Dear Friends, 

In this time of so much division, we must trouble the waters and widen the circle of human concern. Visionary leader of radical belonging and co-founder of the Empower Initiative Ben McBride invites us to question our biases, speak hard truths, and engage in the process of creating a space where everyone belongs. His debut book, Troubling the Water: The Urgent Work of Radical Belonging is out everywhere today.

Troubling the Water book cover

What would it take to truly belong to each other? McBride answers that it requires us to face our hidden prejudices, rethink our traditional power structures, and confront the ways we categorize people as “us” and “them.” Troubling the Wateris a dive into the deep end of societal injustices that threaten to overwhelm us, recounted through McBride’s own fearless journey— from his daring decision to move to Oakland’s Kill Zone, to his involvement in the Ferguson uprising, and into the very soul of communities crying out for change.   

The work of radical belonging is not clean-cut or serene; it’s “hella messy,” complex, and demands a willingness to embrace conflict as a catalyst for change. It calls for us to trouble the waters, to disrupt the status quo hiding injustices in plain sight. This transformative process, McBride says, isn’t about what we need to do, but who we need to become.

Ben McBride quote

Dr. Cornel West applauded Troubling the Water as “visionary and courageous,” and ESSENCE Magazine named it one of the top 15 books by black authors to read this fall

Pick up your copy of Troubling the Water today and join us in making the waves of change together.


Rachel, Doug, Sydney, Amanda, Sarah, Alyssa, Bella, Jordan, Wenonah, Mellisa, and Sascha

P.S. Doug will be hosting a panel at the Metamorphosis Forum at Rockefeller University in New York on the New Human Story; Narratives for the Future of Humanity. He will also be co-hosting an immersion session with former News Anchor and 10% Happier host Dan Harris on the Role of the Media in Shaping the Future.  The conference is on November 9th and is in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Garrison Institute. Everyone is invited to attend! Follow the link to register: