The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together by Heather McGhee (One World) was named the 2021 Porchlight Business Book of the Year (formerly the 800-CEO-READ award), which was presented virtually from the company's headquarters in Milwaukee, Wis.
"The Sum of Us is an urgent and important book for our historical moment," said Porchlight owner, president & CEO Rebecca Shwartz. "Rejecting the zero-sum paradigm so often used as a bogus and obscuring device to prevent white Americans from recognizing the universal costs of racist policies, McGhee deftly illustrates how the all-or-nothing premise that whatever benefits Black people must necessarily harm whites is false and indeed harms everyone. As McGhee says, '[W]e must emerge from this crisis in our republic with a new birth of freedom, rooted in the knowledge that we are so much more when the 'We' in 'We the People' is not some of us but all of us. We are greater for, and greater than, the sum of our parts.' Congratulations and thank you to Heather McGhee for your compelling and indispensable book, The Sum of Us, the Porchlight Business Book of the Year."
The company used its annual Jack Covert Award for Contribution to the Business Book Industry to remember the man for whom the honor is named, the founder of Porchlight, who died last August, noting: "Not only did he play a significant role in the formation of the business book industry, but he also played a key role in many lives throughout the industry, most especially those who have worked with him at the company he built."
Managing director Sally Haldorson observed: "Over my almost 25 years at this company, Jack was a constant, the heartbeat. He was first my boss, but became my mentor, my advisor, and my friend. Yet those words are inadequate for the impact Jack had on me. He was simply the most influential adult in my adult life. His story is imprinted upon each of us at Porchlight through his everyday kindnesses and the space he gave us all to be ourselves and become everything we had the potential to be."