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The Token (PDF)
Common Sense Ideas for Increasing Diversity in Your Organization
As a Black organizer, community, business, and organization leaders often ask: "How do I get diversity in my group?" The thing is, the work is real, but it's a minefield out there. And even progressive leaders can still, perhaps unknowingly, be racist and uphold oppressive systems.
In The Token, your new token Black friend, Crystal Byrd Farmer, acts as the bridge between majority white organizations that are dedicated to social justice and "diverse" people in community they want to recruit, across identities of race, LGBTQ, education, socioeconomic status, and disability.
With a blunt style that pulls no punches, Crystal tells you how it is, calling you out on tokenism, while extending a hand to help your organization make real transformative change toward diversity and inclusion. Coverage includes:
- What marginalized people experience and what they need to feel safe and comfortable in order to succeed
- Doing "The Work" – how to have deep conversations with your membership about the reality of bias, privilege, and microaggressions
- Practical exercises and discussion questions
- How to choose appropriate meeting locations and establish ground rules, when to bring in outside help, and how to recruit support within your organization
- Strategies on how to talk to friends who are resistant to progressive ideas.
This no-nonsense, provocative, humorous, and accessible guide is for all well-meaning people leading progressive organizations who acknowledge the need for diversity but don't know where to start.
Crystal Byrd Farmer is an engineer turned educator, organizer, and speaker who focuses on cohousing, Black, and polyamorous communities. She serves on the Editorial Review Board of Communities Magazine and is passionate about encouraging people to change their perspectives on diversity, relationships, and the world. She lives in Gastonia, NC.
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