Book By: Cherie R. Brown & George J. Mazza
Review By: Christine G. S. Leichliter, Assistant Dean
School of Art, Media & Music
The College of New Jersey

Cherie R. Brown, founder and executive director of the National Coalition Building Institute (NCBI), teams with federal civil rights attorney George J. Mazza, to produce a practical text on diversity training and leadership.

Mazza and Brown employ a simple and straight-forward approach to leadership training; they explore thirty-two principles that apply to leadership in diverse communities by first presenting the theoretical explanation of each, then following up with real-life examples of each principle in action. Each chapter ends with a set of workshop questions that can be used in practical application.

As a “workshop guide,” this text could have practical value for the leadership trainer. However, its format becomes predictable and almost trite after the first few chapters. Many of the examples are very similar in essence, and their tone verges on the “preachy.”  Further, the examples become something of a soft-sell for the NCBI, as in every instance, the exemplary situation is resolved through the positive actions of an NCBI representative. 

Although leadership of diverse communities is certainly a topic of great value and import, this text is only of minimal value for academic advisors. Certainly it points up the necessity to understand the issues and intricacies of human dignity and individual worth, but it spends more effort on lauding the good works of the NCBI than on giving practical guidance for advisors and the everyday issues they face.  

Leading Diverse Communities: A how-to guide for moving from healing into action. (2004). Book by Brown, Cherie R. and Mazza, George J. Review by Christine G. S. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, 192 pp. ISBN #0-7879-7369-6

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