Toward Sustainable Communities, Fifth Edition

Solutions for Citizens and Their Governments

In The Token: Common Sense Ideas for Creating Diversity in Your Organization, your new token Black friend, Crystal Byrd Farmer, acts as the bridge between majority white organizations that are dedicated to social justice and affirmative action and the diverse people in community they want to recruit.

By: Mark Roseland, Margaret Stout, Maria Spiliotopoulou

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Meet the new Black friend you never had

As a Black organizer, community, business, and organization leaders often ask: “How do I get diversity in my group?” The thing is, the work is real, but it’s a minefield out there. And even progressive leaders can still, perhaps unknowingly, be racist and uphold oppressive systems.

In The Token, your new token Black friend, Crystal Byrd Farmer, acts as the bridge between majority white organizations that are dedicated to social justice and “diverse” people in community they want to recruit, across identities of race, LGBTQ, education, socioeconomic status, and disability.

With a blunt style that pulls no punches, Crystal tells you how it is, calling you out on tokenism, while extending a hand to help your organization make real transformative change toward diversity and inclusion. Coverage includes:

  • What marginalized people experience and what they need to feel safe and comfortable in order to succeed
  • Doing “The Work” – how to have deep conversations with your membership about the reality of bias, privilege, and microaggressions
  • Practical exercises and discussion questions
  • How to choose appropriate meeting locations and establish ground rules, when to bring in outside help, and how to recruit support within your organization
  • Strategies on how to talk to friends who are resistant to progressive ideas.

This no-nonsense, provocative, humorous, and accessible guide is for all well-meaning people leading progressive organizations who acknowledge the need for diversity but don’t know where to start.


  • SILVER | 2021 Living Now Book Awards | Social Activism / Charity

About The Author(s)

Dr. Margaret Stout is a Professor of Public Administration at West Virginia University. She holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration and a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from Arizona State University. Her research explores the role of public and nonprofit practitioners in achieving social, economic, and environmental justice and sustainability. She is internationally recognized for her contributions to the field of public administration and governance studies with a focus on the importance of linking democratic theory to practice. Dr. Stout is the author of several books including Integrative Governance: Generating Sustainable Responses to Global Crises and From Austerity to Abundance: Creative Approaches to Coordinating the Common Good. Her passion for community building has its roots in a career in community development and nonprofit management which spans over 20 years. She lives in Morgantown, West Virginia.

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Dr. Maria Spiliotopoulou has a PhD in sustainable community development viewed through the lens of holistic, regenerative sustainability. She is a lifelong learner, passionate about sustainability action and regenerative and sustainable systems education, and strives to help create regenerative and sustainable societies.

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Dr. Mark Roseland is Professor and Director Emeritus, School of Community Resources and Development at Arizona State University, Senior Global Futures Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, and Faculty Affiliate, Walton Sustainability Solutions Service at ASU. He is also Professor Emeritus of Planning in the School of Resource and Environmental Management and Director Emeritus of the Centre for Sustainable Development at Simon Fraser University. Dr. Roseland has been cited by the Vancouver Sun as one of Vancouver’s top 50 living public intellectuals and has received both the SFU Sustainability Network Award for Excellence in Research on Sustainability and the SFU President’s Award for Leadership in Sustainability. A Registered Professional Planner, highly regarded thought leader, and author of the previous four editions of the bestselling book Toward Sustainable Communities, Dr. Roseland lectures internationally and advises communities and governments on sustainable development policy and planning. He lives in North Vancouver, BC and Tempe, Arizona.

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Book Awards

SILVER | 2021 Living Now Book Awards | Social Activism / Charity

Book Specifications

ISBN: 9780865719743

Page Count: 400

Dimensions: 7.5 × 8.875 × 0.91 in

Publication Date: November 28, 2023

Images: Black & White Images, Color Images

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