examined that topic in depth. It draws on people’s experiences and makes this book even truer and more moving.

Beyond Diversity by Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown is a collective and collaborative book including the solutions found and discussed by 200 experts who gathered together during the Non-Obvious Beyond Diversity summit. This amazing volume explores ideas that need to be heard worldwide to help anyone who is different, including disabled people. It is, above all, thought-provoking work and this is probably what I enjoy the most in any book. I like to be challenged, given diverse opinions, and surprised. To top it all, this topic is particularly important when you are teaching. All our students are unique and some of them are struggling because of what they call their defects or differences, and what I call their talents.

Some captivating quotes illustrate the various chapters. They help us dig even deeper into the subject matter. And to help focus, the different units start with a summary of the topic under study. They show us how these reflections are essential in our world in crisis and develop each of them through experience and decisions (such as the decision to create a non-profit organization to fight racism called CHOOSE for instance). I really loved perusing this book and learning more ways to help people in general and my students in particular. Thank you so much for sharing this gem!

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

We are all different, unique in our own special differences. We all face challenges based on our differences: racial or sexual discrimination, visible minorities of all sizes, shapes, and descriptions, special needs (some visible, others non-visible) and so many more. Sometimes it’s not how we look, or how we define ourselves that make us stand out; there are times when it’s what we do: are we clowns, stand-up comedians, bibliophiles? Does it really matter how we stand out in our differences? All of these differences are what define diversity: we are who we are, different, unique and special. With growing tensions world-wide surrounding instances of differences, it’s time to take action; not just talk about it, but to actually do something about it.

Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown (among others) have compiled a resource to guide us in Beyond Diversity: 12 Non-Obvious Ways To Build A More Inclusive World, with intel and directive measures adopted from the 2021 virtual conference, “Non-Obvious Beyond Diversity Summit.” With over 200 speakers from all sectors of life and all types of diversities, plus thousands of participants, the discussions were vibrant, informative, and insightful. But the journey toward diversity had only just begun. And that’s when the idea of this book took root. This book is, as described in the Introduction, a “journey to understand people unlike yourself.” This well organized and succinct treatise explores twelve big themes from many different perspectives, pursuing the intent of this book which is to activate a blueprint to create a more inclusive world, not just talk about it, with powerful concluding comments like: “An inclusive world starts with each of us choosing to respect perspectives other than our own, treating everyone with respect and choosing to stand up for others who need our support.” The true meaning of going beyond diversity.

Tammy Ruggles

Beyond Diversity: 12 Non-Obvious Ways To Build A More Inclusive World, by Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown, is a powerful and moving book on how to do something about diversity besides talk about it. Diversity is a social issue buzzword that's been around for decades, and there have been some strides made toward bringing the subject onto center stage. Early in the year 2021 was one example when a virtual meeting was held with over 200 experts and influencers in attendance to discuss it. It turned out to be one of the strongest efforts yet, as it focused on practical solutions. The attendees were diverse themselves, from students to healthcare workers, to casting directors, and beyond. Their conclusions comprise the contents of this book, distilled into twelve transformative ideas. Inclusion doesn't have to be a mere byword. It can be a reality; an everyday occurrence. As the authors state, "This is not a research book. This is a do-something book".

Bhargava and Brown have brought us a much-needed book on diversity--a word we use so often today it's lost its meaning, so it's refreshing that the book takes the time to explain the different meanings of the word, why it's so important, and how we can make sure diversity is something we do, not just what we say. I like that they discuss the imbalance of power and that the majority are governed and at the mercy of a powerful minority. The varied viewpoints are impactful, and it shows that when good people come together for a common cause, good things begin to happen. If you think you can't do anything about the world, you're wrong. The minute you give up because you think your voice doesn't matter, the fight is over, and someone else wins. It shouldn't be about winning and losing, but for those who are at a disadvantage because they are diverse, the loss feels too real.

These authors have brought diversity to life again, and present to us twelve ways to make our world more Diverse, Equal, and Inclusive. There is such a sense of community and possibility about this book. The title of the book is accurate. The ways aren't so evident--like retail, storytelling, tech, etc.--but when explained, make total sense. The chapters end with "story-starters" to engage you in the diversity conversation. If there is one book to read on the subject in the coming days, make sure it's Beyond Diversity: 12 Non-Obvious Ways To Build A More Inclusive World by Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown.

Vincent Dublado

Beyond Diversity: 12 Non-Obvious Ways To Build A More Inclusive World by Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown helps to change the world by embracing inclusiveness. This book is the result of a coming together of people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to address contemporary society’s pressing challenges calling for a need for change. By illustrating case studies, the book takes you on an eye-opening journey by assessing current situations in areas that require improvement - inclusion, diversity, and equity. A plethora of voices lend their ideas on twelve specific themes: storytelling, identity, family, culture, education, retail, workplace, technology, entrepreneurship, leadership, government, and the future. It finishes with an urgent call to action—what you can contribute regardless of how big or small to become an instrument of social change. It is a directive that goes beyond lip service because there is a certain truth to that old adage about actions speaking louder than words.

Rohit Bhargava and Jennifer Brown provide inspiring narratives that behoove you to take part in the ever-changing landscape of economic and human development. Beyond Diversity contains a sharp and compelling understanding of the importance of social inclusion and the removal of barriers to provide equal footing in economic participation. Think of this work as an outspoken voice that calls for fairness and equality. Of course, it is not the total solution to the dark shadows that veil diversity. Moreover, meticulous readers may still find issues in gender and identity addressed herein as lacking in momentum as far as the context of identity is concerned. Still, it does not negate the fact that Beyond Diversity’s insightful look at the sharp divide that continues to be a formidable barrier and what everyone can do about it is an absolute must-read.