For some in our society, diversity is a threat. Others feel society should be more inclusive, if only out of fairness. But as Johnnetta Cole argues in her new book, embracing diversity and inclusiveness is more than a virtuous ideal; it is essential to a healthy, productive society.

Focusing on higher education and other arenas of cultural development, Cole explores our institutions’ vulnerability to the influence of racism and the wider implications for American society. At the core of Cole’s argument is the belief that increasing the representation of historically marginalized groups on college campuses, and in museums, media, and other institutions is, like the liberal arts, vitally important to social progress. Accompanying Cole’s urgent calls to implement social change are vividly rendered experiences from her own remarkable life. Cole issues a challenge for courageous conversations about race and racism and places unique responsibility and accountability on institutions of higher education in leading these conversations.

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