Digital Library of Insightful Resources

2 book shelves full of books. Under one there is a father and a child reading on the floor. Under the other one a woman reads alone. she has red hair with yellow starts on her hair.

We have asked our Jacobs School community to share resources that have been stimulating and helpful in learning about cultural awareness, equity, inclusion and social justice. In this “Digital Library of Insightful Resources” we are sharing your
recommendations to encourage more engagement in these topics that are impactful in creating an inclusive learning environment.

We Want to Hear From You!

If you want to contribute with a resource for this digital library:

Thank you for your contributions. Let’s keep building this virtual space for a more compassionate and competent learning community!

Insightful Diversity Resources By Theme

Black History Month Recommendations


Michelle Alexander

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness

Learning Impact: This book illuminates how slavery is the foundation of the majority of current systems within the United States.

Heather Ann Thompson

Blood in the Water

Learning Impact: History of the Attica uprising outside of Buffalo in 1971. This was one additional transformative moment in my adult life when I (again) realized how little I know about the impacts of racism all around me.

Jesmyn Ward

Men We Reaped

Learning Impact: Memoir centered on the tragic deaths of five Black young men in the author’s life, between 2000 and 2004.

Michael Marmot

The Health Gap

Learning Impact: Made me understand what we are doing wrong.

Emmanuel Acho

Uncomfortable Conversations With a Black Man

Learning Impact: Helps me understand the experiences of the author.

Sabrina Strings

Fearing the Black Body

Learning Impact: It is informative about the racial biases ingrained in beauty standards.

Harriet A. Washington

Medical Apartheid

Learning Impact: How much of medicine and medical knowledge was/is founded on racism. 

Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald


Learning Impact: Exposes our biases like no other book!

Ijeoma Oluo

So You Want To Talk About Race

Learning Impact: An easy guide on how to have uncomfortable conversations.

Isabel Wilkerson

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents

Learning Impact: This helped me to understand the discrimination dynamics that African Americans and other Black people face in their daily lives.


Racism in Medicine

Dr. Marion Hood’s Story

Learning Impact: This interview had so much treasure that our students and the Black community in Buffalo could learn from. In 1959, Marion Hood, MD, got denied admission to medical school at Emory University because of his race. In 1966, he earned his medical degree at Loyola University of Chicago's Stritch School of Medicine. This is the inspiring story of Dr. Hood.



The African Doctor

Learning Impact: A timely reminder of what African American doctors go through while practicing — a lot to learn from this movie.


The 1619 Project

Learning Impact: The 1619 Project is a book and now a TV series that highlights all the different ways that Black people have shaped American history and culture. It provides Black history that has often been erased from the history that we learn in school.


The Black Gems Dive In Podcast

Learning Impact: A conversation about inclusive cultures and everything in the diversity, equity and inclusion space.

Other Resources and Initiatives

United Way

21-Day Racial Equity Challenge

Learning Impact: For 21 days, you do a reading and an exercise that opens your mind to different perspectives and experiences in order to understand your own bias and perspective. 

Women’s History Month Recommendations


Dorothy Roberts

Book cover of "Killing the Black Body" by Dorothy Roberts.
Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty

Learning Impact: Understanding the need for reproductive justice for Black Women

Dr. Meera Shah

You’re the Only One I’ve Told: The Stories Behind Abortion

Learning Impact: Goes beyond duty of physicians to demonstrate the need for comprehensive reproductive care.

Elinor Cleghorn

Unwell Women: Misdiagnosis and Myth in a Man-Made World

Learning Impact: A fantastic and frustrating book about constant misdiagnosis and misrepresentation in women’s health since the beginning of its time. This book really opened my eyes to how systemic the problems within women’s health are!

Lori Arviso Alvord and Elizabeth Cohen Van Pelt

The Scalpel and the Silver Bear

Learning Impact: I had this book as required reading for my undergraduate course on medical anthropology and it tells the story of the first Navajo woman surgeon. I recommend it to everyone, but especially women going into health care as it demonstrates Dr. Alvord’s struggles of entering a male-dominated field. It teaches about combining western medicine with the traditional healing methods of Native American culture.

Christina Lamb

Our Bodies, Their Battlefields: War Through the Lives of Women

Learning Impact: Women's bodies have been used as war weapons throughout war histories, but in many cases, we have normalized it and many perpetrators are never brought to justice. The victims are blamed for the crimes done to them and society expects them to move on. As Buffalo has resettled many refugees in past years, it is important to learn which open wounds many are carrying.

Caroline Criado Perez

Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men

Learning Impact: An incredible book and resource that documents the erasure and exclusion of women from data collection, product and service design, so much more.

Joyce Green

Making Space for Indigenous Feminism

Learning Impact: Teach us about the importance of giving space to intersectionality and amplify the voices of indigenous woman that, in my opinion, have a lot of wisdom to share with the world.

