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2020 McAdam Book Award Winners Announced

Tuesday, October 6, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Alliance Unveils 2020 McAdam Book Award Winners

Measuring Social Change and Subtle Acts of Exclusion selected for focus on 
capacity building and inclusion

Every year for decades now, a committee of capacity building experts from across North America spends their summer reviewing dozens of books published in the nonprofit sector. Their aim is to zero in on those books presenting the very best thinking in management, governance, and capacity building, and those exposing practitioners to new knowledge and approaches in the field.

It’s all a part of a decades-long tradition and celebration at the Alliance for Nonprofit Management -- the selection of the book that will win the coveted Terry McAdam Book Award. 

As many of us can reflect upon, this year’s McAdam Book Committee experienced some unforeseen events during our review process,” says Anne Jin Soo Preston, this year’s committee chair. “COVID lockdowns occurred across the country early in our approach. And one committee meeting occurred just days after the murder of George Floyd. As chair and one of a few BIPOC folks (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) on the committee living a mile away from where this happened in Minneapolis, it really changed how the committee needed to operate this year.”

The authors of both books will join the Alliance virtual conference, Adapting to New Realities: Rebuilding for Social Change on Tuesday, October 6 at noon to accept their awards. The Alliance's Terry McAdam Book Award Committee is pleased to announce that this year marks the first year that the committee is bestowing awards upon two books: Measuring Social Change: Performance and Accountability in a Complex World byAlnoor Ebrahim and Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressionsby Tiffany Jana and Michael Baran 

Preston noted that in this year’s process, when the committee’s reading groups came together to select a book that would move forward into the final round, the discussions included many topics. “Some conversations focused on acknowledging how many self-published books were in the pool compared to even a few years ago,” she noted. “Our current reality, paired with the heightened awareness of inequities from the pandemic and violence on Black and Brown bodies, was another.”

The 13 committee members discussed past years’ dilemmas of trying to resolve the need for books that met that year’s criteria and helping push all capacity builders to think more intentionally about the systemic changes (and solutions) that they need right now. “We need to champion and challenge dominant white structures and think about how we can be part of the solution to ensure that our sector continues to move towards making things more equitable, especially for people historically and currently marginalized by those systems,” said Preston.

Measuring impact can be somewhat elusive - no program exists in a vacuum, ultimately many external forces can influence or contribute to its outcomes. Measuring Social Change uses well-researched case studies, strategies, and corresponding performance systems for agencies to consider in measuring impact and offers them a guiding hand toward more comprehensive and on-point measurement systems. Jana and Baran’s book helps people recognize how certain interactions or comments may in fact be “subtle acts of exclusion” and how to work towards mitigating these acts with positive intent. Subtle Acts of Exclusion: How to Understand, Identify, and Stop Microaggressions pushes you out of your comfort zone to face some hard realities. It’s extremely relevant in today’s times.

Measuring Social Change was well-written and well-researched and provided a fresh and comprehensive perspective for measuring impact,” observed Emmanuelle Jarmon of Jarmon Consulting and a McAdam Committee member. “Subtle Acts of Exclusion is both thought-provoking and relevant and can bring value to any organization. One is more about capacity building and the other inclusion.”

The authors are offering 20% discounts for books ordered from their websites:


Read more here