Resources: Article, Books and Movies
Cultural Intelligence is what enables us to feel free to talk with a person who has a different perspective or background and adapt your words to show genuine respect.
Before you talk with a person or ask about their culture, it’s respectful, kind and wise to do your homework. To learn more about your own and others’ cultural context, we’ve included articles, books, movies, sites and series from our own bookshelves and digital libraries, as well as those of trusted friends and colleagues. Check back often as we’ll continue to update this page.
While you’re learning…
- Consider what it’s like to look at the world from another’s perspective.
- Notice how your customs, beliefs and values are the same, similar and different.
- Imagine how they might feel within their circumstances.
- Adopt a beginner’s mind and embrace curiosity, wonder and acceptance.
- Discover how your words and actions impact people from different cultures. To learn you can say, “What was the impact of my words?” Or, “How did my words land on you?”
The page is organized around these themes…
- Kids Resources
- Natural World
Please note while many of these resources could fall under multiple themes, we have placed each resource under only one. Feel free to browse and discover how the resources and themes are related.
Crucial Conversations Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson and Joseph Grenny Book Crucial Conversations exploded onto the scene ten years ago and revolutionized the way people communicate when stakes are high, opinions vary, and emotions run strong. Since then, millions of people have learned how to hold effective crucial conversations and have dramatically improved their lives and careers thanks to the methods outlined in this book.
Now, the authors have revised their bestselling classic to provide even more ways to help you take the lead in any tough conversation:
- New firsthand accounts of how these skills changed readers’ lives
- New case studies showing how business leaders successfully applied these methods to achieve results
- New links to videos teaching what to do and what to avoid during crucial conversations
- New research findings offering fresh insights for applying the skills taught in the book
“How a simple if/then ritual can help you overcome obstacles and achieve your goals” By B. Venkataraman, TED Talk, Video
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk? by Fabre and Mazlish Book
Internationally acclaimed experts on communication between parents and children, Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish “are doing for parenting today what Dr. Spock did for our generation” (Parent Magazine). Now, this bestselling classic includes fresh insights and suggestions as well as the author’s time-tested methods to solve common problems and build foundations for lasting relationships, including innovative ways to:
- Cope with your child’s negative feelings, such as frustration, anger, and disappointment
- Express your strong feelings without being hurtful
- Engage your child’s willing cooperation
- Set firm limits and maintain goodwill
- Use alternatives to punishment that promote self-discipline
- Understand the difference between helpful and unhelpful praise
- Resolve family conflicts peacefully
What to Do If a Conversation Is Turning Loud and Aggressive by J. Granny, Harvard Business Review Article
How does a white person who aspires to be an ally against racism talk to their friends and family who are in denial about racism against people of color? The White Ally Toolkit Workbook gives people concrete guidance about how to respond a wide variety of statements that racism-denying white folks make everyday. In addition, the workbook presents a sequenced curriculum that an ally can use if they want to purposefully change someone in the circle of influence as well as reflection and self-assessment tools that will help allies see themselves more clearly. These tools help allies refine their interactions with others so they can move the needle on the large-scale racism denial among the whites about American’s most pressing and long-standing problem.
After all, “talking to anyone, let alone someone unknown like a new therapist, is a tough ask when we’re feeling crummy!” Dr. Miller says in this Washington Post article.
Therapists “don’t validate patients’ worst views of themselves, nor propose to have life advice that is meant to solve all their problems.” This is a characteristic of dominant U.S. culture that pushes on us and demands action. However, good therapists are countercultural and invite us to slow down, take a breath and shift into reflection and self-care.
Miller explains, “A good therapist opens us space and time around you to breathe deep, reflect, wonder and be curious. It’s in that compassionate space, you begin to discern your precious self.
“Disability Etiquette: A Starting Guide.” Rather than assume other people’s needs or wants, get to know your colleagues with disabilities as the unique and awesome people and professionals they are. Relationship is the foundation of culturally intelligent words and actions that show genuine respect.
I know my own mind.
I am able to assess others in a fair and accurate way.
These self-perceptions are challenged by leading psychologists Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald as they explore the hidden biases we all carry from a lifetime of exposure to cultural attitudes about age, gender, race, ethnicity, religion, social class, sexuality, disability status, and nationality.
“Immigrants Form 25% of New U.S. Businesses, Driving Entrepreneurship In ‘Gateway’ States” by D. Wisenberg Brin, Forbes, Article
“In My Sari, Kissing the Soccer Coach Modern Love NYT” Article
A short story of identity, love and culture.
The Infiltrators Movie Amazon Rental or Prime Video
The inspiring and unbelievable true story of young immigrant activist who intentionally get detained by ICE and locked in a shady, for-profit detention center in order to affect immigration reform from the inside.
Tortilla Soup Movie Amazon Rental or Prime Movies
A Mexican-American master chef and father to three daughters has lost his taste for food and not for life.
