WHAT WE'RE READING

Visit this page often to see the newest books and articles that we're reading and recommend.

Books
The Man Who Ran Washington: The Life and Times of James A. Baker III
Peter Baker & Susan Glasser
Unleashed: The Unapologetic Leader's Guide to Empowering Everyone Around You
Frances Frei & Anna Morriss
The Water Dancer
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Competing in the Age of AI: Strategy and Leadership when Algorithms and Networks Run the World
Marco Iansiti & Karim Lakhani
Exercise of Power: American Failures, Successes and a New Path Forward in the Post-Cold War World
Robert M. Gates
The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table
Minda Harts
Unapologetically Ambitious
Shellye Archambeau
As a Man Thinketh
James Allen

It’s a wonderful reflection on the importance of attitude on life. He writes “They themselves are makers of themselves” and that the mind is the “master weaver” of the “inner garment of character” and the “outer garment of circumstances.”

These Truths: A History of the United States
Jill Lepore
It’s a reframing of the history of the United States now that female and of color historians are beginning to excavate untold stories.
Caste
Isabel Wilkerson
The Origins of our Discontents
Articles
Athletes have taken social stands before. Why this time is different.

The Christian Science Monitor's Phil Taylor takes an in-depth look at athlete activism.

Making higher education anti-racist

Scholar and author Ibram X. Kendi discusses the broad and deep racist conditioning in American society and offers solutions for remediation in academia,  He specifically addresses college admissions and faculty recruitment/promotion politicies.

Women in finance have to ask for promotions. Men don't.

A new study of 2000 finance professionals in Australia found that 76% of men were offered a promotion at least once without requesting it, compared with 57% of women.  The conclusion is that fixing the system can't all be on women to act differently. 

At Wharton, a New Leader Confronts the Culture Wars

The Times' popular Corner Office feature spotlights Wharton's Dean Erika James.  She discusses race, politics and the role of business. 

Democrats expect Biden to name Linda Thomas-Greenfield as UN ambassador

It is being widely reported that President-elect Biden has selected Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to be his United Nations ambassador and that he will restore the position to Cabinet rank. 

Abby Philip is Next-Gen CNN

The New York Times has written a gushing profile of CNN Political Correspondent Abby Philip.  The Harvard University alum is a rising star and the article offers particular praise for Philip's comments about the political strength of Black women in support of Joe Biden during the primary period. 

Women Rise to Record Numbers At Top-Ranked Business Schools

Bloomberg Businessweek reports that women students have almost hit parity at Dartmouth's and Stanford's business schools.  In a year of volatile admissions, percentages of female students dipped at a number of other MBA programs. 

Invest in Black Women because Democracy Is on Their Shoulders

From Nonprofit Quarterly: "Black women have built and protected our democracy, even when they have been deliberately and systemically excluded from participating in it.". This article outlines ways Black women's involvement in politics can be supported at the regional, local, and national levels.

Harvard Business Review Special Issue on Fighting Racism at Work

Harvard Business Review has assembled 20 articles that address fighting racism at work.  Among the topics are: How to be a better ally to your Black colleagues; Move beyond diversity to real equity; and Is your company actually fighting racism or just talking about it?  

D.C.'s Electoral Votes Will All Be Cast By Women -- Including This Howard University Graduate

The Washington Post presents an illuminating profile of Meedie Bardonille, a nurse and Howard University graduate, who is one of the District of Columbia's three people officially casting electoral votes for the President and Vice President. This role has typically been filled by politicians. 

Naval Academy names its first Black female brigade commander

Here's another example of WINNING -- Midshipman 1st Class Sydney Barber, a Black woman who will lead 4,400 of her peers at the U.S. Naval Academy for the first time in the institution's 174-year history.

Oprah's Favorite Things 2020!

Oprah's famous list this year has a special twist. Because so many people want to support Black lives any way they can, Oprah and her team found dozens of gorgeous gifts from Black-owned businesses to celebrate. Black lives - and Black businesses - matter! #TeamUp

How Stacey Abrams and other Georgia activists laid the groundwork for 2020.

Fortune's Emma Hinchliffe has another great article, her profile of voting rights activist Stacey Abrams.  Brava Stacey!!

Black women put Kamala Harris in the White House. Here's how they feel about making history.

Fortune's Emma Hinchliffe interviewed a number of Black female leaders.  We especially applaud author Minda Harts for crediting our "team up" message: "This showed the collective power Black women have to help each other rise," Minda Harts, the author of The Memo: What Women of Color Need to Know to Secure a Seat at the Table, told me yesterday. "When we collaborate, we can change history."

America calls on Kamala Harris - and Black women - to clean up its mess

Yes, the victory of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris is historic and welcome.  However, The Washington Post's Karen Attiah cites the 91% support that Black women gave to the Democratic ticket and what we expect in return: "It's an all-too-familiar scenario to Black women - White America always hopes that we will clean up its mess. But Black women don't vote to save White America; we vote to save ourselves from White America and its impulses. It's time for Democrates to work to give Black women the better and safer America that we deserve."

LA County's Powerful Board of Supervisors Will Be All Women For The First Time

Every vote is being counted and day by day, we are celebrating more political wins for women and women of color!  

CBS Studios, NAACP Venture Appoints Sheila Duckworth President, Opening Doors for Black People in TV

Another great story found on the ForbesWomen daily e-newsletter -- this time about a new venture between CBS Studios and the NAACP! #TeamUp

Four Black Women - All CEOs - Have Created a "Call to Action" to Close the Health Gap for Black Americans

We address the health gap for Black Americans in "A Blessing."  It's inspiring to read that Black women are addressing the issue.  #TeamUp!

