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Recommitting to Inclusion on Purpose

Happy spring, dear friend!


I love this time of year. It reminds us not only of the possibility of growth, but also of what it takes to nurture that growth. Buds cannot bloom without the sunshine and water and care they need, and the same is true for us. What’s happening around us determines our ability to grow and blossom. So in that spirit, I’m excited to share news about springing forth the latest version of my book.


Inclusion on Purpose is out in paperback today! As I celebrate these new blooms, I can’t help but reflect on what the world looked like as I was writing this book. Isolated during Covid lockdown, reeling from the murder of George Floyd, the constant assault on other unarmed Black people, the spate of anti-Asian violence, and unsure of what my future—and the future of the world—would look like, Inclusion on Purpose was created from pain, uncertainty and grief.

I truly never expected it to be read widely, because I literally couldn’t imagine a future in the early days of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic. And somehow, through such a long, dark winter—and what remains an ongoing pandemic—we made it here.


Two years since its release, it means a lot when readers tell me how this book has impacted their lives, because writing, by nature, is a solitary exercise anyway. Writing this book during lockdown, so much more so.


And as I’ve just finished writing the first draft of my next book, Uncompete, I'm reminded once again that books are a tremendous labor of love and require a level of dedication and discipline that I've not had with any other endeavor in my life. Apart from becoming a mother.


I questioned myself many times along the way. Was I on the right track? Would the right people sit up and pay attention? Would we even work in-person again? As I conducted virtual interviews with courageous women of color, I wondered if I could even capture the difficulty and pain of being the first, the few, the only. Yet in these conditions I saw new growth, healing and community all around me.

The calls for racial justice became louder and louder, and I witnessed more and more leaders begin the work of confronting the history of racism and anti-Blackness in their communities and in their workplaces. I saw people of color finally being recognized for leading positive change, and organizations answer our call to action. It felt like the right moment for this book, then and now.

Ruchika holding up the new paperback cover of Inclusion on Purpose

 Revisiting why I wrote this book


I wrote Inclusion on Purpose because I believe wholeheartedly that cultures of belonging are possible to create anywhere and everywhere. It doesn’t happen overnight, and it cannot happen without deep work and ongoing, intentional action. This book is for those who want to be better (and those who want to encourage others to be better). We have a long way to go, and I believe that change comes in small increments, the result of chipping away at generations of injustice and socialization. Every person who reads this book or uses the resources within it contributes to toppling the hierarchy of privilege and to creating a future where we all win. I wrote it with the workplace in mind, but I know that doing the work to be more equitable and inclusive in our workplaces (where most of us spend more time than with our families), has a knock-on impact on our society and the world.


The paperback version includes a new preface to the book that reflects the current conditions in which we have to grow, and I’m thrilled to include a Readers’ Guide in this new edition. It’s impossible to solve a problem without naming it. One of my goals with this book is to facilitate these necessary conversations that are often difficult to initiate. In the Readers’ Guide, you’ll find a list of 10 questions designed to spark reflection and to inspire discussion. I hope very much that when readers use this book as a way to initiate positive change in their workplaces, these questions will make it easier for them to initiate these tough topics.

Since the release of Inclusion on Purpose in 2022, I have been overwhelmed by the positive response I’ve received from readers, and by the societal change I’ve seen, led by people of color. However, I’ve also been devastated by the backlash to that same progress, and against these very leaders, in the past few years. Rights that once seemed untouchable have been challenged. In these conditions, fewer protections for marginalized people and a slowdown of the global process seem inevitable. But like the flower that miraculously emerges through a crack in the concrete, we find ways to blossom.


When I wrote Inclusion on Purpose, I believed that inclusive leadership was necessary. Now, I believe it to be urgent. Like the renewal that comes every Spring, I believe we can intentionally recommit to inclusion and equity even when it may seem harder than ever.


So then, my questions to all of you are: How will you commit to growing and nurturing inclusion, equity and belonging in your lives? How will you protect and advocate for it in our current conditions?



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