Five Things We’re Reading Right Now

June 25, 2021


We know that many of you will be looking for new things to read as you recharge and renew this summer. Whether on vacation, engaging in professional learning, or preparing for school in the fall, we hope you find the perfect reads. To help, we asked a few UnboundEd team members what they’re reading right now. Here’s what they had to say:

Sharone Brinkley-Parker, Vice President, Research, Strategy, & Evaluation

Racism without Racists: Color-Blind Racism and the Persistence of Racial Inequality in America by Eduardo Bonilla-Silva

What I like most about this book is that it explores the connections between past racism and present-day events, including politics and social movements. Also, the elevation of “color-blind racism” and how to fight it is intriguing for me as a Black female, as I have encountered this concept in many areas of my work. This book further helps the reader understand and unpack the actions that continue to promote and sustain racial inequalities today. Exploring color-blindness better supports all of us in our work to call out and disrupt systems that marginalize people of color.


Diane Takata Powell, Deputy Chief, Strategic Growth & Partnerships

Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning
by Cathy Park Hong

I first heard about this book from an interview on Sam Sanders’ podcast, It’s Been a Minute, and it was the first time I identified with someone in mainstream media talking about their Asian identity. So, I had to get the book! Hong is a Korean American poet, and I love her writing style; the words flow beautifully in her story of growing up with immigrant parents. My story is different, yet the book validated many thoughts, feelings, and expressions I’ve had over the years. If you’ve had little exposure to the Asian American community, read this book to gain insight into “minor feelings” occurring to those around you. 


Lacey Robinson, President & CEO

You Are Your Best Thing by Tarana Burke & Brene Brown; One Drop: Shifting the Lens on Race by Yaba Blay

You Are Your Best Thing has reminded me that shame is an often unspoken aspect of racism. This book has helped me notice and articulate the shame activated in me as a response to macro and microaggressions. (Also, check out the great podcast related to this book with Brene, Tarana, and Jason Reynolds!)  I also have to plug One Drop. This book has stunning photographs and essays on colorism and racism; it is truly astounding. These two are essential to deepening understanding of how racism operates and how we can consciously disrupt it.


Deborah Peart, Mathematics Content Specialist

Choosing to See: A Framework for Equity in the Math Classroom by Pamela Seda & Kyndall Brown

In Choosing to See, Pamela Seda and Kyndall Brown offer practical guidance for making math instruction more equitable, particularly for students of color. They also provide the ICUCARE equity framework to guide educators in their efforts to provide equitable math instruction. This work connects to the UnboundEd mission because the focus is on providing grade-level instruction that is engaging, affirming, and meaningful using the ICUCARE framework. It’s grounded in the work of Gloria Ladson-Billings, Zaretta Hammond, and the experts in the field who we often look to when developing content. Notably, the authors unapologetically name that it is essential to address the needs of Black and Brown students in this work, as we do throughout our programming.


Alice Wiggins, Vice President, Instructional Design & Products

You Can’t Have a Coaching Culture Without a Structure by Elena Aguilar

This article is an excellent primer on transformational coaching: a form of coaching that acknowledges the adaptive nature of coaching. Aguilar’s transformational coaching model focuses on identifying and addressing the root causes of unproductive instructional practices. These root causes often have roots in beliefs and ways of being rather than on skills and knowledge. Similarly, racism and bias have links to beliefs and ways of being. This piece has helped me see how transformational coaching has the potential to be a key lever for disrupting racism and bias in the classroom.