May 2022 Reads for the Rest of Us

Each month, I provide Ms. readers with a list of new books being published by writers from historically excluded groups.

Whether you read for knowledge or leisure, books are so important. May is a big month for new releases by women and writers of historically excluded communities; I’ve highlighted 60 of them here, but there are many more. I hope you’ll find some here that will help you reflect and act in whatever ways you can. 

Women Have Always Been the Heart of the Climate Change Movement: Weekend Reading on Women’s Representation

Weekend Reading for Women’s Representation is a compilation of stories about women’s representation. 

This week: Women have always been at the heart of the climate change movement; best practices to increase women’s representation on public and private sector boards; Kyra Wilson is the second woman elected chief of the Long Plain First Nation; majority of Americans support ranked-choice voting; and more.

The Power of Mobilizing Women in the Climate Crisis

Women are by far the group most disproportionately affected by climate change. Yet, they are regularly left out of the conversation on a global scale. The United Nations estimates 80 percent of all people displaced by climate change are women and girls, who make up only 30 percent of global and national climate decision-making bodies. 

When thinking about the climate crisis, it is easy to become overwhelmed by dread and feelings of helplessness. But learning about the work of incredible women activists can provide a sense of hope and optimism as we all march forward into the impending storm. If we’re willing to listen to these women, we might actually be able to make it out of this alive. And dare I say, even better than before. 

Environmental Justice Is An Abortion Rights Issue

As abortion becomes increasingly inaccessible in much of the U.S., many more people may soon find themselves with no choice but to fly or drive long distances to access the care that they need.

People should be able to exercise their bodily autonomy and control their reproductive lives without leaving their communities. Whether people opt to make lengthy drives or to fly in the face of bans and restrictions, the environmental cost of forcing this travel will ultimately impact us all.

Care Workers Are Essential. It’s Time to Build a Caring Economy.

When crises strike, we turn to our friends, families and sometimes even complete strangers to provide an extra set of caring and supporting hands. Care workers have always played an essential role in our communities, from assisting with child care to providing professional support to the elderly.

Our government has a once in a generation opportunity to pass policies that would support fair pay and dignified work conditions for caregivers, investing in the essential caregiving economy.

The Confining Nature of Climate Change on Incarcerated People

From extreme flooding in Florida from Tropical Storm Elsa in July, to the wildfires that ravaged California last year, climate change is being realized in our everyday lives—with no end in sight. In fact, in the next 30 years, the cost of flood damage is expected to rise by 26 percent.

Those who are incarcerated are more likely to be impacted by climate change and environmental toxicity.