The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change

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The racial reckoning that erupted after the unconscionable murder of George Floyd brought about renewed interest in social justice issues. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) leader Michelle Mijung Kim recalls how her small DEI training and consulting business suddenly became inundated with requests from corporations wanting to build or strengthen DEI operations. Kim leveraged her social media networks to develop a list of other practitioners and consultancies, with a particular focus on Black-owned firms. The list eventually grew to eight hundred businesses, shared widely with organizations across the country looking for DEI support.

This is just one example of actions in solidarity highlighted in Kim’s The Wake Up: Closing the Gap Between Good Intentions and Real Change. As a queer Korean immigrant, Kim discusses her experiences of enduring trauma and finding community while serving others. Along the way, Kim points out harmful stereotypes and microaggressions against Asians, for example, being mistaken for another Asian at work or being exotified by partners. Kim models trauma-informed practices by including content notes on painful topics such as chattel slavery, suicide ideation, colonization, and descriptions of anti-Black racism.

The Wake Up is a powerful book that provides practical tips about showing up as our better selves in the fight for justice and equity. Kim’s writing embodies years of experience in handling difficult conversations about white supremacy culture, as she exposes truths in a way that activates those with privilege and power to be a part of the solution.


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Author Michelle MiJung Kim
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Hachette Go
Publish Date 28-Sep-2021
ISBN 9780306847202
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue December 2021
Category Modern Literature
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