IWCF Summer Reading List
Curated by the IWCF Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee

The following list was curated with three of IWCF’s core values in mind: Philanthropy, Education, and Inclusion. Happy reading, [watching, and listening]!


  1. Trends in Northwest Giving, 2019. Published every 2 years by Philanthropy Northwest, this is an aggregation and analysis of grantmaking trends that shape our region—Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. It includes composite data and sections by state.
  2. White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh. Originally published over 30 years ago, this article is still a “go-to” article for exploring privilege, racism and bias. Published 1989; reprinted 2009. 
  3. The 1619 Project. A New York Times Magazine ongoing reporting initiative, “The 1619 Project” began on August 2019, the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. The series aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the center of our national narrative.

Podcasts, Films & Short Videos

  1. Teach Girls Bravery, not Perfection [TED Talk] by Reshma Saujani. The founder of Girls Who Code, sparks not only a powerful conversation for women, but prompts each of us to consider how we may be socializing half our population. Saujani also has a book, Brave not Perfect.
  2. The Hidden Brain [Podcast]: The Air We Breathe: Implicit Bias and Police Shootings. Originally reported in 2017, this podcast looks at the research and ways to assess implicit [unconscious] bias. In addition to exploring the role that implicit bias plays in the beliefs and actions of individuals, this podcast explores how such bias affects everyone in the culture, not just those seen performing the violence. June 12, 2020. 
  3. Inflection Point with Lauren Schiller [Podcast]: More than Power Poses. An interview with author Ruth Whippman, who makes a critical (and humorous)  review of the concepts of “leaning-in” and “empowerment” as the path for women to achieve gender equity. June 24, 2020.
  4. Overcoming Racial Bias in Funding [Webinar] hosted by Stanford Social Innovation Review [SSIR] and building off the research article of the same title. A perspective on how we, as funders, support people of color, including practical actions. Jun 2020.
  5. Just Mercy. A full-length film about Bryan Stephenson’s book of the same name. It follows his path from law school, founding the Equal Justice Initiative, and the defense of the most vulnerable in the system. (Available on Netflix). Movie, Dec 2019; Book, Aug 2015. 

Books: Fiction

  1. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. A story within a story of a Nigerian woman immigrant to the U.S., her education and love life, while maintaining a blog of her observations of being black in the U.S. Great storyteller and perspective on race. Mar 2014.

Books: Non-fiction

  1. Do More Than Give by Leslie Crutchfield, John Kania, and Mark Kramer. As the title suggests, the authors outline six active practices (in addition to philanthropy) found across high-impact foundations, corporations, and individuals of all sizes and budgets that enable lasting social change. Mar 2011.
  2. The Soul of Money by Lynne Twist. Through personal stories and practical advice, global activist Lynne Twist demonstrates how we can replace feelings of scarcity, guilt, and burden with experiences of sufficiency, freedom, and purpose. Twist takes an honest and critical look at the extraordinary power that money wields over our lives and its profound and often destructive influence on our self-image and relationships. Mar 2017.
  3. The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gate. A collection of stories of philanthropy projects around the world and the impact that women can have on their worlds when provided resources. Apr 2019.
  4. So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo. An examination of race in the U.S., infused with personal stories of the author and practical tools for discussing our path forward. Sept 2019.
  5. Educated by Tara Westover. A powerful memoir set in Idaho that dovetails with IWCF’s interests in education, health, and rural communities. Feb 2018.
  6. Untamed by Glennon Doyle. Said to be her best yet, Ms. Doyle continues to inspire and uplift women through her own story and personal perspective. She epitomizes personal activism and the bounty of self-trust. Mar 2020.

Children’s Books

  1. Heart and Soul: The Story of American and African Americans by Kadir Nelson. This story of hope, inspiration and unwavering courage of African Americans’ journey toward America’s promise of liberty and justice—the true heart and soul of our nation—is told in this beautiful picture book through the unique point of view and intimate voice of a one-hundred-year-old African-American female narrator. Coretta Scott King Award winner. Dec 2013.