Speaking of Allyship: A Podcast of The Boston Club

Speaking of Allyship with Beth Chandler of YW Boston

January 30, 2023 The Boston Club Season 1 Episode 3
Speaking of Allyship: A Podcast of The Boston Club
Speaking of Allyship with Beth Chandler of YW Boston
Show Notes Transcript

In our third episode, Lisa Prior, President of The Boston Club, is joined by Beth Chandler, President and CEO of YW Boston.

Together they discuss:

  • How experiencing contradictions brought Beth into leadership
  • The importance of embracing difference on teams
  • YW Boston’s approach to equity work
  • What allyship means & examples of it
  • Intersectionality & being intersectional in our allyship
  • How to have uncomfortable conversations about gender & race

Tune in then subscribe to the show and follow Beth Chandler, YW Boston and The Boston Club on LinkedIn.

Welcome to Speaking of Allyship, a podcast of the Boston Club, New England's premier women's leadership organization. I'm your host, Lisa Pryor, president. Here we bring you personal stories and proven leadership practices for allyship, including what it means, how to be an ally, and how to receive or ask for allyship too. Leadership is expansive in the workplace, across gender, race, orientation, identity, or how about just thinking differently? This podcast brings you together with amazing business and thought leaders of greater Boston, Massachusetts, and New England to hear their personal stories and journeys and how their experiences and lessons learned shaped their leadership approach. You'll take away insights and tips, learn how allyship and mentorship can play a role in your career and how you can pay it forward, and leadership practices on everything from, how to create inclusive work environments to how to be brave and prepared for challenging conversations. Let's get started. Welcome back to Speaking of Allyship, a podcast of the Boston Club. I'm your host, Lisa Pryor. I'm thrilled to be here today with Beth Chandler, president and CEO of the YW Boston, a leading nonprofit dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. Beth, welcome. We're so excited to have you here today. Hi, Lisa. Thanks so much for having me. To see you. So in our podcast experience, we've sort of been asking our guests to tell us a little bit, leading off with your own leadership journey, and curious to hear about sort of your early experiences and what led you into this field of work as a nonprofit leader. Great question. And I think there are two things, two buckets, I would say, has led me to the work that I do. One bucket is my experience with contradictions. And so I faced many contradictions growing up, particularly as a person who is a woman who identifies as a Black woman and also a lesbian. And when I talk about contradictions, a couple of examples are, so when I was younger in school, it was not uncommon that I was called the N word. I lived in a town that was predominantly white. And when that would happen, if an adult was nearby, either they would ignore it so they didn't have to intervene at all, or when they did, they were often apologizing and taking care of the kid who caused the harm, right? So somebody would call me the word, and then the adult would be like, oh, they didn't mean it. They're sorry. But no one ever checked in with me about the harm that, happened to me. And so that was always a contradiction that I grew up with. I also, when I started my first job after business school, I worked in an organization and I had a chance to meet with the manager of the team and he was going to tell me what I needed to do to be successful. And the things that he shared were the lengths of the skirts and the dresses I should wear, how I should wear my hair, which was not natural, but I should get it relaxed, how I should do my nails. That all of those things had nothing to do with what I knew, right? And I had two Ivy league educations and it didn't matter. It was, you know, how did you look and how could you look more stereotypical sort of white European, you know, with getting my hair done straight. And so I just had these, you know, examples of contradictions throughout my life, which just didn't make sense to me. And then I was also a basketball player. And so in that space, it didn't matter what my identities were. All that mattered was that we had a common goal as a group, and however you could contribute, that's what was needed. And so I think having both of those experiences has really influenced me, one, in doing the work that I do around equity and wanting to make sure that people have an opportunity to be successful regardless of what their identities might be. And that it doesn't matter what somebody's bringing to the table as long as they can contribute. And so I think that's what sort of led me to the work that I do and also how I think about how I lead, which I hope, and I certainly aspire to be a leader who is clear on what the expectations are, that will provide people with the support they need to be successful, and that it doesn't matter what the identities are that you're bringing to the table, as long as you can contribute to this shared goal that we have, that's all that really matters. Thank you for sharing that. If you don't mind, I'd like to actually double click a little bit and I'm gonna start with the basketball one first since it was the last one. We have met in person and on a