Our Search for Belonging: How Our Need to Connect Is Tearing Us Apart by Howard J. Ross

We are living in a time of mounting political segregation that threatens to tear us apart as a unified society. The result is that we are becoming increasingly tribal, and the narratives of life that we get exposed to on a daily basis have become echo chambers in which we hear our beliefs reinforced and others’ beliefs demonized.

At the core of tribalism exists a paradox: as humans, we are hardwired with the need to belong, which ends up making us deeply connected with some yet deeply divided from others. When these tribes are formed out of fear of the “other,” on topics such as race, immigration status, religion, or partisan politics, we resort to an “us versus them” attitude. Especially in the digital age, when we are all interconnected in one way or another, these tensions seep into our daily lives and we become secluded with our self-identified tribes. Global diversity and inclusion expert Howard J. Ross, with JonRobert Tartaglione, explores how our human need to belong is the driving force behind the increasing division of our world.

Drawing upon decades of leadership experience, Ross probes the depth of tribalism, examines the role of social media in exacerbating it, and offers tactics for how to combat it. Filled with tested practices for opening safe and honest dialogue in the workplace and challenges to confront our own tendencies to bond with those who are like us, Our Search for Belonging is a powerful statement of hope in a disquieting time.

Biography

Howard J. Ross is the founder and chief learning officer of Cook Ross, a diversity and inclusion consulting company. He is one of the nation’s leading diversity consultants and a nationally recognized expert on diversity, leadership, and organizational change. From 2007 to 2008, Howard served as the Professor-in-Residence of Diversity at the Johnnetta B. Cole Global Diversity and Inclusion Institute at Bennett College for Women, where he became the first white male to hold a professorship in Diversity at a historically black women’s college. Howard serves on the Diversity Advisory Board for the Human Rights Campaign and he is a regular guest on The Kojo Nnamdi Show on WAMU, the Washington, DC NPR affiliate station.

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