Lola Olufemi

Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power

Learning Impact: It made me believe that we can actually change the world as we know it.

Kati Marton

The Chancellor: The Remarkable Odyssey of Angela Merkel

Learning Impact: Is incredibly insightful, learning about this powerful leader is just impressive.

Emily Nagoski

Come As You Are

Learning Impact: Emily’s approach to explaining gender as it relates to anatomy has helped me give language to what I know to be true about bodies, gender identity and sexuality.

Katty Kay and Claire Shipman

Katty Kay & Claire Shipman with JillEllyn Riley

The Confidence Code For Girls

Learning Impact: This is for kids and young teens to inspire young women to be fearless and brave. 

Leslie Feinberg

Transgender Warriors: Making History from Joan of Arc to Dennis Rodman

Learning Impact: This book boasts two major accomplishments: 1.) a brief, palatable overview of transgenderism/gender-queerness through human history. The major impact of this point is an illustration that trans people are not a contemporary blip only seen in modern history — but have always existed and persisted through millennia of targeted bigotry. 2.) The book at its core is autobiographical and the author spent a large portion of her early life here in Buffalo, NY. Due to this, she speaks at length about her own experience with Buffalo’s local history of anti-LGBT legislature, providing critical context for our city’s own experience with gender equality and LGBT justice.


By Sharon Shattuck and Ian Cheney

Picture a Scientist

Learning Impact: Women scientists describe their experience with harassment, discrimination and mistreatment at their workplaces and the impact on their careers.


Grace and Frankie

Learning Impact: Women + Aging + Dignity + Sex = great commentary on the current issues & culture.


Learning Impact: It’s written from my own personal experience as part of the Migraine Mavens Writing Consortium.


On the Web

Learning Impact: Helping to educate about the different forms of contraception.

Learning Impact: Not-for-profit educational and professional organization dedicated to enhancing the interaction and exchange of information between women surgeons. 

Learning Impact: Highlighted stories, problems, history of women in science.

Learning Impact: Delivers vital reproductive health care and sex education.

Learning Impact: They advocate for equality, education and an end to child marriage and gender-based violence.

Learning Impact: This is a national-state partnership focused on lifting up the voices of Black women leaders at the national and regional levels in our fight to secure Reproductive Justice for all women, femmes, and girls

In Buffalo

Learning Impact: Books on the topics of reproductive health, gender equality and feminist history can be found here!

Diversity Month Recommendations


"In A Different Key: The Story of Autism" by John Donvan and Caren Zucker

Learning Impact: I learned that it was about Indigenous displacement and colonial land possession in Australia, which I didn’t know when I heard that song in the late ’80s.  


“Beds are Burning” by Midnight Oil

Learning Impact: I learned that it was about indigenous displacement and colonial land possession in Australia, which I didn’t know when I heard that song in the late ’80s.  


Meaningful words in Japanese Language

Learning Impact: I find Japanese language deep in thought and meaning. Feels like there is so much wisdom put in a concept, that can change your life forever.

Ikigai: Discover your purpose in life. Determine the reason you wake up each morning. Choose something that aligns with your strengths, passions, and the need of the world. This is what gives life meaning.

Shikata ga nai: Let go of what you cannot change. Recognize that there are some things which are out of your control, and that's okay. Let go and focus on what you can actually change.

Wabi-sabi: Find peace in imperfection. Recognize that nothing in life is perfect, including yourself and others. Instead of striving for flawlessness, find joy in the imperfections that make life unique.

Gaman: Preserve your dignity during tough times. Show emotional maturity and self-control, even when faced with challenges. Remember to be patient, resilient and understanding. 

Kaizen: Always seek to improve in all areas of your life. Even small changes can add up and make a big impact over time.


Making a difference in Zanzibar: The Panje Project

Learning Impact: I love water. But I just learned and realized that swimming is a fundamental lifesaving skill for the people that live near the ocean or any body of water. This story is heartwarming. It is such a small project that makes an enormous impact in the community.

Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month Recommendations


Pacific Heartbeat TV series

Learning Impact: To watch this tv series is to have an intimate look at the Pacific Islander experience. It helps to find similarities and differences of other cultures I know.

Pride Month Recommendations


Queer Surgeon on Instagram

Learning Impact: Dr. Blair Peters introduce us to a world of understanding, support and education on transgender health and LGBTQIA+ advocacy. Plus, a glimpse of his personal life full of adventures and domestic experiences.

Disability Awareness Month Recommendations


Special Books for Special Kids Website/Community

Learning Impact: This is a space where disabled and neurodiverse people of all backgrounds share their story, and help us all to learn about it and grow as humans.

Docs with Disabilities Initiative

Learning Impact: The Docs with Disabilities initiative uses research, education, and sharing of stories to drive change in perceptions, disability policy, and procedures in health professions, biomedical and science education.

General Websites of Interest