podcast, no one can see our height difference. So this is a funny thing. I tried out for the basketball team, my freshman year in high school. And when the coach who was about 6'1", saw me, she looked down and said, you'd better be good, which I wasn't. So I didn't make the team, but I really admired, you know, how these were high school girls at the time who did. And. You know, what was it about the, tell us a little bit more just about that experience of being on the team, you know, as you were, even before you were a leader, how did that inform your leadership journey? Yeah, being on a team, I think informed my leadership journey in a variety of ways. I think one, it was we were a, you know, a very different group of people and many teams that I played on, we had lots of differences. And it didn't matter. What brought us together was the love of the game and the common goal that we had, which was to win. And so often the teams that I was on, even though we may have had different identities, those things were things that we were able to leverage as a group and grew from. So that was certainly something that has affected my leadership in being able to see how difference is helpful. Because if we all had the same skill on a team, then there'd be lots of weaknesses that we would have as well that teams could exploit. But if everybody's bringing a different skill set to the team, then we're going to be stronger. And so that's something that I truly believe in as a leader and looking for people that have really diverse experiences, perspectives, skill sets, so that we can have the best team possible. Also, being part of a team, it really was about what could you contribute to that team. And that's, again, as a leader, something that I look at is what can people be bringing, be bringing how can I get the best out of someone and that it doesn't all have to look the same to be valuable. Right? So you're going to have people that need to do sort of the dirty work for basketball, which is the rebounding and playing good defense. And those aren't the things that always get glorified, but they are extraordinarily important. And so I think as a leader, I understand that you. Can lead by not having the limelight and being the person that's scoring all the time. But the other roles to help that person do that are equally as important. And so you can lead, by doing sort of the dirty work or the work behind the scenes that people don't see. And that's still an integral part of a team. And so I think as a leader, I hope that I am able to recognize all that everybody contributes to us as an organization being successful, because it's not, necessarily the me, people seeing me and thinking I'm successful, I'm only successful because of the people that I get to work with every day. I love that. And I love this, you know, your early experience of seeing differences as a strength and how that contributes to the team. That just comes through so much. I have to ask what position did you play? So I was a forward in my natural position. I usually had to play center, which I was I'm not tall, as tall as some of the other centers I went against. Oh my gosh. But power forward is my natural position. I love that, power forward. I think I would have been on your cleanup. I still think I could have been the scrappy person taking the rebounds. I'm still not over that experience, but we'll have to process that someday. So thank you for sharing that fun. And what team was it? So I mean, I played all throughout high school. I played in college. I played overseas. Wow. I started playing in fourth grade. That's amazing. I did not know that about your journey. And I'm curious about the overseas component of it. Because there's the difference. Like in fourth grade, you're in your community. Or in high school, you're probably traveling. I mean, it sounds like you were amazing. And then you're traveling globally. How did that shape your understanding of difference? I was fortunate that when I played overseas, and I guess I will be dating myself, was when the wall was coming down in the East Germany. And so when I was there to be able to. See that happening and my coach, my first year in Austria, so I played in, lived in Salzburg and played for a team in Salzburg, my coach was from Hungary. And so I had an opportunity with him to to travel to Hungary to, I had never been. And as we were traveling, we saw people, leaving their cars and belongings on the side of the road because their car broke down and they were trying to cross the border to get into Austria. And it was just such a powerful thing to see firsthand. That people were willing to leave belongings, leave loved ones, leave, you know, community to attain this thing called democracy. And so that really had a profound impact on me to be able to see that and just think about what I may take for granted living in the United States and what others don't have. thing that was very... Informative for me living overseas was also the way that life was. So I had just graduated college and generally things were scheduled, right? You schedule time with your friends, you schedule this, you schedule that. And living in Austria, things weren't scheduled. They actually sort of practice siesta, so things slowed down from noon to two. And then when you invited people over, they came and they stayed all day. It wasn't like you can only visit for a couple hours and