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Right Within: How to Heal from Racial Trauma in the Workplace

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From the powerhouse author of  The Memo, the essential self-help book for women of color to heal—and thrive—in the workplace  

In workplaces nationwide, women of color need frank talk and honest advice on how to deal with microaggressions, heal from racialized trauma, and find relief from invisible workplace burdens. Filled with Minda Harts’s signature wit and warmth, Right Within offers strategies for women of color to speak up during racialized moments with managers and clients, work through past triggers they may not even know still cause pain, and reframe past career disappointments as opportunities to grow into a new path. Through action points, exercises, and clear-eyed coaching, Harts encourages women to summon hidden reserves of strength and courage. She includes advice from therapists and faith leaders of color on a full range of ways to heal. Right Within will help women of color strengthen their resolve across corporate America, ensuring that we can all, finally, rise together. 

304 pages, Audiobook

Published October 5, 2021

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Minda Harts

5 books68 followers

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5 stars
101 (49%)
4 stars
66 (32%)
3 stars
32 (15%)
2 stars
4 (1%)
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0 (0%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 34 reviews
Profile Image for Karen Catlin.
Author 5 books35 followers
October 9, 2021
While the primary audience for Minda Harts’ new book is women of color, it’s a critical read for white people who strive to be better allies. You’ll gain insight into the racism that seeps into far too many workplaces, and I bet you’ll leave with a desire to make things "right within" your organization.
— Karen Catlin, author of "Better Allies"
Profile Image for Abasifreke Ekpe.
237 reviews4 followers
December 14, 2021
The book was alright. It is relevant, it is needed, but it also didn’t do anything for me. And it’s not the book’s fault, it’s mine. I acknowledge that I absolutely loathe self help books yet I continue to read them because a part of me believes that I will one day read a book that will change my life. But that hasn’t happened yet, and I continue to pick up book after book and get disappointed when I find the same advice being repeated.

I don’t want to undermine the importance for black women and other women of color to find healing from racial trauma. It is absolutely pivotal for career advancement and our own mental health and sanity. So if you read this book, I do hope that you take something from its pages and if not, at least be comforted by the fact that you’re not alone in the racial trauma you’ve experienced.
Profile Image for Brittani.
28 reviews1 follower
January 27, 2022
This is a beautiful read for anyone working through the psychosis of racialized abuse in the workplace or even just plain old divestment from white supremacist work culture. For my folx of color, this may be a great way to thaw feelings of isolation, gaslighting, and lack of being heard or defended that you have felt and been taught to brush aside or has created a double consciousness and lack of safety that you haven't been afforded in certain jobs or across your career. Minda is real, and her cultural anecdotes will make you smile while tackling and unpacking some really heavy stuff. Definitely read this if you want to answer the questions, "How you gon' win if you ain't right within?" Lauryn and Minda will help you start to formulate your own answer. 10000% Recommend for any woman of color in the workforce and those of all colors truly committed to dismantling toxic workplace cultures, becoming better managers, and who have a commitment to truly racially equitable workplaces.
Profile Image for Bookworm.
1,844 reviews58 followers
February 20, 2022
I had read Harts's book 'The Memo' a few years ago and while I wasn't enthralled with that book, I was definitely curious about this one. With the pandemic upending what we know about work, and doing things like working from home, doing online video conferences instead of in person meetings, etc. there are reasons why marginalized people, particularly Black, Indigenous and People of Color all prefer working at home.

Harts walks people through her experiences with racial trauma ranging from comments and microaggressions to verbal abuse to being passed over for promotions. Many people will recognize themselves in her experiences, and Harts takes it a little further by talking about how she coped, what she did in the short and long term afterwards, and what others can do when they find themselves in their situations.

I think how "good" or "useful" this book is depends on a few things. You may not find her questions and answers at the end of the chapters enough and need something like a workbook. You may need something like fewer personal anecdotes from Harts (which was personally my issue in 'The Memo' but it worked here) and more of a generalized approach. You may be looking for something that actually changes your situation which is something that Harts isn't providing (nor does she ever try to claim).

Ultimately I found it skimmable. There were parts that really resonated with me, others where I really didn't relate because they were not experiences that were mine (which was fine, as they were hers and hers alone!). I personally didn't enjoy the discussion of religion, but others who are religious might find those parts that work for them.

As a self-help book I thought it was more helpful. And while the title and content are about racial trauma, I would suggest white people or anyone who really not dealt with the same or similar to read this anyway. Harts isn't claiming to speak for all Black women or women of color or marginalized groups, but her anecdotes may help you understand certain experiences better. And it may help you be a better ally, manager, etc. if you take the time to sit with some of her experiences, the questions she asks, the commentary she provides when looking back, etc.

