Courageous Conversations: Black History, Community, and Navigating Identity with Beth Chandler

Pride in Our Workplace is proud to announce a new interview series amplifying stories of LGBTQ+ professionals and allies navigating the modern world and leading with Pride.

Introducing Courageous Conversations

Episode 1 of Courageous Conversations was filmed during Black History Month 2022, with the intention to explore how Black LGBTQ+ people uniquely experience inter-communal relationships, the workplace, and society at large. 

Click below to watch the first episode – moderated by PIOW board member Jonathan Allen and featuring Beth Chandler, President and CEO of YW Boston, an organization dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. 

Tune in to hear:

  • What “Black History” means as Black activists and individuals continue to make history every day 
  • How the stress of juggling intersectional identities shapes workplace and personal experiences
  • Why participating in “Oppression Olympics” causes division and slows progress
  • The key to growing our collective power through community and the recognition of humanity

Courageous Conversations highlights the complex societal dynamics that influence our relationships, professional  opportunities, and quality of life. Our 2022 Black History series celebrates Black LGBTQ+ leaders and the significant contributions they  make towards our collective progression. If you would like to learn more or request a moderated screening available at your workplace, please contact

Be sure to follow us across social channels to be the first to know when episodes two and three of our Black History Month series go live. Not on social? Join our mailing list!

Our Speakers

Beth Chandler (she/her)

President & CEO, YW Boston

About Beth Chandler

Beth Chandler (she/her) joined YW Boston in November 2012, with more than 20 years of experience in both the corporate and nonprofit sectors. In August 2018, she was appointed President & CEO. Her breadth of work experience encompasses program development, delivery and evaluation, business development, and operations.

Prior to working at YW Boston, Beth served as vice president at the Achievement Network, a national non-profit dedicated to helping urban public and charter schools close the achievement gap.

Beth also held positions at Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the largest funding source for civil legal aid programs in the Commonwealth and Neighborworks America, one of the country’s preeminent leaders in affordable housing and community development.

Beth also worked as a corporate banking associate with Bank of America in corporate banking and began her career as a research and evaluation analyst with the Urban Institute.

Currently, Beth serves on the Eastern Bank Board of Advisors, The Museum of Fine Arts Board of Advisors, TSNE-MissionWorks Board of Directors, the Women’s Workforce Advisory Council and the Leadership Circle of Hope Central Church.

A former professional basketball player, Beth received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

About YW Boston

YW Boston helps individuals and organizations change policies, practices, attitudes, and behaviors with the goal of creating more inclusive environments where women, people of color, and especially women of color can succeed.

Jonathan L. Allen (he/they)

Director of Development, Leadership Brainery

Moderator, PIOW Board Member
About Jonathan L. Allen

Jonathan L. Allen (he/they) is a champion for equity and empowerment. He is Co-founder and Director of Development at Leadership Brainery, a Boston-based nonprofit addressing inequitable access to master’s and doctoral degrees and workforce leadership opportunities for underrepresented talent, including people of color, individuals from a lower socioeconomic status, first generation, and LGBTQ+ individuals. Additionally, he is the inaugural Innovator-in-Residence at Boston University’s student innovation center — BUild Lab | Innovate@BU.  Jonathan also has a lifelong commitment to public service, and recently ran for Boston City Council in the Fall 2019 election. In response to the pandemic, Jonathan worked at Partners in Health as a supervisor on the Community Contact Tracing Collaborative working to stop the spread of COVID-19 throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts — through which he helped develop protocols and train teams for equitable data collection.  

Jonathan followed his maternal and paternal grandmothers’ footsteps and began preaching at age 11, and was ordained at age 20. Recognized as a social engineer and an advocate for love and equity, his beliefs surrounding transformative leadership, collective responsibility, political spirituality, and social and emotional intelligence have influenced individuals and groups throughout the world. 

As a first-generation college student, he became freshman and sophomore class president, junior senator, and Student Body President of Grambling State University. After receiving his BS in Business Management, Jonathan worked to expand services for a pediatric day healthcare center for chronically ill children until departing to earn his Master of Theological Studies degree from Southern Methodist University | Perkins School of Theology.  

Jonathan is a 2019 graduate of Boston University School of Law, where he was an active leader. He has participated in international arbitration and mediation competitions and served as the president of the Black Law Students Association. Jonathan has written speeches for U.S. Congresspersons while studying Faith and Politics under former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry at Wesley Theological Seminary. He was later a fellow at Free Speech for People, research assistant to the Honorable Geraldine S. Hines of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, research assistant to Rev. Cornell Brooks who is former President and CEO of the NAACP, and fellow at Harvard Law School’s Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race & Justice.

3 thoughts on “Courageous Conversations: Black History, Community, and Navigating Identity with Beth Chandler”

  1. Pingback: Courageous Conversations: Difference, Solidarity, and Accountability with Keith Marion – Pride in Our Workplace

  2. Pingback: Courageous Conversations: Innovation, Discomfort, and Intentionality with Chastity Bowick – Pride in Our Workplace

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