Beacon Press: Did That Just Happen?!
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Did That Just Happen?!

Beyond "Diversity"—Creating Sustainable and Inclusive Organizations

Authors: Stephanie Pinder-Amaker, Lauren Wadsworth

An accessible guide showing all people how to create and sustain diversity and inclusivity in the workplace—no matter your identity, industry, or level of experience

Offering real-life accounts that illustrate common workplace occurrences around inclusivity and answers to questions like “How do I identify and handle diversity landmines at work?” and “What can I do when I’ve made a mistake?” this handbook breaks down ways that organizations (and all people) can improve their cultural awareness and become more equitable in their work and personal relationships.

We know that diverse teams are stronger, smarter, and more profitable, and many companies are attempting to hire more diverse teams, but most struggle to create a real culture of inclusivity in which people from all backgrounds feel comfortable. As clinical psychologists, as well as individuals with marginalized identities, Dr. Stephanie Pinder-Amaker and Dr. Lauren Wadsworth show the emotional and physical impact of marginalization and how that leads to a decrease in employee engagement and, often, increased job turnover.

“Did That Just Happen?!” will be invaluable for employees who come from underrepresented communities and identities (identities discussed include race, age, disability, sexual orientation, citizenship status, and gender expression). But the book is essential for leaders of companies, supervisors, HR departments, and for anyone who wants to understand and support diversity/equity/inclusion practices. The book will also make readers feel more confident in their navigating of friendships/interactions with people who hold different identities.
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“In the evolving realm of DEI titles, Pinder-Amaker and Wadsworth have provided a next-level standout, guiding all manner of organizations in establishing a sustainable, inclusive culture. With authority and authenticity, the authors provide practical, concise direction illuminating the pitfalls and opportunities faced by anyone engaging in this difficult work.”

“Excels in providing constructive, tactical ways of creating workplace cultures that are more inclusive.”

“The case-study approach works well in helping readers understand the mechanics of identity-related aggressions or microaggressions.”
City Book Review

“It’s happening. Increasingly, employees, business leaders, and managers want to bring their ‘whole self’ to work, and more organizations are starting the tough conversations necessary to give everyone the opportunity for success. But it takes know-how to forge a smart path forward, and there are consequences for getting this wrong. Did That Just Happen?! is the step-by-step guide for leaders committed to getting diversity and inclusion right.”
—Deb Elam, CEO, DEI thought leader, and former president and chief DEI officer, GE Foundation

“Successful leaders understand that culture really is everything. On winning teams, nobody stands on the sidelines; every team member is valued, empowered, and contributes toward shared goals. But you don’t leave this to chance. Did That Just Happen?! is a game plan for leaders looking to create a culture built for the long term and built for success.”
—Mike Krzyzewski, head basketball coach, Duke University

“Finally! In this era of corporate pledges of commitment to diversity, a detailed and accessible ‘blueprint’ for establishing and sustaining diversity in the workplace. The authors use case studies to demonstrate how and why organizations—even with the best intentions—so often miss their diversity goals. This is imperative reading for all workplace personnel irrespective of position, executives and staff alike.”
—Harry Edwards, PhD, professor emeritus of sociology, University of California, Berkeley

“The term ‘diversity’ has become the ‘it’ word. Unfortunately, it’s kind of like the word ‘spirituality.’ Many love to profess, but fewer are willing to commit to a sincere practice. Did That Just Happen?! helps us move beyond lip service with the practical skills and insights to foster cultures of inclusive excellence. So, if you’re ready to move your business, faith community, or school beyond milquetoast homogeneity and mediocre productivity, buy this book!”
—Dr. Jonathan Lee Walton, dean of the School of Divinity and Wait Chapel, Wake Forest University

“An essential road map for moving from diversity as a hollow corporate initiative to building vital, resilient organizations that are inclusive at their core. Filled with real-world anecdotes that resonate and with skills and practices that leaders can deploy immediately.”
—Rich Paret, entrepreneur and tech executive, former senior engineering director, Google, and VP of engineering, Twitter

Authors’ Note

Inclusive Teams Are Better Teams

What’s in a Name?