Black Lives Matter Co-founder Patrisse Cullors on Her Activism - and Art - Beyond Hashtags

ForbesWomen, the daily e-newsletter edited by Maggie McGrath, is a constant source of inspiring, sometimes surprising content.  Today's November 5, 2020 issue is filled with terrific content and we've posted four of the items here!  Atta-girl, Maggie! 

Meet the Dancer Behind Chanel and American Ballet Theatre’s New Docuseries

Gabe Stone Shayer seeks to "further the efforts for inclusion of new Black voices in the ballet world".

COVID's triple whammy for Black students

This is a devastating assessment of the increased risks of physical and psychological damage to students of color in the time of COVID.  What more can we do, other than sound an alarm?  

Tulsa reckons with its racist past. What can America learn?

A vicious race riot in Tulsa, Oklahoma destroyed what was called Black Wall Street, the Greenwood neighborhood. This history is being revisited 100 years later. 

America Ferrara: Latinas are essential. Pay us.

Activist and actress America Ferrara's call to action on Latina Equal Pay Day!

If America Were in Africa, U.S. Diplomats Would Be Ringing The Alarm Bells

Brilliant Ambassador Reuben Brigety II is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations as well as the vice chancellor and president of the University of the South, Sewanee.  

In The Name of Justice: Harvard Alums Battle Against Systemic Racism

Here are fascinating conversations with Harvard alumnae, Dr. Michelle Morse (MPH '12) and Christina Lewis ('02),

Venus Williams' Advice for Entrepreneurs: Don't Let Fear Take Over - Just Push Through It

Great advice from businesswoman and tennis champion Venus Williams: "It's okay to be afraid, but it's not okay to let it ruin your decision-making process."

Women in STEM Celebrate 100 Years of Women's Right to Vote

This inspiring video features two unicorns in the aerospace field, Mae Jemison and Naia Butler-Craig. We celebrate these trailblazers!

Meet the Solar Industry's First Black Woman CEO

BRAVA to Kristal Hansley, another unicorn.  What a blessing!

Pandemic Pivots

My Harvard Business School classmate and friend, Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, on resilience:  "Resilience doesn't happen on its own.  It takes leadership."

What Does It Mean to BE a Political First

This is a timely survey of "firsts" -- a variety of female political leaders, with an introduction by Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris. 

Howard University President: The Pool of Black Talent in America Is Not "Limited" At All

President Wayne A.I. Frederick provides a teachable moment for doubters: there is NO shortage of Black talent in the United States! 

Kristen Welker Praised for Masterclass Debate Moderation

Here is another "win" for an extraordinary journalist of color!  BRAVA Kristen Welker!!

'O' Magazine Changed the Publishing Industry

It's hard to believe that it's been 20 years since 'O' Magazine launched.  Jenisha Watts has written a lovely appreciation. 

Channing Dungey Takes Charge at Warner Brothers

Brava to Channing Dungey and Warner Brothers!  This is another major WIN. 

40 Black playwrights on the theater industry's insidious racism

Is it a "win" to at least be having this conversation - out loud -- in Hollywood's hometown newspaper and on Netflix? 

Simone Leigh is the first Black woman to represent the U.S. at the Venice Biennale

Here is another example of WINNING!  Jackie has attended the Venice Biennale twice and it is a breaktaking showcase for the most impactful and innovative artists in the world. BRAVA to Simone Leigh!

What Kamala Harris Learned About Power at Howard

As a college student, she wanted to have an impact. The answer she landed on - working inside institutions - set her on the path to the vice-presidential nomination.

Princeton University Names New Residential College After Mellody Hobson

Here is another example of "winning."  Princeton University has named a new residential college for Ariel Investments Co-CEO Mellody Hobson. Her name replaces that of former President Woodrow Wilson, whose legacy includes his racist beliefs. When future generations of students, especially those who are Black or Brown, see Hobson College, “I want them to think, ‘I belong here,’ ” she said.

Corporate Monetary Pledges Since George Floyd's Murder

This is an interesting graphic showing which Fortune 100 companies are taking concrete steps to battle systemic racism and to what degree. 

Black founders have unique talents. We need to make sure they get to use them.

Author Erica B. Smith-Goetz stresses many of the same characteristics that we cite in "A Blessing" for Black entrepreneuers to find success:  passion, perseverance and self-awareness.  VC investment would be welcome. 

A Black Mother's Letter to Her Daughter

Many thanks to Karole Dill Barkley for alerting us to this powerful essay by Susan Fales Hill and for drawing our attention to these quotes:

Remember, our racial hierarchy is 400 years old, and because we have never truly faced our history as a nation, like clockwork, every 25 years or so we are torn asunder by its contradictions.
 
—I have never witnessed the universal reckoning unfolding before us today. The protestors are of every color and every walk of life. Institutional racism is no longer a concept relegated to obscure left wing scholarly journals but is now being spoken of by politicians and business leaders of every political affiliation. (May their deeds match their words.)
Simon & Schuster Publisher Talks Race, Trump and the Pandemic

BRAVA to Bloomberg's Karen Toulon for this impactful and timely interview with Simon & Schuster Publisher Dana Canedy!  Two powerful women are promoting reading.  As co-authors of a new book, we couldn't agree more! 

Brava to Shellye Archambeau

Successful businesswoman, Shellye Archambeau's new book is about to launch and she tells Fortune Magazine that she is "cautiously optimistic" because corporations are beginning to discuss racism. 

New Nike Ad Celebrating Venus and Serena Williams

Here is a wonderful celebration of "sisterhood" changing the world!  Individuality is great but teaming up makes the records beyond historic. 

It's Time The "Truth Be Told" About Black Women's Leadership In The Fight For The Vote

100 years later, Black suffragettes are being recognized and honored.

Winning: Look at the top two highest paid female athletes

Brava to Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams!