13 Books On Diversity, Equity, + Inclusion That Every College Student Should Check Out

It’s cozy reading weather season! We asked our DEI Council: “What’s your favorite book on diversity, equity, + inclusion for college students?” Here’s what they said…

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#1] Caste – Isabel Wilkerson

Caste analyzes the unspoken caste system in America and compares it to the caste system of Nazi Germany, + the caste system of India. In this book, you’ll learn about the different pillars that underlie the caste systems and also learn how America can move beyond a caste system.

Recommended by Sarah

#2] The Warmth Of Other Suns – Isabel Wilkerson

The Warmth of Other Suns shares the story of the Great Migration where Black citizens of the south fled to northern + western cities in search for a better life. The story is told through the lens of three different people from three different parts of the south who go to three different cities in the north + west.

Recommended by Sarah

#3] The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give follows Starr Carter who lives in a poor neighborhood but attends a fancy prep school. The balance between these worlds + her friends in them is rocked when she witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friends by a police officer.

Recommended by Sarah

#4] Honeygirl – Morgan Rogers

Honey Girl follows the story of Grace Porter, a 28-year-old quuer Black woman, who’s just earned her PhD in Astronomy. When she + her two best friends take a trip to Vegas to celebrate, Grace drunkenly marries a woman she’s never met. After returning home, Grace realizes her life plan may not be what she truly wants.

Recommended by Sam

#5] How Lucky – Will Leitch

How Lucky is the unforgettable story of a fiercely resilient young man grappling with a physical disability + his efforts to solve a mystery unfolding right outside his front door. The puzzle of what happened to a Georgia grad student lends momentum to the plot about a man with Type II spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

Recommended by Sam

#6] The Sweetest Remedy – Jane Igharo

When Hannah travels to Nigeria to attend the funeral of the father she never knew, she meets an extravagant family for the first time, a new and inspiring love interest, + discovers parts of herself she didn’t know were missing. Hannah is soon shaped by secrets that unfold, a culture she never thought she would understand or appreciate, + a man who steals her heart + helps her to see herself in a new light.

Recommended by Sam

#7] The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime – Mark Haddon

This book follows a protagonist who lives with Autism Spectrum Disorder, + it really opened my mind to other ways of interacting with the world. The story itself is very heartfelt, + readers watch the protagonist navigate solving a mystery while facing the challenges within his home life.

Recommended by Marguerite

#8] Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin

A book about a man living in Paris and having an affair with a character named Giovanni, who he meets at a gay bar. In Paris while waiting for his girlfriend to make a decisions about his marriage proposal, he reflects on his past + both the familial + romantic relationships in his life.

Recommended by Ayoko

#9] Why Are All The Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria – Beverly Daniel Tatum 

A book about the psychology of racism + the role of racial identity for young people of color. The author writes to push forward the point that it’s critical to have such discussions surrounding racial identity + communicating across racial/ethnic divisions in our society + spaces.

Recommended by Ayoko

#10] Lost Children Archive by Valeria Luiselli

Mashing both fiction + real life events, Lost Children Archive explores the lives of an American family on the brink of breaking as well as the real life movement of thousands of children trying to cross the US-Mexico Boarder + being held in cages as we’ve seen the last half of a decade. The story powerfully reflects what young children experience as they see parents separate but also the tragedy of the crisis at the boarded and the true horror those young children experience being held in cages.

Recommended by Lucy

#11] Passing — Nella Larson

The story of Claire + Irene describes the struggle of the “passing” African-American woman pre-desegregation America. Irene, is dedicated to racial uplifting + proving that African-Americans are just as deserving of the rights that white people have. Claire took the opportunity once her dad died to pass as white once she moved in with her two white aunts. The story progresses to show the struggle to hide true identity during this time, + even the struggle of being African-American in America.

Recommended by Lucy

#12] Piecing Me Together – Renee Watson

A  powerful story about a teen girl striving for success in a world that too often feels like it wants to break her. Jade believes she must get out of her poor neighborhood if she’s ever going to succeed. Her mother tells her to take advantage of every opportunity that comes her way.

Recommended by Lexi

#13] The Kite Runner – Khalid Hosseini

This is an amazing story in which Hosseini illustrates the beauty + peace of Afghanistan, which is a viewpoint of the country that is not seen enough due to today’s media portrayal. Hosseini himself is from Afghanistan, + readers can see his love for his home in his writing. The story itself follows a young boy who learns about the true value of friendship, heartbreak, + forgiveness.

Recommended by Marguerite

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Do we have a favorite book of yours on diversity, equity, + inclusion that we missed? Let us know in the comments + we will add it to the list! 💕

Share with us what you’re reading with #CHAARGBookClub!

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