Looking for a professional development book to read this summer? Need a book to read together as a professional staff team? Consider “Why Aren’t We There Yet?”
By Jan Arminio, Vasti Torres, and Raechele L. Pope
Book Review by Katie Newcomb, SUNY Geneseo
Offering new insights on diversity, Why Aren’t We There Yet? provides an introduction to this topic through seven easy to read chapters surrounding the most basic struggles that people encounter when trying to learn more about this challenging subject. The introduction best explains the purpose of this book by asking one integral question: “In what ways have I initiated a dialogue that promoted human dignity, equality, and community?” (p. 3) As you work your way through the chapters (and I use work rather than read as one cannot help but spend time evaluating their own identities and beliefs throughout the reading) it becomes apparent that the topic of diversity is constantly changing and evolving. As a result, we must become diligent in our work to understand diversity and the role that we play in creating the inclusive environment that we strive to develop within our own campus community.
The different chapters allow scholars and practitioners alike to examine their own identity and how those identities play a role in their relationships with others, their contributions to the greater campus community and culture, and their understanding of diversity from a historical perspective. Finally, it encourages the reader to start engaging in the type of dialogue that will ultimately promote diversity and inclusive practices on campus. The book focuses on this dialogue, even giving suggestions as to what difficult questions can be asked to help one determine how to start the conversation. While there are no easy answers to creating an inclusive environment on your campus, the book helps the reader set up the parameters needed to begin this process with strong insights and examples of how one can better understand and implement diversity.