How to Talk About Race: 3 Critical First Steps

abstract watercolor picture of speech bubbles representing how to talk about race

On Demand

Duration: 1 hour

About the Webinar

This is part 1 in a 2-part webinar series. Be sure to explore the second session, How to Have Conversations About Race: Leveraging 4 Key Skills

Talking about race is a layered and complex issue. Because of this, it’s easy for people to feel vulnerable, nervous, or even fearful about discussing it. But having these important conversations is essential for creating a truly inclusive work culture. And you can’t make progress on an issue if you can’t discuss it frankly and openly. So how do you talk about race, especially at work? Where do you even start?

Leveraging the same communication skills you would use for any difficult discussion is key, but if you want to know how to talk about race in a meaningful way, there are 3 critical concepts that you must understand before the conversation even starts: trust, identity, and power.

These concepts can help you establish the psychological safety and openness that’s required for everyone to feel heard and respected in a sensitive discussion.  

Join us as Ancella Livers, an EDI expert and author of Leading in Black and White, and Nicole Forward of our coaching practice, discuss how to talk about race. You’ll gain valuable insights about the critical concepts you need to know and learn how to lay the groundwork for talking about race, both in the workplace and beyond.

What You’ll Learn  

In this webinar, you’ll learn more about how to talk about race at work and:

  • How psychological safety and trust, social identity, and power play into any discussion about race;
  • Ideas for doing your own identity work; and
  • The difference between positional power and racial power, and how they intersect in discussions about race.

Organizational diversity and inclusion initiatives can help your people understand how to talk about race and other topics, building a foundation for real change and greater results for your business. We can partner with you to create customized Equity, Diversity & Inclusion leadership solutions for your organization to shift mindsets, behaviors, and practices.

About the Presenters

Ancella Livers, PhD
Senior Faculty Member
Center for Creative Leadership

Ancella Livers is the senior faculty member on the Design and Delivery team at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL), working with clients on gaining clarity around their leadership needs and creating dynamic solutions to meet those needs. While most of her clients have been in Fortune 500 companies, Livers has also worked with government agencies and nonprofits. Ancella has deep expertise on diversity issues, particularly those focusing on African Americans and women. Ancella is the co-author of the HBR classic, “Dear White Boss” and co-author of the book, Dear White Boss. She has also done a TEDx talk entitled, “Words Matter.”

Nicole Forward

Nicole Forward, MS
Former Leadership Solutions Partner,
Executive Coaching
Center for Creative Leadership

Nicole is the former lead of CCL’s Executive Coaching efforts, where she was responsible for ensuring that the client and the coach work in partnership to support leaders within their unique cultural or company context. She has a unique expertise in team dynamics and is passionate about the impact of team coaching on the ecosystem of leadership. Prior to joining CCL, Nicole spent 20 years in leadership development, executive coaching, talent management, and diversity/equity/inclusion in a variety of industries including financial services, technology, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, telecommunications, government, education, and not-for-profits. She has been a buyer of Executive Coaching, assessments, talent management, and executive education programs and content, thus, she has an authentic client-centered approach that is both practical and connected to what really works to help an organization achieve their goals.

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