Esther A. Heller Recommends:
Reading on Diversity
I read a lot. I quote books a lot. I've read almost all of the
following and own all of them. My bookshelves are overflowing and
periodically this list is growing. Contact me if you'd like
more information on any of them.
(and other topics).
General or Wide-range about Diversity
- Carr-Ruffino, Norma, Managing Diversity: People Skills for a
Mulitcultural Workplace, 1998.
A great resource! She has thorough information on diversity issues
and chapters on specific groups. She debunks myths and provides
respectful, useful advice on intercultural interaction.
- Cech, Maureen, Global Sense: A Leader's guide to Games
for Change, 1996.
There are over fifty activities designed to help adolescents
deal with their biases. I think many can be adapted to adults
as well. They're arranged according to levels of awareness.
- Creighton, Alan with Knivel, Paul, Helping Teens Stop
- Duvall, Lynn, Respecting our Differences: A Guide to
Getting Along in a Changing World, 1994.
Also designed for those working with youth, it has good awarenessbasic
building with useful tips and activities for all ages.
- Lester, Joan Steinau, The Future of White Men and other Diversity
The best place to start learning "what it's all about".
- Pollar, Odette and Gonzalez, Rafael, Dynamics of Diversity:
Stategic Programs for Your Organization., 1994.
This is a "50 Minute Book". It's a good guide for a diversity
"officer" or "committee" starting out.
I've heard Odette Pollar on "Simplifying your life." She is
a great speaker - sensible, humorous, knows how it goes.
- Takaki, Ron, A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural
It's what Bob Dole referred to as "rewriting of history". Takaki
talks about the history of other ethnicities in this country. It's
worth reading to understand where some of the anger must come from.
Communications and Conflict Resolution
- Fisher, Roger and Ury, William, Getting to Yes, Negotiating
Agreement Without Giving In, 1991.
- Samovar, Larry and Richard Porter, eds, Intercultural
Communications: A Reader, Seventh Edition, 1994.
Contains good overviews as well as specifics on different
cultures and co-cultures.
- Tannen, Deborah,
Tannen is a linguist who has done extensive communications studies.
John Grey covers some of the same material in Men are from
Mars, Women are from Venus. I strongly recommend reading
Tannen, not Grey.
- That's Not What I Meant! How Conversational Style
Makes or Breaks Your Relationships with Others, 1986 ;
- You Just Don't Understand: Women and Men in
- The Argument Culture: Stopping American's War of Words
By, about or for Women
- Angelou, Maya, poetry:
I've got but haven't read some of her autobiographical work. It's
about her resistance as a black woman. I hear it's powerful.
- On The Pulse of Morning, 1993;
- Phenomenal Woman, Four Poems Celebrating Women
- Asian Women United of California, Making Waves: An
Anthology of Writings by and About Asian American Women, 1989.
This book turned up while I was reading Her Face in the
Mirror [see below]. It seemed like a good companion and proved
to be so.
- Friedan, Betty,
I read The Feminine Mystique back around 1969 and was amazed
by it. It still holds up quite well, as apparently is Betty Friedan
(I saw her on a Firing Line special and she was great!)
- The Feminine Mystique, 1983 (orig 1963);
- "It Changed My Life", 1991 (orig 1963);
- The Second Stage,1991 (orig 1981).
- Gelles, Edith B, PORTIA: The World of Abigail Adams, 1990.
A different type of biography, it's more of a relationship style, looking
at things and saying "and here the feminist view is..." I loved it.
- Kaye/Kantrowitz, Melanie, The Issue is Power: Essays on
Women, Jews, Violence and Resistance, 1992.
This book really got to me in several areas. It's from Aunt Lute
Books. They have a wonderful offering.
- Moskowitz, Faye, ed, Her Face in the Mirror: Jewish Women
on Mothers and Daughters, 1994.
This book insisted, several times, that I buy it. It was right.
It contains essays, short stories, poetry and lots of different
mothers and daughters.
- Pogrebin, Letty Cottin, Deborah, Golda, and Me: Being
Female and Jewish in America, 1991.
- Rosenwasser, Penny, Visionary Voices: Women on Power,
The cover says "conversations with shamans, activists, teachers,
artists and healers." Rosenwasser did a series of interviews with
an wonderfully diverse group of women with an enlightening set of
- AAUW Report, How Schools Shortchange Girls,1995.
A study of major findings on girls and education. Commissioned by
the AAUW Educational Foundation and researched by the Wellesley
College Center for Research on Women.
- Debold, Elizabeth, Wilson, Marie, and Malave, Idelisse,
Mother Daughter Revolution: From Good Girls to Great Women,
Covers the same ground as the others but they propose
solutions and resistance strategies. Currently, my top pick.
- Pipher, Mary, PhD, Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of
Adolescent Girls, 1994.
I'm suggesting this to parents of all of my Girl Scouts and
anyone who works with adolescents.
- Orenstein, Peggy, SchoolGirls: Young Women, Self-Esteem
and the Confidence Gap, 1994.
She did direct observations of girls in co-ed schools in two
very different communities.
- Sadker, Myra and David,
Failing at Fairness: How America's Schools Cheat
The title says it all. It's a must for anyone who cares
about teenage girls or former adolescent girls.
This one is for the girls, especially early adolescents.
- Dee, Catherine,
The Girls' Guide to Life: How to Take
Charge of the Issues that Affect YOU, 1997.
Sprinkled with cartoons, this has activities and strategies
to help girls recognize and deal with the issues themselves. It's
quite consistant with what I try to do as a Cadette Girl Scout
Return to my home page.
Esther A. Heller, Independent Consultant and Trainer
Menlo Park, California
Last updated March 18, 2001, the last day of the Girl Scout