What’s Robena Reading?

A book filled with teaching moments, applicable strategies, and tips to develop better leadership skills is an all-around powerful tool. Perhaps more importantly, making an effort to read different stories that capture different perspectives will guide your path towards DEI literacy and mindfulness, which plays a key role in leadership development and DEI coaching services provided here at Apis Services.

Not sure what to read first? Here are a handful of recommended titles to support your professional development journey.

How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi

This book brought light to the fact that policies and systems are the pathways to achieving antiracism in American society. Not only did this book launch the anti-racist initiatives currently in place at Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape (PCAR), but it was also the first pick for the PCAR Board members’ book club.

A Promised Land by Barack Obama

Our former president is one of my all-time favorite leaders. For me, his leadership style embraces the fundamentals of Transformational Leadership and Servant Leadership. The detailed accounts of his presidency were oftentimes heavy, but readable. I thoroughly enjoyed all 700 pages!

Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

Ahhh, Brené. She uses her research and relationship building skills to open up conversations on very tough topics. She models vulnerability and courage mixed with humor and honesty. Brené has a way of making you want to celebrate hard, uncomfortable things. My favorite chapters in this book are “Speak Truth to Bullshit. Be Civil” and “People are Hard to Hate Close Up. Move In.”

The Conversation by Robert Livingston

This book is an evidence-based approach to speaking about racism on the individual and organizational level. Dr. Livingston introduces us to his science-based template called PRESS: Problem Awareness-Root Cause-Empathy-Strategy-Sacrifice. He helped me absorb and reflect on the fact that there are people who simply don’t care about racism and those who remain grounded in their power and privilege because they benefit from it in some way.

Do you prefer podcasts? Take a listen to Unlocking Us with Brené Brown, especially the June 3, 2020 episode featuring Ibram X. Kendi and the June 10, 2020 episode with Austin Channing Brown. Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard is a revolving door of incredible guests and smart conversations. Every episode is great, but these are particularly worthy of your time:

  • Tom Brady Episode 243
  • Hillary Clinton Episode 269
  • Emmanuel Acho Episode 271
  • Robert Livingston Episode 288
  • Adam Grant Episode 290
  • Chad Sanders Episode 298

A well-read woman is powerful and enlightened. Join the club! Keep reading, listening and learning!