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It's Time To Talk (and Listen):

How to Have Constructive Conversations About Race, Class, Sexuality, Ability & Gender in a Polarized World

by Anatasia S. Kim PhD, Alicia del Prado PhD, 

Foreword by Kevin L. Nadal PhD 

Conversations about controversial topics can be difficult, painful, and emotionally charged. This user-friendly guide will help you engage in effective, compassionate discussions with family, friends, colleagues, and even strangers about race, immigration, gender, marriage equality, sexism, marginalization, and more.

We talk every day—and we often do it without thinking. But, as you well know, there are some things that are harder to talk about—especially issues pertaining to politics, culture, lifestyle, and diversity. If you’ve ever struggled in a conversation about a “controversial” topic with a loved one, work colleague, or even a stranger, you know exactly how uncomfortable and heated the discussion can become. And even if you are one of the lucky few that expresses themselves eloquently, how do you move beyond mere “lip service” and turn words into actionable change?

This groundbreaking book will show you how to get to that important next level in difficult conversations, to talk in an authentic and straightforward way about culture and diversity, and to speak from the heart with tools from the head. Using a simple eight-step approach, you’ll learn communication strategies that are supported by research and have been practiced in classrooms, work meetings, therapy sessions, and more.

We constantly hear about friends and colleagues whose family members are not speaking to each other because of different political opinions, who’ve exchanged words that have mutually offended one another. If silence is one end of the continuum and verbal conflict anchors the other, how do we reach a middle ground? How do we take part in the “in between” spaces where both parties can speak and listen?

With this book as your guide, you’ll learn to navigate these difficult conversations, and take what you’ve learned beyond the conversation and out into the world—whether it’s through politics, social justice movements, or simply expanding the minds of those around you.


“This is a must-read for anyone wanting to have productive conversations about culture and diversity. Kim and del Prado provide a step-by-step approach to engaging in ‘constructive conversations,’ using the Kim Constructive Conversations Model. This book is perfect for anyone who has struggled to manage awkward, possibly offensive comments at the dinner table, on the airplane, or in the office. A superb and timely contribution given the current sociopolitical climate.”

—Claytie Davis III, PhD, ABPP, director of training at the University of California, Berkeley, and chair-elect of the Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC)

“It was a pleasure to read this timely book, in which Kim and del Prado provide a thoughtful and practical framework for respectful, value-driven, and compassionate conversations about culture, diversity, oppression, and privilege. Blending theory, research, and engaging vignettes, the authors delineate a concrete and self-reflective approach for constructive dialogue that empowers us to participate in an authentic manner with diverse others about salient yet divisive topics. Doing so will deepen our understanding of other people, encourage us to embrace differences, facilitate individual and collective healing, foster genuine and close relationships, and lay the groundwork for greater equity and inclusivity.”

—Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, ABPP, professor and chief psychologist at Emory University School of Medicine, and past president of the American Psychological Association

(Nadine J. Kaslow, PhD, ABPP)

“Bravo to Kim and del Prado for clearly laying out pragmatic steps to navigate difficult conversations. This is a very timely book given the current sociopolitical context.… Their model gives us hope that we can cross multiple divides to see the humanity in others.”

—Steven R. Lopez, PhD, professor in the department of psychology and social work at the University of Southern California

(Steven R. Lopez, PhD)


Alicia del Prado, Ph.D | Author


Alicia’s passion for writing started when she was a young girl. She has always loved creative writing and before pursuing her career in psychology, Alicia seriously considered majoring in English. As a psychologist, she takes the research and science from the discipline of psychology and applies it to topics that are personal to herself and her clients. Topics near and dear to her heart are cultural identity, parenting, and strengths-based therapy.

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