I had something else to do. And so I think being able to live someplace where life was less crazy and hectic was also helpful. It doesn't mean that my schedule doesn't sometimes get nutty, but it's nice to be able to remember, hey, it doesn't have to be this way. You can, you know, there is a balance and you can find that balance and still be successful. and I was able to see that living in Austria. That's fantastic. And so I'm hearing it changed you understanding there are other ways to live and to be. Yes. And I just can't help but be struck and especially, given the context of just on our globe today and the geopolitical conflicts, sort of what people will do for democracy, right? Which is freedom, which is such a part of the YW mission So thank you for sharing that. And if you don't mind, I just wanna double click on your first story because I was listening and here's this little. You were a little girl, young Bette Chandler experiencing these, what you call contradictions. That's a really powerful word and kind of a new one. And the conversations we've been having about allyship, which we're gonna get to in a moment. But what I want to double click on is you get this visual picture of this adult taking care of an actor and not the person who needed to be supported in that moment. And that was asking a lot of you as a little child, right, too. You're carrying a lot. How did that shape your life? What do you carry forward for who you are today and how that shapes your leadership perspective? Yeah, it's a great question. I think one of the things that that certainly. How it impacted me was thinking about that saying there, we said sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me. And I knew from experience that that's not true, that names canon and do hurt and I lived that. And I think it ultimately made me tougher because aside from being able, when I went home to tell my family, my mom in particular, because she was a stay at home mom for a little bit, telling her what happened. But in that moment, there was no support when those things happened. And so, you know, I had to figure out pretty quickly, how was I going to respond? Was it going to be flight or fight? I tended to be a fight kid. So, but that, you know, has certainly shaped me in that I'm not someone who, you know, is going to back down and I'm, you know, for better or worse, I'm good at compartmentalizing because, you know, and I had to be, you couldn't, well, I mean, potentially you could, but it would have been very difficult as a young kid, in tears when that happened all the time because you weren't going to get support. That was pretty evident. And so that could have been extraordinarily debilitating. And so I had to figure out coping mechanisms to be able to say, okay, that happened and it certainly doesn't feel good. And how am I going to move forward. Yeah. So thank you for sharing that. And it's just what I experience when I hear your story is just, that's a moment of loneliness too, when someone is not there with you. And for me, the connection I make to the work you do at the YW Boston, which is so profoundly important around anti-racism, this intersection that you're at of anti-racism and empowering women and the strengths and community, that you build, right? That one needs to be lonely or alone, just is for me a connection. And thank you for sharing that story. And I wonder what if you could tell us a little bit more about the YW Boston and you know, what's what is the work that you and your team are doing there today? Sure. So YW Boston is part of the YWCA USA system. We all share the same mission, which is to eliminate racism, empower women and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. And there are 200 YWCA's across the country, nine in Massachusetts, and we probably do 200 different things. And that's both the beauty and the curse of being part of the YWCA. We share this mission, but how we execute against that can look differently depending on the needs of our community. And we decided about five years ago to take a step back and say, okay, given particularly the first parts of our mission to eliminate racism, to empower women. How is that showing up in Boston? Where is the need for that? And what are the things that we can bring that others aren't bringing to address that need. And at the time, you know, almost, and probably still the case today, you can. See the evidence of racism and issues around gender in almost any place you look in the Commonwealth, right? When you look at, it's getting a little better when you're looking at top leadership, right? Given who we have as our governor, our attorney general, our mayor, but generally speaking, positions of power across sector are lacking people of color or lacking women and certainly lacking women of color. When you look in the education sector, you'll see disparities. When you look at wages, right? And there's the wage equity work that Evelyn Murphy has been working on, Boston Women's Workforce Council, there's a huge gap between what women make, what men make, and then when you layer on race on top of that. And so everywhere we looked, healthcare, there were discrepancies, particularly at the intersection of race and gender. And we decided that we didn't want to approach it from a deficit based model. And what I mean by that is there are lots of programs that say, okay, if we give you this training, if