Girlfight Movie Amazon Rental or Prime Movies
A troubled, Latina, Brooklyn girl falls in love with a talented amateur and, under the careful tutelage of her trainer, she becomes the gym’s first female champion.
In Rage Becomes Her, Soraya Chemaly argues that womens’ anger is not only justified, it is also an active part of the solution. We are so often encouraged to resist our rage or punished for justifiably expressing it, yet how many remarkable achievements would never have gotten off the ground without the kernel of anger that fueled them? Approached with conscious intention, anger is a vital instrument, a radar for injustice and a catalyst for change. On the flip side, the societal and cultural belittlement of our anger is a cunning way of limiting and controlling our power—one we can no longer abide.
Self Made:Inspired by the Life of Madam C.J. Walker Netflix Original Series
An African American washerwoman rises from poverty to build a beauty empire and become the first female self-made millionaire. Based on a true story.
National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.
Lovely by Jess Hong Book ages 2+ Big, small, curly, straight, loud, quiet, smooth, wrinkly. Lovely explores a world of differences that all add up to the same thing: we are all lovely!
Sesame Street We’re Different. We’re the Same. By Bobbi Kates Book ages 2-5 Who better than Sesame Street to teach us that we may all look different on the outside—but it’s important to remember that deep down, we are all very much alike. We all have the same needs, desires, and feelings. Elmo and his Sesame Street friends help teach toddlers and the adults in their lives that everyone is the same on the inside, and it’s our differences that make this wonderful world, which is home to us all, an interesting—and special—place. This enduring, colorful, and charmingly illustrated book offers an easy, enjoyable way to learn about differences—and what truly matters. It is an engaging read for toddlers and adults alike.
Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Méndez Book ages 4-8
With themes of self-acceptance, identity, and home, this powerful, lyrical picture book will resonate with readers young and old, from all backgrounds and of all colors—especially anyone who ever felt that they don’t belong.
My Octopus Teacher Documentary Movie Netflix
A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world.
Ocean Vet Documentary Series Amazon Prime Video
Ocean Vet is a natural history series like no other. Narrated by Academy award-winning actor and producer Michael Douglas, this incredible series follows the exploits of English veterinarian Dr Neil Burnie and his Ocean Vet team. Together they set out to save, protect and learn more about Bermuda’s incredible marine life.
Through a nationwide telephone survey of 2,000 people and an additional 200 face-to-face interviews, Michael O. Emerson and Christian Smith probed the grassroots of white evangelical America. They found that despite recent efforts by the movement’s leaders to address the problem of racial discrimination, evangelicals themselves seem to be preserving America’s racial chasm. In fact, most white evangelicals see no systematic discrimination against blacks. But the authors contend that it is not active racism that prevents evangelicals from recognizing ongoing problems in American society. Instead, it is the evangelical movement’s emphasis on individualism, free will, and personal relationships that makes invisible the pervasive injustice that perpetuates racial inequality. Most racial problems, the subjects told the authors, can be solved by the repentance and conversion of the sinful individuals at fault.
Combining a substantial body of evidence with sophisticated analysis and interpretation, the authors throw sharp light on the oldest American dilemma. In the end, they conclude that despite the best intentions of evangelical leaders and some positive trends, real racial reconciliation remains far over the horizon.
Just Mercy Movie Amazon Purchase
Michael B. Jordan stars as an attorney who fights to prove the innocence of a death row inmate (Jamie Foxx) in 1980s Alabama.
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson Book
Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
The Miseducation of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson Book
The Mis-Education of the Negro is a book originally published in 1933 by Dr. Carter G. Woodson. The thesis of Dr. Woodson’s book is that blacks of his day were being culturally indoctrinated, rather than taught, in American schools. This conditioning, he claims, causes blacks to become dependent and to seek out inferior places in the greater society of which they are a part. He challenges his readers to become autodidacts and to “do for themselves”, regardless of what they were taught.
“Native Americans Feel Invisible In U.S. Health Care System.” By E. Whitney, NPR, Article
Seldom does a book have the impact of Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow. Since it was first published in 2010, it has been cited in judicial decisions and has been adopted in campus-wide and community-wide reads; it helped inspire the creation of the Marshall Project and the new $100 million Art for Justice Fund; it has been the winner of numerous prizes, including the prestigious NAACP Image Award; and it has spent nearly 250 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list.
If you believe that talking about race is impolite, or that “colorblindness” is the preferred approach, you must read this book. Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence debunks the most pervasive myths using evidence, easy-to-understand examples, and practical tools.
“Stop ‘whitesplaining’ racism to me”. By J. Blake, CNN, Article
“Study: telling white people they’ll be outnumbered makes them hate welfare more.” by D. Matthews, Vox, Article
For twenty-five years, Debby Irving sensed inexplicable racial tensions in her personal and professional relationships. As a colleague and neighbor, she worried about offending people she dearly wanted to befriend. As an arts administrator, she didn’t understand why her diversity efforts lacked traction. As a teacher, she found her best efforts to reach out to students and families of color left her wondering what she was missing. Then, in 2009, one “aha!” moment launched an adventure of discovery and insight that drastically shifted her worldview and upended her life plan. In Waking Up White, Irving tells her often cringe-worthy story with such openness that readers will turn every page rooting for her-and ultimately for all of us.
