- Reviewed by
Brooke Barnett & Peter Felton (Editors)
Sterling, VA: Stylus, 2016, 141 pages, $29.95 (softcover)
Diversity, equity, and inclusion are significant matters at institutions of higher education. The campus climate for diversity has prompted increased student activism and social movements, revised institutional mission statements, and shifted diversity centered goals and strategic plans. Diversity experiences, as characterized by interactions with groups of people are equally as important for campus leaders. These encounters positively affect a host of college student outcomes, such as cognitive and psychosocial outcomes (Mayhew et al., 2016; Pascarella & Terenzini, 2005). Based on this notion, researchers and higher education professionals have progressively shifted empirical inquiry to the intersections of diversity for institutional members.
Barnett and Felton's Intersectionality in Action: A Guide for Faculty and Campus Leaders for Creating Inclusive Classrooms and Institutions is a useful examination of contemporary scholarly perspectives of intersectionality at institutions of higher education. This edited book examines how diversity and inclusion are linked to multiple, not singular, facets of identity. The authors also explore the plurality of identities among institutional members, students, faculty, and staff and the association of this topic with programs, policies, and structural matters.
The book is comprised of 11 chapters. Each chapter focuses on theoretical considerations and theory in practice. The text encompasses 3 substantive sections: people, environment, and learning. The opening section, part 1, focuses on people. It examines individuals and intersectionality as they relate to diversity and inclusion on campus. Alia Mauro and Angela Mazaris argue that campus leaders should rethink recruitment and retention, with a focus on capacity building, to promote student success. The next chapter, by Paul Parsons, attends to intersectionality, diversity, and the recruitment and retention of faculty and staff members. In the next chapter, Niki Latino, offers a framework grounded in transformative leadership. This chapter presents case studies and practical recommendations that embody effective inclusive leadership. Jeff Stein and Leo M. Lambert are the authors of chapter 4 that focuses on diversity and governing structures, specifically institutional governing boards and leaders. Michael McDonald, Sarah Westfall, and Eileen Wilson-Oyelaran write the final chapter of part 1. It illustrates diversity work at Kalamazoo College and presents a case study on diversity and inclusion through personal accounts and agency.
Part 2, environment, explores the internal and external environments that affect students, faculty and staff. Chapter 6, by Jon Dooley and Lucy LePeau, provides a vignette that illustrates diversity and multiple identities. This chapter emphasizes the importance of effectual campus relationships and partnerships. Leigh-Ann Royster writes the following chapter and provides a case study and actionable steps to attend to campus crises and unfavorable incidents that center diversity and inclusion. The culminating chapter of part 2, by Amy Howard, Juliette Landphair, and Amanda Lineberry, comprises personal stories and highlights intersectionality and civic engagement. [End Page 382]
The final book part, learning, frames intersectionality in the learning environment, specifically within the curriculum and other learning contexts. Danielle R. Picard and Nancy L. Chick, in chapter 9, argue for the reconsideration of curriculum that recognizes intersectional, learning, and (dis)ability. In the next chapter, Ed Taylor presents a case study centered on classroom experiences. This chapter illuminates students' specific cross-cultural experiences. Ashley Finley and Tia McNair assert the significance of the intersection of life and learning for students. The chapter authors underscore how students process learning and the personal impact of identity formation and growth in students.
This book concludes with a culminating chapter, written by the editors, that emphasizes the need for campus leaders to engage with intersectionality for 21st-century higher education. The editors of Intersectionality in Action offer a new text that challenges us to critically (re)think how we engage intersectionality on campus. Barnett and Felton's book provides insight for institutional leaders to reflect further upon how matters of multiple identities shape college environments. This text progresses our knowledge of this matter by offering several chapters that comprise case studies and practical recommendations for campus leaders.
Certainly, other resources focus on diversity, multiculturalism, and difference. This book draws unique...