we teach you how to assimilate better, then you can be successful. So here's how we can change the women, here's how we can change the people of color so they can better assimilate to be successful. And our approach is there's something wrong with the system, right? That people should be able to have differences. Those differences should be valued. It's not a case of, excuse me, if somebody has the skills or not, it's just there's a difference. And why should that matter? How can we help organizations make their environments more inclusive so that everybody thrives, right? Because if it's more inclusive, it's not just those that are marginalized that are going to thrive, everybody is. Then everybody's gonna benefit if you have different perspectives in the room, different lived experience. You're going to have more creative ideas because you're gonna be able to look at things in a different way and you're gonna do better as an organization regardless of sector. So that's our approach to the work. How do we help you as an organization think about who's being left out. And how can you change both the policies, practices, culture, so that folks can really feel included and invested in your organization and valued, so that you can be successful and ultimately that they can be successful. So that's the work that we do. We also have a girls program because we know that women who are leaders had opportunities when they were younger to lead. So we have a program for middle school girls as well. Love it. And I'm just seeing the basketball team, right? This is how differences became a strength. And if only you could have consulted to that coach who cut me because she didn't think short people had the same thing. That would have been amazing. So Beth, our conversation is about allyship. This podcast is about allyship. And we're on a quest for what is allyship and what does it mean? And we realize there are different facets to this at the Boston Club as we are entering into these conversations. Curious to hear what does allyship mean to you? So allyship to me means that you're willing to risk something personally to benefit somebody else and particularly somebody who may have a marginalized identity that you don't. And I can give you a couple of examples. I think the first time I really saw this was when I was in fourth grade. I had an orthodontist, Dr. Florentine, and there was a boys basketball tournament in my town that had been going on for years. And that year they were going to do the first girls basketball, thank you, Title IX, to the first girls tournament. And, he said, you know what, if you can put, if you can get nine other girls together, I will pay for the uniforms, pay for the registration and coach the team. Right? Now there was nothing in it for him. He didn't have a daughter or granddaughter or anything on the team. He just wanted to be able to support a group of girls in my town to play, you know, in our town's tournament for girls, right? And that and a lot of that team that was assembled in fourth grade, we stayed together through high school. Wow. But had he not been willing to at least put his money, on the line to put us together that wouldn't have happened. And then not too long ago when I was at YW Boston, my predecessor had to leave the organization with hire because of due to illness. And at the time the board wasn't quite sure how they wanted to move forward to replace my predecessor, who no one could replace. And at the time they were thinking, well, maybe we'll hire an interim, maybe we'll do a search. And my board chair at the time was Min Minnichiello. And she said, you know, I think, I think Beth can do this. I think she should at least be interim. And, you know, a lot of the board wasn't convinced that that was the right way to go. And that wouldn't have happened. I would not have had the opportunity if Min wasn't willing to exercise the capital she had as board chair and really put her reputation on the line to support me and having the opportunity to be interim. So that was another example of somebody, who to me really demonstrated or exemplified being an ally because MIM had a lot to lose. Had that not worked, and she was still willing to take that risk on my behalf. These are great examples. They illustrate a personal sacrifice, like something, you know, allyship is not talking about being an ally, but actually being willing to have that personal sacrifice or risk. And there's something, you know, that I see that was a beautiful example, just even fourth grade, that ally was a man and created an ecosystem, helped create a community, right? That I imagine, you know, you had your community to back you up to not be alone and and to work together. So there's a ripple effect to real allyship when it's in action. And of course, you know, these amazing things that you're doing at the YW Boston, I always admire I'm on your mailing list. I wish I could get every conversation, the breadth and meaningfulness of, you know, the topics and how you're delivering them. And I'm curious to hear what's the secret sauce. I think part of it is the intentionality, right, in which we approach the work and support other people to approach the work. I think part of it is being able to get people to engage in these conversations. I think a lot of folks want to be able to have conversations, particularly across difference, and don't know how and don't feel