Using stories from his own life, Tim Wise examines what it really means to be white in a nation created to benefit people who are “white like him.” This inherent racism is not only real, but disproportionately burdens people of color and makes progressive social change less likely to occur. Explaining in clear and convincing language why it is in everyone’s best interest to fight racial inequality, Wise offers ways in which white people can challenge these unjust privileges, resist white supremacy and racism, and ultimately help to ensure the country’s personal and collective well-being.
Walk into any racially mixed high school and you will see Black, White, and Latino youth clustered in their own groups. Is this self-segregation a problem to address or a coping strategy? Beverly Daniel Tatum, a renowned authority on the psychology of racism, argues that straight talk about our racial identities is essential if we are serious about enabling communication across racial and ethnic divides. These topics have only become more urgent as the national conversation about race is increasingly acrimonious. This fully revised edition is essential reading for anyone seeking to understand the dynamics of race in America.
Witnessing Whiteness invites readers to consider what it means to be white, describes and critiques strategies used to avoid race issues, and identifies the detrimental effect of avoiding race on cross-race collaborations. The author illustrates how racial discomfort leads white people toward poor relationships with people of color. Questioning the implications our history has for personal lives and social institutions, the book considers political, economic, socio-cultural, and legal histories that shaped the meanings associated with whiteness. Drawing on dialogue with well-known figures within education, race, and multicultural work, the book offers intimate, personal stories of cross-race friendships that address both how a deep understanding of whiteness supports cross-race collaboration and the long-term nature of the work of excising racism from the deep psyche. Concluding chapters offer practical information on building knowledge, skills, capacities, and communities that support anti-racism practices, a hopeful look at our collective future, and a discussion of how to create a culture of witnesses who support allies for social and racial justice.
“Beyond Diversity: How Firms Are Cultivating a Sense of Belonging” By R. Solomon, Wharton, Article
Cesar’s Last Fast Documentary Movie Amazon Purchase, Apple iTunes
In the summertime of 1988 Cesar Chavez, then 61 years old, embarked on a water-only fast – a personal act of penance for not having done enough to stop growers from spraying toxic pesticides on farm workers. For more than a month no one, including Cesar, knew when he would eat again. Structured around dramatic, never-before-seen footage of Chavez’s “Fast for Life”, ‘Cesar’s Last Fast’ is the inspiring but overlooked forty year old story of how Chavez organized America’s poorest, least educated workers, built a movement that successfully challenged our nation’s powerful agribusiness, and launched the modern day Latino civil rights campaign in the United States. Motivated by Catholic social teaching, Chavez risked his life in pursuit of economic justice for America’s most vulnerable workforce.’Cesar’s Last Fast’ follows Chavez’s struggle for the humane treatment of America’s farm workers. The documentary shares a first look into Chavez’s 1988 “Fast for Life”, a 36 day water-only fast, a dramatic act of penance for not having done enough to protect laborers from harmful pesticides that were continuously used in the fields.Director Richard Ray Perez makes sure that, whenever possible, Cesar tells his own story. Culled from hundreds of hours of rarely heard interviews, Cesar’s voice narrates the story and examines his own commitment from his point of view. Contemporary interviews with people who surrounded Chavez in 1988 include: Dolores Huerta, Martin Sheen, Luis Valdez, Cesar’s brother Richard Chavez, and Cesar’s son, Paul Chavez, among others. These interviews are powerful, highly emotional testimonies to Cesar Chavez’s impact on the Civil Rights movement; and an urgent call to participate in social justice and human rights activism.
Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harmoniously together.
Deprivation at work: Positive workplace experiences and the racial gap in quit intentions. By P. Norlander, S. Does, M. Shih Working Paper
Diversity, Inc: The Fight for Racial Equality in the Workplace by Pamela Newkirk Book
In Diversity, Inc., award-winning journalist Pamela Newkirk shines a bright light on the diversity industry, asking the tough questions about what has been effective–and why progress has been so slow. Newkirk highlights the rare success stories, sharing valuable lessons about how other industries can match those gains. But as she argues, despite decades of handwringing, costly initiatives, and uncomfortable conversations, organizations have, apart from a few exceptions, fallen far short of their goals.
“Don’t avoid women, mentor them: worried by #MeToo? Here’s how to become part of the solution.” by R. Thomas & S. Brown-Philpot, Wall Street Journal Article
“How elite teams increase their emotional intelligence.” By D. Robson, BBC, Article
“How to Show White Men That Diversity and Inclusion Efforts Need Them” by L. Zheng, Harvard Business Review, Article