Antiracist Read: Subtle Acts of Exclusion, by Dr. Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran

My most recent anti-racist read was Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions, by Dr. Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran. I experienced this book in the audiobook format.

Here is some information about the book, from Bookshop.org:

The first practical handbook that helps individuals and organizations recognize and prevent microaggressions so that all employees can feel a sense of belonging. Our workplaces and society are growing more diverse, but are we supporting inclusive cultures? While overt racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of discrimination are relatively easy to spot, we cannot neglect the subtler everyday actions that normalize exclusion. Many have heard the term microaggression, but not everyone fully understands what they are or how to recognize them and stop them from happening.

Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran offer a clearer, more accessible term, subtle acts of exclusion, or SAEs, to emphasize the purpose and effects of these actions. After all, people generally aren’t trying to be aggressive–usually they’re trying to say something nice, learn more about a person, be funny, or build closeness. But whether in the form of exaggerated stereotypes, backhanded compliments, unfounded assumptions, or objectification, SAE are damaging to our coworkers, friends, and acquaintances.

Jana and Baran give simple and clear tools to identify and address such acts, offering scripts and action plans for everybody involved. Knowing how to have these conversations in an open-minded, honest way will help us build trust and create stronger workplaces and healthier, happier people and communities.

Co-authors Dr. Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran have put together an incredible guide for changing the modern workplace for the better. If you’re interested in participating in a discussion about this text, consider joining Charlottesville Women in Tech for an upcoming (February 24) book club discussion: register for the event here. Additionally, Dr. Tiffany Jana will be a guest for a virtual event with the Virginia Festival of the Book on March 15th called Acts of Exclusion: A Conversation with Tiffany Jana. Register to join the event here.

Despite releasing this new book in the unusual circumstances of a global pandemic, both experts have generously given interviews and shared resources online. Here are just a few:

Dr. Tiffany Jana: “We need to be more intentional about our personal development and have grace, both for ourselves (because we WILL mess up) and for others” from Authority Magazine

Subtle Acts of Exclusion: An Interview with Dr. Michael Baran from Culture Stew

Diversity And Inclusion In The Workplace With Dr. Tiffany Jana And The True Meaning Of Leadership With Mike Figliuolo from Dr. Diane Hamilton

“If a Diversity Expert Can Fail So Epically, Anyone Can.”, from Get Abstract

The Anti-Racism Work Your Business Should Be Doing: Insights From B Corp TMI Consulting’s Tiffany Jana from Forbes

You can learn from Dr. Tiffany Jana everyday via their website, TMI Consulting, and their Twitter. You can learn from Michael Baran everyday via his website, Twitter, and Instagram. These resources are valuable, but they are not a substitution for paying for the authors’ work.


I have been sharing the books that have helped me on my antiracist journey. I’m not an expert, and I’m not a professional. You’re welcome to read and learn along with me, if you’d like.

Waking Up White, by Debby Irving
White Fragility, by Robin DiAngelo
Stamped – Racism, Antiracism, and You, by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
This Book is Anti-Racist, by Tiffany Jewell and Aurélia Durand
So You Want to Talk about Race, by Ijeoma Oluo
I’m Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness, by Austin Channing Brown
Me and White Supremacy, by Layla F. Saad
We Want to Do More than Survive, by Bettina L. Love

And reads for kids:
Black Brother, Black Brother by Jewell Parker Rhodes
Kids Antiracist Book Club Reads

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