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  • SE3 Racial Equity Task Group

Read.Watch.Listen. Starting the Conversation

July 2021 Issue

A monthly forum to share diversity, equity, and inclusion resources.

Welcome to the next installment of Read.Watch.Listen: a monthly forum hosted by the NCSEA SE3 Committee to share and promote conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion within the structural engineering profession. Each month, we will curate a series of articles, audio-visual and digital media to facilitate self-education in matters that affect our professional practice as structural engineers. Whether you choose to read, watch, or listen (or all three!), we hope you will join us in this important conversation.

Photo Credit: freepik

This month, we are focusing on strategies to start the conversation about race in the workplace. These conversations can and will be very personal and emotional; they’re often particularly difficult for people of color. The resources below provide numerous suggestions and tips for making yourself and others comfortable during these sensitive discussions. We hope these resources will prove valuable, whether you’re a CEO or an entry-level engineer.

Share your thoughts and/or recommended resources for the next issue at


Talking about Racial Inequality at Work is Difficult - Here are Tips to do it Thoughtfully - CNBC

The CNBC Make It team shares a few perspectives from Black community leaders on engaging in thoughtful dialogue about the civil unrest within the US. They provide guidance on how to approach conversations and how to be an ally, and they encourage other community leaders to make themselves available as resources to help facilitate meaningful discussions.


How Leaders Can Step into Conversations About Race at Work - Culture Drop

Galen Emanuele of Shift Yes focuses on internal conversations for organizations trying to tackle the topic of racial equity. Emphasis is placed on four key strategies for leadership to approach the topic effectively. Although it may be uncomfortable entering the conversation and setting the right tone, Emanuele reminds the viewer it is more important to start the conversation and strike a balance by listening than to remain silent on the sidelines.


Talking about Race at Work with Kwame Christian - How Can I Say This...

“Awkward, emotional, uncomfortable. This is how many of us feel when we try to talk about race. But we need to know how to have these conversations if we’re going to make progress toward a more equitable and high-functioning society. Negotiation expert Kwame Christian joins me to give us some starting points on how to talk about race, particularly in a work environment.“ (How Can I Say This, 2020, para. 1) *If you are tight on time, consider starting the podcast at 00:25:10.


Questions to Ask Yourself While You Read.Watch.Listen

  • What would you recommend to someone who wants to start the conversation about race at work?

  • Do you feel comfortable discussing race at work? Why or why not?

  • If you have had conversations surrounding race, how have they gone?

  • If you have yet to have these conversations, what methods would you use?


This article was originally published in the July 2021 issue of NCSEA's Structural Connection newsletter. For more information, check out NCSEA's DEI Resources.

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