Why I picked it up: I came across the phrase "moving at the speed of trust," referring to the pacing of social justice work. I have been struggling with how to talk about the pacing of inclusive work in museums, especially given how some audiences would respond more effectively to a more measured pace (versus a fast pace that might alienate them), and this phrase struck me as helpful. So, I followed the source and it led to this book.
What I learned: There were some key concepts that I found helpful in this book:
While these concepts excited me … the rest of the book, to be honest, was a letdown. I wanted to love this book and tell everyone to read it … but I didn't. Overall, I felt the book meandered and needed a strong editor, and when there were sections that were super-clear and concise I became even more frustrated because the rest of the book wasn't similarly clear. I skimmed a lot. There were also whole sections that felt very self-help … and while that isn't a bad thing (and is often a good thing), that wasn't what I was looking for.
Yet there were also alternate approaches to others and societal issues that I have not considered before, and I am now chewing on. I don't know that they will ever become my approaches, but I am willing to consider them as valid.
Read or skip? Likely skip. I pulled from it what I felt was relevant (the concepts above), but I found my frustrations with the writing were enough to make me not recommend. Unless you found something of particular interest in this review, then skip. I'm still glad to have at least skimmed it.
Full citation: Brown, Adrienne Maree. Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. Chico, CA: AK Press, 2017.
Have a suggestion for my reading list? Email it to me at susie (at) wilkeningconsulting (dot) com.
I respectfully acknowledge that I live and work on the lands of the Duwamish people, whose ancestors have lived here for generations. I thank them for their ongoing care of this land, and I endeavor to help museums bring forward a more complete and inclusive history and culture in their work.