Reconstructing DEI Book Summary - Reconstructing DEI Book explained in key points
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Reconstructing DEI summary

Lily Zheng

A Practitioner's Workbook

19 mins
Table of Contents

    Reconstructing DEI
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    Defining yourself

    Effective DEI work requires introspection. In order to drive systemic change with integrity, it’s essential to first understand your own values, identities, and experience. 

    Begin by identifying your core values, which serve as a compass for your actions and decisions. Specifically, come up with a list of eight of your top values, such as compassion, integrity, or knowledge. Reflect on how each of these values manifests in your behaviors and life decisions, as well as how they’ve evolved over time. This exercise helps to ground you when a situation challenges your convictions.

    Next, you’ll explore your various social identities. This deep dive into the interplay of privilege and marginalization in your life reveals the complex ways in which your identities have impacted you. First, name your identities across some common identity dimensions, such as race, nationality, gender, neurotype, religion, sexuality, or anything else important to your self-identification, like military or immigration status.

    Now reflect on how each of these identities confers privilege or marginalization on you, noting the unique advantages or disadvantages you’ve encountered. How might two or more of them have combined to increase either marginalization or privilege? What topics do your identities give you unique expertise in? And less expertise in?

    Finally, drawing from these answers, consider the question: If you had to give a 10-minute presentation on a topic you have identity-related expertise with, what would you choose? Conversely, you can also think about a 10-minute presentation you would like to hear from someone else on a topic in which you lack identity-related expertise. What might you hope to learn from it?

    These exercises will deepen your understanding of yourself and help steer your DEI efforts. 

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    What is Reconstructing DEI about?

    Reconstructing DEI (2024) offers an in-depth guide for implementing effective diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies (DEI) in various organizational contexts. It provides readers with practical tools, exercises, and case studies to navigate and enhance DEI initiatives, aiming to foster more inclusive environments and equitable outcomes.

    Reconstructing DEI Review

    Reconstructing DEI (2022) delves into reshaping diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in organizations. Here's why this book stands out:

    • Offers fresh perspectives and strategies for driving meaningful change in workplaces, breaking away from traditional DEI approaches.
    • Provides practical tools and resources to help organizations cultivate diverse, inclusive, and equitable environments effectively.
    • Engages readers with its thought-provoking insights and case studies, ensuring a stimulating and enlightening read.

    Who should read Reconstructing DEI?

    • HR professionals, corporate executives, middle managers, and small business owners
    • Nonprofit organizations focused on social justice and advocacy
    • DEI practitioners, and anyone responsible for implementing DEI initiatives at an organization

    About the Author

    Lily Zheng is a prominent diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategist, consultant, and speaker. Recognized as a Forbes D&I Trailblazer and 2021 DEI Influencer, they are the author of several influential books including The Ethical Sellout and DEI Deconstructed. Zheng has made significant contributions to the discourse on equity and inclusion.

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    Reconstructing DEI FAQs 

    What is the main message of Reconstructing DEI?

    The main message of Reconstructing DEI is about transforming diversity, equity, and inclusion into truly effective organizational change.

    How long does it take to read Reconstructing DEI?

    Reading Reconstructing DEI takes a few hours. You can grasp the key insights in the Blinkist summary in just a few minutes.

    Is Reconstructing DEI a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Reconstructing DEI is essential for those serious about modern DEI challenges, offering innovative approaches in concise form.

    Who is the author of Reconstructing DEI?

    The author of Reconstructing DEI is Lily Zheng.

    What to read after Reconstructing DEI?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Reconstructing DEI, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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