Publication Date: November 22, 2019
Now more than ever, race has become a morphing relational dynamic that has less to do with the demographic census box we check and more with how we make sense of our lives—who we are and who we can become in relationships with others. Using anecdotes from her practice as a licensed psychologist and as an African American growing up in the South, Walker provides a way for educators and social service professionals to enter into cross-racial discussions about race and race relations. She identifies three essential relational skills for personal transformation and cultural healing that are the foundations for repairing the damage wrought by racism. While Walker does not sugarcoat the destructive history of racism that we all inherit in the United States, the book’s vision is ultimately affirming, empowering, hopeful, and inclusive about the individual and collective power to heal our divisions and disconnections.
Maureen Walker is a licensed psychologist, speaker, educator, and writer who helps people bridge cultural differences such as race, religion, gender, and other social status markers.
“As a skilled therapist with a wealth of examples, Maureen Walker helps us to see how power acts in complex ways in our racialized lives. Her book, like the foundational relational-cultural theory that she helped to create, will resonate with readers. Open it anywhere and you will find stories that can inspire us to end, or at least interrupt, customary silences on race.”
—Peggy McIntosh, senior research scientist and former associate director, Wellesley Centers for Women
“Reconstructing Race in Our Lives and Relationships is the perfect subtitle for this book. Walker has not shied away from the difficult work that must be done: unlearning deeply embedded cultural habits that undermine healthy connections among people of different races. Based on research from neuroscience to sociology, Walker provides nuanced and actionable insights on how to move forward. She takes what is a very complex and emotionally charged subject and makes it accessible through her stories of working with White and Black professionals in both clinical and organizational settings.”
—Linda A. Hill, Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School