cover image The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias

The Person You Mean to Be: How Good People Fight Bias

Dolly Chugh. HarperCollins, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-0-06-269214-6

Chugh, an associate professor at the NYU Stern School of Business, offers practical advice on being aware of bias, diversity, oppression, and privilege, and on acting intentionally on that awareness in everyday life, in this helpful guidebook. The author advances thoughtfully through four major themes: “activating the growth mindset,” “seeing the ordinary privilege,” “opting for willful awareness,” and “engaging the people and systems around us.” Humility is the touchstone of Chugh’s approach. She is not afraid to illustrate lessons with her own missteps, as when she met a transgender activist who “did all the work to make me less ignorant, when that should have been my job.” Similarly, she recounts her indignant reaction to an offensive joke made at a wedding dinner by another guest as an example of what not to do. Elsewhere, she mines the latest in social scientific research for practical suggestions. After reporting one study in which “researchers found that almost none of the white mothers [interviewed] discussed race with their children (ages 4-5),” she dispenses advice to parents on how to point out imbalances in representation to their children. In addition to providing a road map for individuals, this book would serve as an excellent training tool for institutional diversity programs, whether to enlighten new supervisors or to accompany diversity workshops. (Sept.)