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As the world opens up and you find yourself on the go, we hope you’ll pick up one of the books on our Women’s Fund Summer Reading List.

These selections—focused on gender, race, and, often, their intersection—help shape our understanding of why investing in women is a powerful strategy for change in the Central Texas community.

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot


Today’s feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues.

The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World


For the last twenty years, Melinda Gates has been on a mission. Her goal, as co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been to find solutions for people with the most urgent needs, wherever they live. Throughout this journey, one thing has become increasingly clear to her: If you want to lift a society up, invest in women.

Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents


The Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Warmth of Other Suns examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.


“In this beautifully written, well researched, and historically relevant book, Wilkerson recasts the national conversation about race. She explores centuries of oppression, abuse, and marginalization of black people as the unexamined effect of what is in reality a firmly entrenched, institutionalized caste system. I consider this book a “must-read” for this time in our country’s history.”  —Jane Louis, Women’s Fund Steering Committee Chair

Evicted: Poverty & Profit in the American City


In Evicted, Princeton sociologist and MacArthur “Genius” Matthew Desmond follows eight families in Milwaukee as they struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Evicted transforms our understanding of poverty and economic exploitation while providing fresh ideas for solving one of 21st-century America’s most devastating problems. Its unforgettable scenes of hope and loss remind us of the centrality of home, without which nothing else is possible.

The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together


Heather McGhee’s specialty is the American economy–and the mystery of why it so often fails the American public. From the financial crisis to rising student debt to collapsing public infrastructure, she found a common root problem: racism. But not just in the most obvious indignities for people of color. Racism has costs for white people, too. It is the common denominator of our most vexing public problems, the core dysfunction of our democracy and constitutive of the spiritual and moral crises that grip us all. But how did this happen? And is there a way out?

“Often we think of racism solely in terms of its effect on people/communities of color. But the truth is, racism affects all of us. Heather McGhee reminds us that our fortunes are tied in with the fortunes of others, and thus we all should be invested in bringing about a better future for us all. ”  —Marcia Del Rios, Women’s Fund Grants Committee Chair