comfortable. And we are able to help create those conditions for folks to feel comfortable and to help them build their skills. So even though they may feel uncomfortable, they're not, they're still willing to have those conversations and put, themselves out there because they're building the capacity to, again, develop the skills and. And get beyond the discomfort that the conversation may initially, or the thought of the conversation may initially have for them. And then I think the last thing is thinking about this as a system. When we talk a lot in our work about the system that we all live in, that we are all a part of, and so this isn't, you know, the fault of, you know, this isn't a white person's issue or a man's issue. It's an issue for all of us because we all live in this system. And so how can we, you know, identify the different ways that this system is playing out and how in the ways that we can intervene and mitigate and change the system so that we get to more equitable outcomes. And we share that value of that's an inclusive and holistic way of having the conversations. It's calling in, right? Not calling out. And the importance of creating the safety. And if there's something we know about leadership in 2023 and beyond, it's that leaders lean into that discomfort and have to role model it and be OK, kind of being vulnerable. So that is, if you've decoded and uncoated and created, that is a real secret sauce and I think something I see a lot of us struggle with. And so one idea that's adjacent to all this is sort of there's allyship and we've talked about allyship across race, but there are intersections of, difference and a sort of spectrum of rainbow of differences. And so can you talk a little bit about what intersectionality means and what is its relationship to allyship. So intersectionality, well, I mean, I guess the official definition is really from a legal perspective. And it was how I think it was Kimberlé Crenshaw was looking at case law and that women of color in particular. Were sort of left out because the law couldn't grapple with them as women of color. They had laws for women, laws for people, for men of color, really, but nothing for women of color. And so I think that's where it initially, from which it initially derives. But when we talk about intersectionality, it is thinking about what are the different identities that people have. And in our country, these identities are social constructs, and there is weight or privilege assigned to different identities. So depending on how you identify, You may have privileges in certain situations, lack privilege in other, and that can have an impact. And I'll give us a simple example. So in thinking about wages or salaries, often you hear about the wage gap for gender, right? And you say, you know, women make 80 percent, 80 cents to the dollar for a white man. And then when you overlay race on top of that, well, it's, you know, Asian women are actually much closer to what white men are earning. White women are the ones that are around 80 cents to the dollar. Black women are 54 cents, Latinx women I think are 44 cents and Native American women are in the 30s, maybe 40. So if you didn't overlay race, then you would think, okay, if I gave every woman 20 more cents. They would be at parity with men. actually for black women, they'd still be almost 26 cents off still, right? And so that's the importance of thinking about How do the intersections of identities? How are they impacted by decisions you make, policies that you have, and ultimately the outcomes you end up seeing for different groups of people? It's a good illustration. And so what's the connection? How is someone an ally then? If there is an equity gap, there are these differences across intersections? Yeah, I mean, again, I think it's thinking about where do you have privilege? So even though for gender, I am not privileged because I'm not a man. For race, I'm not privileged because I am a person of color. For sexual orientation, I'm not privileged because I identify as lesbian. But if positionality is, I have a privilege because of the position I hold. So there are ways because of my role as CEO of YW, that I'm in situations where I can advocate for others, even though I have lots of identities that don't have privilege, I do have some that do. And so how do I, when I am in a situation where I do have privilege, leverage that privilege to make sure that those who don't have privilege are being taken care of, right? That people are aware of the challenges that I'm doing what I can to help others. So that's how the intersectionality works is that we all have many identities and in many cases there is some identity that we have that has privilege. And so how do we use the agency that we have in the spheres of influence that we have when we... You know, some privilege or indoor power to help others. That's a, that's a, I just, that's the question. How do I use the agency and privilege I have to, help others? That's, you know, if we could just ask ourselves that and be self-aware, you know, and I thank you for sharing your own identities, you know, coming from a place of ours. That's, that was a really helpful, succinct question that we can ask ourselves as allies. And Beth, is you know learning is a social process and it happens through conversation. But conversations that have to do with race and other intersectionalities, other