I got this as a library borrow and that was right for me. I would probably recommend this as such for most people, but certainly for the right person it could be good to buy a copy or two to have as a reference, to have in your own library, for your HR department (if they're open to that...), etc.
Profile Image for Lucrecer.
37 reviews4 followers
January 20, 2022
This book is a must read for all Black women. I have never felt so seen and understood. It should be required reading for all women, especially those who call themselves "allies".
Profile Image for Weekend Reader_.
743 reviews44 followers
June 16, 2022
I want to first start off by saying this book can be a good supplementary resource. However, it felt like very surface level when considering the topic. I'm not sure if it was bc it was part auto ethnographic or the use of contemporary references (hip-hop songs) that the message felt not connected and again surface. Also, Harts points out she isn't an expert but sharing her experience which made me think, I wonder if it would have been a different reading experience if it was written by an expert (not to diminish her experience but I wonder if the book would have been better). Now, she does point to powerhouses who are experts and study findings to make her points so she did her homework.

What is racial trauma? Racial trauma, or race-based traumatic stress, is the cumulative effects of racism on an individual's mental and physical health. Racial trauma can be experiences vicariously or directly.

The book is mostly focused on the healing but I think would have made a more concrete point is clearly defining what is and how it effected her before moving to why you should heal. The healing part is necessary but help your reader see what is the central argument. How racial trauma shows up in the workplace and how did in manifest. This approach gives the reader language/context about their own experience first then move on to healing.

I think chapter 7 and 8 were the strongest chapters and would recommend the book to friends who want start unpacking toxic work environments.

Thank you to Seal Press for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Naya.
12 reviews1 follower
October 5, 2021
Exceeded expectations! I thought I would need tissues when reading (perhaps I'm further along with my healing).

At times, I felt I was listening to my own experiences. I had so many emotions, although this book talks about trauma, it still felt positive. I would recommend listening to this book, instead of reading the physical. Minda reading the book in all the right tones evoke positive emotions, unlike other books I've read about trauma that instead make you feel down.

If you aren't a person of color or a woman, this book is still for you. Especially leaders, this book gives you perspective AND tools. If your company has a set of books offered to folks in leader/management positions... add this to this list!

Overall, this book feels like a letter from a friend who has healed and is now passing on all the right advice and wisdom.

I will be reading a 2nd and 3rd time!
November 23, 2021
I try to review the books that I win in giveaways. The overall theme in Right Within is focused on healing racial trauma in the workplace. I needed this book in 2016 because the racial trauma at my job was running rampant, do you hear me? Right Within is a guide for Black women and women of color to use in order to get the healing they need. I love how Minda tied in music lyrics and references to songs/artists. The book is easy to read, but definitely one worth reading slowly to digest the information. My book is now filled with tabs and highlights. She also provides a variety of resources in the book. Therapist directories, faith-based counseling centers, books/podcasts, and other community groups. Check it out.
114 reviews
May 30, 2022
This was a helpful book to read. I am reading this as a white woman who is trying to be a better ally within the workplace and also to unlearn my patterns that can cause racialized harm. I found it helpful in this context, and the book is written specifically for people of color who experience racialized harm in the workplace.
Profile Image for Kimberly M.
6 reviews3 followers
May 3, 2022
If you are experiencing trauma in the workplace this is the perfect book. It's unfortunate to have to go to work and this happen but Minda helps you navigate with tools. Not to just talk about it. I could relate to so many things in this book. I'm glad she decided not to be silent but let this book help others. Too many times we sit and be silent because it's always been this or that way. Those days are over.
Profile Image for Jiaxin Zheng.
21 reviews
April 29, 2022
There were many moments where I felt like Minda was giving me a warm hug through her affirmations and motivation. How you gonn win if you ain’t right within? Resonates with me deeply. Taught me a lot about how to be a better ally while also validating how the “offness” of workplace micro aggressions that we often tell ourselves we’re overthinking.

While I wasn’t in a place where I needed her healing frameworks, if I were burnt out in an environment that was trying to minimize me I would come back to her advice. The advice around not reacting to things at work, and not letting them disturb your peace I think is especially powerful
Profile Image for Mo the Lawyer✨.
156 reviews19 followers
February 17, 2023
Right Within: How to Heal From Racial Trauma in the Workplace
By Minda Harts

First, I must applaud this author for taking on an extremely heavy topic with such courage and transparency. She shares some of her own heartbreaking accounts of racialized trauma experienced throughout her own career in the corporate world. Many women of color experience painful microaggressions, burdens and trauma on a daily basis in their workplaces and communities. These experiences leave us feeling drained, stressed and burned out. Some of us leave what we thought would be “dream jobs” altogether and abandon lifelong dreams as a result of this trauma.

I appreciated the author’s discussion on how her own spirituality and Christian experience contributed to her healing from workplace trauma. I could strongly identify and connect with her on this level of healing. I also valued the discussion on the stigma identified with seeking therapy in many Black families and social circles. Likewise, the call for black churches to focus more on mental health resonated with me.