“Pioneerism”: The Good, the Bad, and the Painful

Becoming “Experts”

This Work Is Not Linear

Moving Through the Freeze

When You’ve Messed Up

Leading by Empowering Listening

Staying Safe: Swimming in the School

Responding to Identity-Related Aggressions (IRAs)

Build the Horse Before Presenting the Cart

Sustaining Yourself

Anti-Racism in the Workplace

Follow the Data to the Future

Glossary and a Few Tips to Go
Reading Guide

Did That Just Happen?!: Beyond “Diversity”—Creating Sustainable and Inclusive Organizations

Readers’ Guide Discussion Questions

Download the readers’ guide.

  1. In chapter 1, “Inclusive Teams Are Better Teams,” the authors outline the pitfalls of creating “diverse” workspaces without providing the necessary tools to support those of rising underrepresented identities who have been invited into the work environment. Beyond those outlined in the book, what are some ways in which you, on the individual level, might foster a safer environment in order to maintain a diverse team?
  2. Are there times when you’ve witnessed either successes or failures of organizational diversity initiatives? What factors led to these successes and/or failures?
  3. The authors coin the term IRAs (identity-related aggressions) to remove “micro” from the term “microaggressions.” How does this shift in terminology change your perspective on IRAs? Can you think of any other commonly used terms in the context of identity and organizational reflection that might benefit from revision?
  4. The authors assert that “One of the most insidious aspects of identity-related aggressions is that they occur without notice” (21). How and where does this ring true in your experience? Reflect on thoughtful ways to draw attention to IRAs as they occur.
  5. In a scenario involving Barnes & Noble’s mishandling of publications related to Black History Month, the authors encourage the company to “re-approach,” which means “making an informed and sustained attempt to address the issue it originally sought to highlight” (72). What factors make re-approaching a difficult process both for companies and for individuals? Have you ever had to redress an issue like that in this scenario? If so, reflect on the challenges, significance, and end results of this process.
  6. The authors assert that a crucial first step in organizational assessment is for a system to acknowledge its history. What makes this action essential and how might you practice it in your own organization?
  7. The authors coin the term “the action/savior fix” to define a moment wherein one takes ownership away from the target of a harmful situation by shifting the focus away from their pain and to your new mission (93). How do intent and impact play a role in this “fix”? Have you ever been on the receiving end of the action/savior fix? If so, what role do you wish the “savior” would have taken in that moment, and what actionable steps can you think of that might guide them toward that role?
  8. Think of a time wherein you either acted as or required an ally in a challenging situation. What characteristics do you value in an effective upstander? Why is it sometimes difficult to speak out as an upstander, and how might you overcome these difficulties?
  9. Did That Just Happen?! goes into detail about fear surrounding the word “racist” and about the cultural hesitancy to name racist actions as they occur. Do you find it difficult to use this terminology? If so, what historical, social, or environmental factors contribute to your fears surrounding the word “racist”?
  10. The authors note that the theme of safety recurs throughout this book “because cultural shifts cannot occur unless people feel safe to take risks” (131). Envision a “safer space.” What obstacles lie between your current work environment and the safer environment you’ve envisioned? What contributes or detracts from your sense of safety in the workplace?
  11. The authors provide examples of what they term “the empowering apology” (122). They note that “That was inappropriate and hurtful. I’m very sorry” or “I realize that my assumption was racist. I’m very sorry” are two of many valid responses. Brainstorm your own empowering apologies. What are the most meaningful components of an empowering apology, and how did you incorporate these components into your own examples?
  12. Identify the large cultural shifts you’d like to see take place in your organization. Why haven’t these shifts yet occurred, and what can you do to actualize them?

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Did That Just Happen?!

ISBN: 978-080703588-7
Publication Date: 6/15/2021
Size:5.5 x 8.5 Inches (US)
Price:  $25.95
Format: Cloth
Availability: In stock.
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