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Publisher's Summary

“Shakil is a rare jewel in the work of what it means to heal, repair, and take responsibility.... This book is required reading for anyone interested in building a loving, just and diverse world.” (Sensei Koshin Paley Ellison, Zen teacher and author of Wholehearted: Slow Down, Help Out, Wake Up)

Racial justice without shame or blame.

Road-tested tools to start making a difference today.

In Deep Diversity, award-winning racial justice educator Shakil Choudhury explores the emotionally loaded topic of racism using a compassionate, scientific approach that everyone can understand - whether you are Black, Indigenous, a person of color (BIPOC), or White.

With clear language and engaging stories that will appeal to readers of Brené Brown and Malcom Gladwell, Choudhury explains how and why well-intentioned people can perpetuate systems of oppression, often unconsciously. Using a trauma-informed approach that removes shame or blame, he offers us the tools to recognize, take authentic responsibility, and enact deep change. In easy-to-absorb chapters, Choudhury interweaves research into the brain and studies on human behavior with hard-won lessons from his career of helping organizations and CEOs create more inclusive environments. He models vulnerability and mistake-making, sharing examples of his own bias missteps so listeners are encouraged into their own racial justice journey without judgment.

Listeners will come away from the book with practical tools and an understanding of:

  • How to becomes a systems thinker by developing “racial pattern recognition” skills in order to challenge racism and other forms of systemic discrimination when we encounter them, while minimizing the tendency to shame or blame ourselves or others.
  • How to recognize when the unconscious influence of bias, identity, emotions, or power contradict our beliefs about equality, and how to realign our thoughts/words/actions.
  • How to break the racial “prejudice habits” we have all been socialized into since birth, using research-based strategies. 
  • How the rise in authoritarianism and income inequality (among other factors) contribute to a rise in hate crimes and racial discrimination, and what to do about it.

Traditional approaches to anti-racism overly rely on analyzing history to explain systemic discrimination, which tells us only a part of the story. What’s missing, Choudhury argues, is to understand why humans do what we do, the evolutionary impulses underlying our groupish nature and our struggles with power, bias, and social dominance. This is why psychology and neuroscience perspectives are critical to integrate into anti-racist work, as is practicing compassion for ourselves and for others. Deep Diversity is a unique, evidence-based approach to racial justice that seeks to overcome feelings of shame that so often block our progress and prevent deep change at individual and systemic levels. 

Deep Diversity meets you where you’re at, regardless of your identity, class, ability, or belief system, and invites you to come along on a journey of self-discovery, social awareness, and lifelong learning. 

It’s only just begun.

“Choudhury draws on heart-touching stories, research on the brain, and hard-won lessons from real-world interventions to offer useful strategies to know ourselves, and others better.” (Rick Hanson, New York Times best-selling author of Buddha’s Brain)

©2021 Shakil Choudhury (P)2021 Greystone Books

Critic Reviews

“Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have never been so fraught and complex. And understanding them has never been more urgent and necessary. Shakil takes you by the hand and gently but firmly gives you strategies and skills to deal with systematic racism. His honesty and personal stories break down the issues and provide practical solutions, and most importantly, hope. If you can only read one book on this subject, read this one.” (Zarqa Nawaz, creator of the TV series Little Mosque on the Prairie and author of Laughing All the Way to the Mosque)

“Racism continues to be a defining issue in our lives. Deep Diversity is a call to action that encourages us to look deeply at our patterns. If we uncover what we half-consciously feel and what influences our feelings, can we change our bias? Shakil Choudhury says we can and shows us how through this thoughtful, relevant offering.” (Sharon Salzberg, author of Lovingkindness and Real Change)

“A breakthrough book about how to achieve the kind of racial equity that goes far beyond traditional notions of ‘diversity’… Everyone working on race issues should read this book.” (Rinku Sen, former executive director, Race Forward and publisher, Colorlines [New York, NY])  

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