Equity, masculinity, and post-capitalism: my 2018 learning agenda

Over the last couple years I’ve tried to be more intentional about documenting the resources I’ve found most helpful on my own journey, trying to understand what’s going on in the world and my role in it.

These are a few of my favorites from 2018: quotations, books, podcasts, speeches, documentaries, and articles/essays.

Newest intellectual crush: adrienne maree brown, no question. Reading her has felt like reading bell hooks: I find myself nodding in agreement, appreciating both the content of the idea and the beauty with which it’s expressed. So much resonance in her writing, so much wisdom in her words. Her Emergent Strategy was my favorite book of the year (my review here). This article on “gifting my attention” is a good introduction to her work, for those of you — like me — who prefer an essay to a whole book.

Favorite books: As a grudging nod to life with two kids and an ambitious professional agenda, I’ve essentially given up on reading full books, preferring instead to read essays, articles, reviews, etc. And what I do read these days is almost exclusively nonfiction, plus the occasional Jack Reacher (which I’ll read in an overnight binge).

In addition to Emergent Strategy — my runaway favorite for the year — I also loved Decolonizing Wealth, by Edgar Villanueva (my full review here). If you haven’t already, put it on your list: simultaneously hard-hitting and deeply sensitive.

Two books about effective movement building merit honorable mention for important contributions to the field:

Favorite quotations: Too many to count. But some that really resonated with me (again, not new in 2018, but struck me in the context of my year’s learning journey):

“Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.” — James Baldwin

“Everything you’ve ever wanted lies on the other side of fear.” — unclear about that attribution, but it was shared via a conversation with Aaron Fairchild

“What you pay attention to, grows.” — unclear about that attribution (perhaps Deepak Chopra?), but I found it via adrienne maree brown (and the inverse: “What you resist, persists.” — Carl Jung)

“Healing people heal people.” — various, but I heard it from Edgar Villanueva, flipping the adage that “hurt people hurt people”

“Lead from the scar, not the wound.” — Nadia Bolz-Weber

“The arc of history doesn’t bend toward justice. It bends toward those who pull the hardest.” — Tarso Ramos

Favorite podcasts: Last year marked my first real introduction to podcasts, and they’ve since become one of my favorite ways to consume news/engage with ideas (my Stitcher app tells me I listened to around 100 hours this year). I love the interview format in particular: as I rarely have time to read whole books, I get huge value hearing a smart interviewer engage with authors about their ideas. In no particular order:

As for favorite individual episodes:

Favorite speeches/TED talks/documentaries/movies:

Favorite essays/articles: As usual, this is the hardest. According to Pocket, I read the equivalent of 60 books this year through the app (a new record!). One boon of this current moment is so much good writing: people are stepping up their games, and there’s broad recognition that we need to listen to new voices… and social media is enabling those voices to get out. In no particular order:

I’d love suggestions for outstanding writing/content that others found helpful in understanding our current moment and the way forward.