Summer is a time to head to your happy place. You might visit beaches, hike in forests or explore the mountains, but that diversity of experience doesn’t have to be limited to physical adventures.

We asked a few members of adidas’ Portland-based Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) – networks built on shared interests or backgrounds – to share their recommendations for a GamePlan A diversity and inclusion summer reading list.

As the sunshine motivates you to get out and get moving, these books will encourage you to explore your internal landscape, offering a fresh perspective for your personal growth.

1. 'The Girl at the Baggage Claim: explaining the East-West Culture Gap' by Gish Jen

Book cover of The girl at the baggage claim by Gish Jen, diversity, summer reading list, inspiration

“As a Canadian-born Chinese, I’ve struggled with – and also been intrigued by – the cultural duality of my upbringing. This book has completely transformed my perspective on Western (independent) and Eastern (interdependent) cultures and how I experience the world. The truth is, there is no ‘right’ culture. If you are interacting with people from other cultures, this book will bring so much appreciation and empathy for those whose perspective may seem different or strange. A must-read!”

– Vicki Ng, member of PACE, adidas’ ERG for the Asian community

2. 'Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People' by Mahzarin R. Banaji and Anthony G. Greenwald

“This book will help you to identify your blind spots.”
Emmy Negrin, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at adidas

“We all have hidden biases, but how do we overcome them? This book will help you to identify your blind spots, it explains the science of bias and shows how the blind spots get in the way of leading and connecting with people from different backgrounds.”

– Emmy Negrin, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at adidas

3. 'Microaggressions in Everyday Life: Race, Gender, and Sexual Orientation' by Derald Wing Sue

“This book insightfully looks at the various kinds of microaggressions and their psychological effects on both perpetrators and their targets. Thought provoking and timely, Dr. Sue suggests realistic and optimistic guidance for combating – and ending – microaggressions in our society.”

– Lauren Body, member of Progressive Soles, adidas’ ERG for People of Color

4. 'Tomorrow Will Be Different: Love, Loss, and the Fight for Trans Equality' by Sarah McBride

“As national press secretary for the Human Rights Campaign, Sarah McBride continuously fights for LGBTQ+ rights. Her nationally published political work, combined with her ability to be fully authentic and raw, comes together perfectly in her memoir. She’s one of the most amazing speakers I’ve ever seen, and her written work is just as impactful in inspiring change and melting hearts.”

– Sammy Van Den Berg, member of Proud to Play, adidas’ ERG for the LGBTQ community and their allies

5. 'Leaders Eat Last' by Simon Sinek

Book cover of Simon Sinek's book 'Leaders Eat last', summer reading list, diversity, inspiration

Leaders Eat Last has been a core tenet of the military for generations. Leaders always put their subordinates first, in word and deed. In this book, Sinek emphasizes taking care of your people is FAR more important than focusing on numbers or results. He also gets into the science of how we respond to various scenarios and how to create a safe and supportive environment for our teams. It is a quick, to the point, and an inspiring read.”

– Jens Hansen, member of VetNet, adidas’ ERG for veterans and their families

6. 'We Should All Be Feminists' by Ngozi Adichie

Book cover of Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche's book We should all be feminists, summer reading list, inspiration, diversity

Ngozi Adichie talks about masculinity and femininity in a way that offers calm logical arguments for positive change going forward. She is an inspiration for a future world ‘of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves.’”

– Lois Gearhart, member of Project 261, adidas’ ERG for women and women’s issues

Do you have a book from your own summer reading list that you want to let everyone know about? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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