Beth Chandler, President and CEO, on NECN’s “How to Have Meaningful Discussions on Race, Equality”
YW Boston’s President and CEO joined NECN’s Sue O’Connell on June 18, 2020 for a conversation about having meaningful discussions on race and equality in the workplace.
As Sue O’Connell stated, employees have been told for years to not talk about racial and gender equity, but recently people are being urged to ensure their workplace is discussing such topics. Beth Chandler recommended entering the conversation with a clear goal or outcome, as it is “very different if it is a conversation for people to vent or [if it] is a conversation where there is a framework of what has been racialized in this country and what the history is of violence and race.”
Beth urged people having these conversations to focus on listening and hearing others’ perspectives. She stated, “Your job is not to convince somebody to change their mind. If that is your intention, you will probably fail. People don’t want to be convinced that they are wrong. Go in with an open mind, ask a lot of questions, and share information. Share what you have learned.”
When asked about when and if it is appropriate for White individuals to speak to their Black colleagues about race, Beth urged White viewers to prioritize talking to their CEOs — who are overwhelmingly White men across the country and in Boston. She also suggested finding other people who are White with whom you can learn and urge to speak up.
Watch the conversation here:
Find the segment on NECN’s website here.
About YW Boston
As the first YWCA in the nation, YW Boston has been at the forefront of advancing equity for over 150 years. Through our DE&I services—InclusionBoston and LeadBoston—as well as our advocacy work and F.Y.R.E. Initiative, we help individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with a goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed.
As part of that work, we are helping organizations prioritize Diversity, Equity & Inclusion and become socially connected while staying physically distant. During this time, YW Boston is providing organizations with digital workshops and resources to help them better understand the challenges faced by their employees. For more information, please contact Sheera Bornstein at firstname.lastname@example.org.