By: Abel Morais 

For National Read Across America Day, I have put together a list of books that will be beneficial for advocates in order to become champions of change. All of these books are some of my favorites that I highly recommend for everyone.  

6. Organizing for Power and Empowerment

by Jacqueline B. Mondros and Scott M. Wilson

While it may not be the most captivating read on the list, it definitely is the most comprehensive read. Not only does the book layout all the different ways to get involved and advocate effectively, but they also back up their information with in-depth examples of people using the tactic provided. This book is perfect for people who want to become champions of change and want to read up on all the different components and philosophies involved. 


5.  We Are Called to Be a Movement 

By: Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II

This is the smallest and shortest book on this list, so that does make it the quickest read. If you don’t have much time on your hands but want to read a powerful voice that calls for advocates for the poor, then this is the book for you. Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II. may be one of the best and passionate advocates for the disenfranchised. Using his expertise in the Bible, he takes the lesson of kindness that he learned and applies them to his political ideology. He expresses his view of having people who are usually left out of the political area, to rally everyone up to get involved and push for the change we all wish to see. 


4. Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience, and the Fight for a Sustainable Future

By: President Mary Robinson 

If you have any interest in environmental protection and justice, then this book is for you. This book was written by a leading advocate, Mary Robinson who was the first female President of Ireland, served as the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and as the UN Special Envoy on Climate Change. She talks about the different environmental issues around the world, that have a clear bias against minority groups. This powerful first-hand account of the environmental issues that happen in small communities around the world can open our eyes to see what we can do at a local level in our communities back home. 


3. What’s Love Got To Do With It? 

By: Senator Raymond J. Lesniak 

I may have some bias since this book was written by our founder, but Senator Lesniak’s first hand account of his fight for marriage equality in NJ is a MUST READ for any aspiring advocate. In his book, Senator Lesniak breaks down the aspects of the advocacy movement, with every bump in the road and how it was overcome with strategy and some luck. My favorite part, though, were the personal stories from the advocates, which were pivotal to the movement. This book will make you feel all emotions and make you a better advocate at the same time. 


2. Just Mercy

By: Bryan Stevenson

This powerful book was written by Bryan Stevenson who is a law professor at New York University School of Law and is the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative where they provide legal assistance to those who were wrongfully convinced or denied of a fair trial. Throughout the book, he highlights the injustice that exists in the justice system. No matter how much that sentence is repeated, the irony is always heartbreaking. It is clear that he calls for reform or a complete overhaul of the justice system. Any advocates who want to cause a change in the justice system should be familiar with this book. Even those who are new to the fight for justice, this is a perfect introduction to the mistreatment within the justice system. 


1. Lead From the Outside

By: Representative Stacey Abrams 

In Stacy Abrams’ first bestseller, written during her 2018 gubernatorial race, she gives a very emotional backstory of her life and how she got to where she is. Getting to where she is today was not an easy feat. As the title of the book suggests, you can obtain influence and power in order to see the changes you want even without being from power. From being outside the realm of power to becoming one of the most recognizable and influential people in the country, Stacy Abrams lays out a foundation that everyone can learn from in order to be the change they wish to see.


About The Author:  Abel Morais is studying Political Science, with a minor in Asian Studies at Kean University and is the Administrative Assistant for the Lesniak Institute. He aspires to improve human rights for the LGBTQ community across the world through policy change.