differences, they seem easier within a group, within a race, within a group of people who identify in a certain way. As examples, it's easier to say, I'm a white woman, easier for me to turn to someone who's white and and say, did I say the right thing or I don't know what, and yet that's where the learning happens. That's might be where the discomfort is, but that's where we grow. And so what tips would you have, and especially as we're celebrating Black History Month, as this podcast goes live, what tips would you have for conversation and connection across race. That's a great question and there's no easy answer. And then, yeah, on the one hand, it's not easy. And on the other hand, it doesn't have to be that complicated either. I think part of it is again, the intention for the conversation and how one approaches it. I think part of it is also the I statements. And so you might say to your friend, I'm uncomfortable having this conversation or starting this conversation. Here's why I'm feeling uncomfortable. But I'd love for you to be able to share a little more about X, either I'm really interested in this, and or ideally I've done my own work, like I've done some research on my own, I've looked at Google, I've watched something, I've read something and here's what I'm thinking. But I'd love to talk to you. I know you can't speak for everybody of your identity, but love to hear your perspective and see what people say and be really intentional when it comes to the listening. I have had conversations where people have asked me something about my experience and I will share and then they'll refute it or try to refute it. And I say, well, wait a minute, like you asked me a question I'm answering it from my experience. You don't have to agree, but you can't tell me that that didn't happen or I shouldn't feel that way or that's wrong, because it's my experience. And so I think, you know, it is sometimes difficult to hear somebody's experience if it hasn't been yours, but that doesn't mean like you need to refrain from discounting their experience. Right, because it's so deeply uncomfortable for you to hear. You're trying, you know, that's, it's again, I'm hearing, you know, be transparent about the discomfort, be vulnerable with it and sit with it, right? Not to tell you why this, why you're wrong why we're doing all these things that actually you shouldn't be feeling that way anymore. Exactly. Yeah, no, I appreciate that. So you've shared this broad mission for the YW Boston, the great work you're doing, you shared the secret sauce, you gave us some personal tips how to think about being an ally, and I really appreciate just some ways to think about how to enter those, uncomfortable conversations. But kind of going back up to the macro level a little bit, you work with many organizations, and as you look across organizations, especially for or organizational leaders listening to this podcast. As you think about the practices, whether they're policies or programs, you're working at that systemic level, what practices would you want to see more organizational leaders adopt, whether they're in business or nonprofit or government. Or education or healthcare sectors? What are you seeing as some of the top one or two organizational practices that actually advance the conversation, make it safe, but also enable equity and inclusion? That's a great question. I think it is extraordinarily important for leaders to share why it matters. I think anytime you're asking people to do something differently, and this is about organizational and behavioral change when you're on a DEI journey. To understand the why. They don't necessarily have to agree with it, but they need to understand it, and how is it going to benefit them, how is it going to benefit the organization. And so I think being able to clearly articulate the why we're doing this work is important. I think it's important to provide the data. So what is the data from the organization saying as far as what is the composition of leadership? What is the composition of employees at different levels. Are salaries truly equitable across the organization? I think being able to share the data, is helpful because not only can employees see, yeah, we have a problem. We didn't realize it, but you know what? When we look at who's moving up in the organization, we may hire a high percentage of employees of color entry level, but as people move up, it's not in the same percentages. We're losing twice as many people of color, for example. And so why is that? How do we investigate what's going on? Because that shouldn't be the case. And so I think it's important that organizations share their data and that organizations are also clear on how are they going to measure success and what are the efforts that and how are they going to support the work too? Because it's not helpful if it's an unfunded mandate. So what are the resources, both from financial and staff and trainings that are going to help people, be able to build these new skill sets, this new muscle to move this work forward internally. And so those are the things I think that are really important for leaders to do, to have successful, to see successful DEI efforts. And the last thing is to celebrate success. And it doesn't, and you may not always see it in the data right away, but there may be anecdotal stories that people can share on how they've changed a practice