February Book of the Month | Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown

Ackerman’s Community Book Club selection for February is Emergent Strategy by adrienne maree brown. adrienne is the writer-in-residence at the Emergent Strategy Ideation Institute, author of both fiction and non fiction books, a podcast creator, a doula, activist, and Black feminist rooted in Detroit.  

In Emergent Strategy, brown draws from the visionary writing of Octavia Butler, studies of the natural world, poetry, and ever expanding other sources to create a model that allows each of us as individuals to align with the constant changes in the world in a transformative, healing, and liberatory  way. She defines this emergent strategy as “ways for humans to practice being in relationship to our home and each other, to practice complexity, and grow a compelling future together though relatively simple interaction. Emergent strategy is how we internally change in ways that grow our capacity to embed the just and liberated world we long for.” 

As anti racist and anti oppressive therapists working with couples and families, brown offers us encouragement, hope, provocation, and salient questions. Some of these questions are “How do we turn our collective full bodied intelligence towards collaboration, if that is the way we will survive?” “How can we pivot towards practicing transformative justice? How do we shift from individual, interpersonal, and inter-organizational anger toward viable, generative, sustainable systemic change?” “What do we need to heal in ourselves in order to offer a future of any real peace?” 

Working with families invites us to continue to make space for multiple perspectives, to trust the power of healing processes,  to relentlessly cultivate compassion, and divest of disposability. The impact of dehumanizing systems reverberates in every family. We are all interconnected- and we can become more interdependent and resilient. Emergent Strategy invites us as individual healers, as a collective of people working for change to “practice futures together, practice justice together, live into new stories” 

adrienne has created several public playlists of music to inspire, grieve, encourage. Here is one for reading along!

Book club selection and description written by Molly Bobek, LCSW.
Above Image of adrienne maree brown by Anjali Pinto.

About Ackerman’s Community Book Club:

Ackerman’s Community Book Club is a monthly series of reading recommendations curated by our family therapy instructors. We invite you to read one book each month that explores diversity, equity, and inclusion and join us on a pathway to curiosity. The books on our list have been selected with the aim of increasing knowledge, empathy, willingness, and skill to confront xenophobia as therapists, educators, and lifelong learners, in the personal and professional spaces we occupy.

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