President & CEO Beth Chandler joins Radio Boston to discuss having conversations about race


Beth Chandler, YW Boston’s President & CEO, joined WBUR’s Radio Boston on June 10, 2020 for the discussion “Having Difficult — But Important — Conversations About Race.”


Paris Alston, Producer at Radio Boston, determined it was important for listeners to hear why and how they should begin conversations about race. Paris invited Beth, as well as Deborah Plummer, psychologist and professor at UMass Medical School and author of “Some of My Friends Are…The Daunting Challenges and Untapped Benefits of Cross-Racial Friendships,” to address common questions. Tiziana Dearing, Host of Radio Boston, moderated the discussion.


Beth Chandler urged listeners to take the important step of entering into conversations about race. As she stated, those conversations help individuals unpack recent events of anti-Black violence and understand, “What does it mean for me as a person on this Earth – as a human and with other people?”


Beth also acknowledged that conversation participants should do some pre-work before diving in. For instance, Beth shared, “One thing I will say is that, if you haven’t had these conversations before, it is awfully difficult to have them now. The development of the skills happens in the off season. For people that haven’t been doing the work, part of it is understanding, why haven’t you? Why are you doing this? How much work can you do on your own to understand what even the term ‘systemic racism’ is if you are unfamiliar with it? [Ask these questions] before you engage in conversations, particularly with people of color, many of whom live with the challenges of systemic racism every day.” 


Host Tiziana Dearing acknowledged that she used to believe, as many other White women have, that her experience of gender discrimination helped her understand racial discrimination. She no longer believes that, but asked Beth about how White people with various identities should enter these conversations. As Beth advised, “It is really important to think about what are our own identities — where might we have privilege and where might be not have privilege — so that we can be mindful of checking that privilege when entering a conversation.”


Listen to the conversation here:

Find the segment on WBUR’s website here and listen to the entire Radio Boston episode here.

(Image:Used for Radio Boston‘s episode listing.)




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