within their team or how personally they're behaving in a different way that is leading to more equitable outcomes, for the team that they manage. So be able to share those stories, share the successes because the work is hard. And so it's helpful for people to see, even though it's hard that it can work, right? It can make change. And so that's, so it's start with the context, the why, the data, and what I heard in celebrate the successes, the quantitative data certainly matters. Are we seeing a dial move? But in hearing you also celebrate the qualitative, you know, the learning, the self insight, the, this is, I'm thinking about your moment at, you know, at the wall, when, you know, you saw people kind of reaching for democracy and it changed you, you know, in a way that, you know, that people were changed, were changed as leaders, you know, and how we approach this. That's, you know, as we're talking today, it's been less than a week since the unveiling of the Embrace statue on the Boston Common. Adrienne Walker of the Boston Globe, I thought wrote a really insightful column about this. And there was a question that she asked that I found very compelling. And that was, can Boston tell a new story about itself? And you shared with us how you grounded the YW mission by looking around, you know, our broader community and where we were. And from your perspective, it's so many intersections. You know, you're across sectors, across communities, across conversations. What story do you see emerging for Boston? I do see that there is a new story emerging. And I think, again, when you look at folks in leadership, you know, in the, both in Boston, in the state house, there's change. And I think that that... You know, change can really provide continued momentum from the changes that we're seeing. There is, you know, legislation that's looking to be passed around wage equity. I think that could be huge. So I think that we are at least in some leadership position seeing changes in at least demographically who's sitting in those seats. Hopefully that's going to lead to some changes in policy that will help us get to more equitable outcomes, you know, across a variety of things, you know, housing, education, public safety, you name it. Outcomes are still not equitable. Particularly for marginalized folks. And so, you know, I think certainly the change in leadership can be helpful. It doesn't always lead to that, but I'm optimistic, cautiously optimistic that that we'll start seeing some policy changes. And one of the things that we've been pushing for at YWB Boston is having more gender and racial equity on state boards and commissions. Because lots of those boards and commissions are making decisions that impact all of us in the Commonwealth, but they don't look like the Commonwealth, the people who are making those decisions. They, in some cases, haven't even had that lived experience for the commission in which they're sitting. And so I think, you know, if we're able to get more people with, you know, lived experience sitting on boards and commissions who are making decisions that impact us, that that could have a huge change, could lead to a huge change in the Commonwealth and outcomes for marginalized communities. That is really profound and important point. And I'll just as someone who serves on an economic development board for the state will say and ensuring that when diverse folks are brought to the table that their voices are heard and that we are as allies making space and ensuring that their lived experiences and ideas are heard. So thank you. That's really powerful. So Beth, what's one idea or wish you would leave us with for the future, like a practice or something that feels out of reach today? Now, I would say that, you know, YW Boston doesn't need to exist anymore because we've eliminated racism and we've empowered women so we can, you know, not exist anymore as an organization. That would be my wish. That's powerful. Thank you for sharing that. And Beth, how can people continue this great conversation with you? They can go on our website. We have events that are coming up. We have, programming that they can get involved in. They can certainly contribute financially if this is something that they feel they want to support in that way. So I think just going to our website and finding out different ways you can contribute, signing up for a newsletter so you're getting information because we like to share different tips and best practices in the work. So I think those are a couple of ways folks can get involved. Excellent. And that would be ywboston.org. I'm signed up. I love your newsletter. I can see how much work and effort and thought goes into that. I'm really grateful to see that in my inbox. And Beth Chandler, President and CEO of YW. This has been a wonderful conversation, journey with you. Thank you for being here and thank you for all you do for our communities in greater Boston and beyond. We are welcome and thank you so much for having me today, Lisa. Thanks for listening to Speaking of Allyship, a podcast of the Boston Club, New England's premier women's leadership organization. You can find resources and links from this episode in the show notes at www.thebostonclub.com. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter. This is your host, Lisa Pryor, President. Be well and ask yourself, What's one thing I could do today to be an ally?