Say the Right Thing: How to Talk about Identity, Diversity, and Justice

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A Living Now Book Awards Gold Medalist, Social Activism/Charity

A practical, shame-free guide for navigating conversations across our differences at a time of rapid social change.

In the current period of social and political unrest, conversations about identity are becoming more frequent and more difficult. On subjects like critical race theory, gender equity in the workplace, and LGBTQ-inclusive classrooms, many of us are understandably fearful of saying the wrong thing. That fear can sometimes prevent us from speaking up at all, depriving people from marginalized groups of support and stalling progress toward a more just and inclusive society.

Kenji Yoshino and David Glasgow, founders of the Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging at NYU School of Law, are here to show potential allies that these conversations don't have to be so overwhelming. Through stories drawn from contexts as varied as social media posts, dinner party conversations, and workplace disputes, they offer seven user-friendly principles that teach skills such as how to avoid common conversational pitfalls, engage in respectful disagreement, offer authentic apologies, and better support people in our lives who experience bias.

Research-backed, accessible, and uplifting, Say the Right Thing charts a pathway out of cancel culture toward more meaningful and empathetic dialogue on issues of identity. It also gives us the practical tools to do good in our spheres of influence. Whether managing diverse teams at work, navigating issues of inclusion at college, or challenging biased comments at a family barbecue, Yoshino and Glasgow help us move from unconsciously hurting people to consciously helping them.

Author: Kenji Yoshino, David Glasgow
Binding Type: Hardcover
Publisher: Atria Books
Published: 02/07/2023
Pages: 240
Weight: 0.75lbs
Size: 7.50h x 5.70w x 1.60d
ISBN: 9781982181383

Review Citation(s):
Library Journal Prepub Alert 09/01/2022 pg. 16
Kirkus Reviews 01/01/2023
Booklist 01/01/2023 pg. 7

About the Author
Kenji Yoshino is the Chief Justice Earl Warren Professor of Constitutional Law at NYU School of Law and the faculty director of the Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging. Kenji studied at Harvard, Oxford, and Yale Law School. His fields are constitutional law, antidiscrimination law, and law and literature. He has received several distinctions for his teaching and research, including the American Bar Association's Silver Gavel Award, the Peck Medal in Jurisprudence, and New York University's Distinguished Teaching Award. Kenji is the author of three previous books--Covering: The Hidden Assault on Our Civil Rights; A Thousand Times More Fair: What Shakespeare's Plays Teach Us About Justice; and Speak Now: Marriage Equality on Trial. He has published in major academic journals, including the Harvard Law Review, the Stanford Law Review, and the Yale Law Journal, as well as popular venues such as the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. He serves on the board of the Brennan Center for Justice, advisory boards for diversity and inclusion at Charter Communications and Morgan Stanley, and on the board of his children's school.

David Glasgow is the executive director of the Meltzer Center for Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging and an adjunct professor at NYU School of Law. He graduated with a BA in philosophy and an LLB (First Class Honors) from the University of Melbourne, Australia, and clerked on the Federal Court of Australia. A dual-qualified attorney in New York and Australia, he practiced employment, labor relations, and antidiscrimination law at law firm King & Wood Mallesons before completing his Master of Laws (LLM) at NYU School of Law in 2014, where he was awarded the David H. Moses Memorial Prize and the George Colin Award. He has written for a range of publications including the Harvard Business Review, HuffPost, and Slate, and served as an associate director of the Public Interest Law Center at NYU School of Law prior to his current role.