Many of us want to do good and show up--but "good people" can and do perpetuate harm. Michelle Kim cofounded Awaken, a diversity, equity, and inclusion education company, with a mission to foster the uncomfortable conversations that allow us to build connections, reduce harm, and inspire change. In The Wake Up Kim takes readers beyond the standard Diversity & Inclusion initiatives in the workplace, beyond performative measures, to guide us through the hard, sometimes painful, and ultimately joyful work that we must engage in to advance true equity.
The Wake Up is not a manual on how to “diversity and inclusion.” We can’t “hack” social justice. Rather than demanding simplicity or quick, self-congratulatory fixes we have been taught to crave, The Wake Up is the antithesis of what so many of us have grown accustomed to; it moves beyond rigid “best practices,” challenging us to no longer be satisfied with common reactive and defensive stances, and to recognize the harm in relying solely on the labor of already burdened and marginalized communities. With a mix of in-the-trenches narrative and practical, thoughtful exercises, the book teaches us how to think, approach, and be in this movement as thoughtfully and powerfully as possible. The Wake Up shows us how to build resilient and genuine human connections while we try new things, recover from mistakes, and find our own authentic voice. Good intentions alone don't make good people. The Wake Up helps us commit to finally getting the foundation right, and challenging ourselves to do the real work to go deeper to effect real change.