In spite of my gratitude to the author for taking on this very important topic, I rated this as a three-star work mainly due to the writing style. I had to push myself to finish simply because I wanted to see this book through; normally, I have a rule that I will not force myself to finish books that lose my attention, but this topic was so important to me that I was invested in reading it to the end. The author used a lot of R&B/Soul/Hip-Hop/Gospel music references. As much as I love all of this music and credit myself as a hip-hop/R&B/soul/gospel music lover, I felt like all the references became a little redundant at some point in the midst of such a serious topic. It sort of took away from the quality of the writing in some parts. I am a bit of a book snob, so perhaps the writing style just wasn’t my cup of tea (and I hope others won’t be dissuaded from giving this book a try because it may be your cup of tea). Nevertheless, I think this is an important book and I will seek out others with similar workplace topics.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is psychologist Dr. Joy Harden Bradford’s interview response on what healing means to her: “Acknowledging things that have happened and figuring out how to make it part of your story without becoming your entire story.”
Profile Image for Reemah .
767 reviews
December 13, 2021
I really enjoyed this book. It is often common to deal with racial trauma in the workplace because you justify that it is not blatant and it is common place so often. This book was great in navigating racial trauma and healing and learning from them. The book is an easy read and one that should be read slow to take notes and digest the information. Although the target audience is women of color I think anyone looking to be an ally can benefit from the information.
Profile Image for Michelle.
839 reviews26 followers
December 29, 2021
I expected this book to be good because The Memo was so good, and those expectations were not disappointed. I was barely in before I started recommending this book to people—both those who need healing and those who need to be better leaders. Harts has put together a good guide for living a life of healing, regardless of how slowly society becomes anti-racist.
Profile Image for Mindy Begenat.
34 reviews
January 11, 2022
I recommend that all people leaders read this, especially white leaders. Set aside your discomfort and listen to everything Minda has to say because these are the situations we need to be listening to and taking to heart in order to truly support and create an environment for black women to thrive in our workplaces!
Profile Image for Kassandra.
7 reviews
October 23, 2022
This book was so validating. As a racialized woman who has received constant racialized abuse at work, I took my time working through this one, and I did it with a group of women who work in the same industry accross Turtle Island. I was reluctant to finish it, as it felt like ending a relationship with an old friend.
Profile Image for Marinda Monfilston.
5 reviews1 follower
October 24, 2021
This book is a must read for people of color, women, allies, and managers! Thank you Minda for your vulnerability and authenticity. We are need to do our part to be right within and create more inclusive and accountable workplaces!
Profile Image for Cece Harbor.
Author 2 books3 followers
December 6, 2021
Timely and much needed. Minda writes what we all think but may be reluctant to say. This is an honest and vulnerable approach to WOC's experiences in the workplace. It's a must read for WOC and allies alike.
January 25, 2022
Do yourself a favor and get the audiobook. Listening to Minda talk about her experiences, bringing to light the experiences of others, and giving you the tools to deal with that workplace trauma you didn't know you had was therapeutic. Everyone should read/listen to this book. EVERYONE.
5 reviews2 followers
March 20, 2022
Written in an easy to read manner with many great tips and resources that can be applicable for all. Each chapter also provides reflection questions to think about before continuing in the book to help with healing.
Profile Image for Jen Yip.
147 reviews2 followers
September 22, 2022
Written during the pandemic it was a great update to her first book The Memo. I found myself saying 'yes!' over and over, I think that's the good news and the bad news. A great read for women of color who have ever felt like a square peg in a round hole in corporate America.
96 reviews4 followers
November 9, 2022
This book is so transformative and healing! It is raw, real, honest, and beautiful. An absolute must read if you have experienced racial trauma in the workplace. It opens your eyes to moments you haven't fully processed and helps you.
Profile Image for Mejía.
24 reviews
January 4, 2023
I feel this is for those who seek to heal from racial trauma in the workplace in the US. I feel like the racial trauma lived by BIPOC latinxs differs a little in racism roots and how it opperates to this day. Still, it's a very good resource.
Profile Image for Lisa.
88 reviews
February 4, 2023
4.5 stars

Holding no punches about the work that comes with healing from racialized trauma in the workplace, Hart also holds space for all those who she is welcoming into this fold. Breaking out common occurrences encountered frequently by women of color in the workplace, with examples and how to approach taking care of yourself and/or seeking help, this gives a roadmap for those who feel frustrated, alone, and/or powerless.

Loved the pulls from song lyrics and pop culture references. This helped break up the gravity of some topics and made it all even more relatable.

While she knows that everyone holds their pain differently, there is a deep understanding that someone needs to vocalize what's being unsaid.

Thank you to Seal Press for this advance copy
Profile Image for Wendy English.
9 reviews
March 1, 2023
I felt seen and validated by the authors experiences, which were similar to my own. I would highly recommend to those whom have experienced micro aggressions or other racial trauma in the workplace or if you are wanting to understand the plight of black women in corporate America.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 34 reviews

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