Can We Be Friends? Black and White Women in Conversation about Race

50 Black Women Over 50 presents

Can We Be Friends? Black and White Women in Conversation about Race

The Women’s Marches, the 53% voting presidential election issue, the #MeToo Movement, and the “New Class of Badasses in Congress,” have exposed both the unifying and dividing factors between white women and women of color. It has also further deepened the historical divide between white and black women.  In dialogue with a panel of black and white women of achievement, we will discuss how factors such as social support, careers, leisure, politics, humor, faith, social media and education influence the nature and intensity of friendships between black and white women. In exploring this complex topic, we will sharpen our thinking, challenge our assumptions, expand our world views, enlighten and inspire each other. Participants are encouraged to bring a friend of a different race for this important dialogue and book signing event.


University of Massachusetts Club

One Beacon Street, 32nd Floor

Boston, MA 02108

Date and Time: 

Thursday, May 16, 2019


5:30 Gathering, Network

5:50  Program

7:00 Book Signing, Networking

Our Discussion Texts




April Miller Boise

Founder, 50 Black Women Over 50, SVP, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary, Meritor, Inc.


Zoe Brown

Blogger, Personal Development Influencer


Deborah Plummer




Callie Crossley

Award-winning, Boston-based  TV host, commentator, and public speaker  and radio host of WGBH’s Under the Radar with Callie Crossley.


Kimberly McLarin

American Novelist and Essayist, Author Womanish: A Grown Black Woman Speaks on Love and Life (Ig Publishing), Associate Professor, Emerson College.


Eve Bridburg

Founder and Executive Director, GrubStreet


Julie Carrick Dalton

is a journalist and novelist. Her work has appeared in The Boston Globe, Inc Magazine, CFO Magazine, BusinessWeek, and The Hollywood Reporter, among other publications.


Deborah L. Plummer

Author, Some of My Friends Are… The Daunting Challenges and Untapped Benefits of Cross-Racial Friendships (Beacon Press), Vice Chancellor/Chief Diversity Officer UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care.

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In 2012, Zoe Brown discovered her passion to inspire women to make their brilliant ideas blossom when she launched her blog GoneGirlGo, where she shares tips and advice about idea execution. Zoe offers writing coach services to newbie bloggers, and workshop design, development, and delivery services for business owners who want to engage with their clients.

Since 2016, Zoe has volunteered to host a blogging meet up for members of the Women’s Business Center in Northeast Ohio and in 2018, they honored her as the Volunteer of the Year. Because of her work with the WBC, she launched Write at this Moment recently, an online writing group for business owners to build their writing muscles.

Zoe is also a founding blogger of Black Girl in the CLE, a blog highlighting Cleveland area events and venues to women of color that supports local businesses, and motivates women to try new experiences. She has also written for the Cleveland Movie Blog, She In the CLE, and the Good Cause Blog.



Deborah is a nationally recognized psychologist and diversity management thought leader. She currently serves as Chief Diversity Officer at UMass Medical School and UMass Memorial Health Care where she has primary responsibility for developing and executing a coordinated and comprehensive diversity plan that cultivates an inclusive academic health sciences center.

As a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Quantitative Health Sciences, and the Graduate School of Nursing, she continues her research on diversity metrics and cross-racial friendships while teaching cultural competence in healthcare and strategies for reducing health disparities. She is the lead author in the design and development of the Diversity Engagement Survey (DES), a tool for measuring diversity and inclusion in organizations.


Thank you to everyone who joined us for an intimate and important conversation in Boston: Can We Be Friends: Black and White Women in Conversations About Race. The Boston event was chaired by one of our honorees, Deborah L. Plummer, the author of the discussion texts: Some of My Friends Are … The Daunting Challenges and Untapped Benefits of Cross-Racial Friendships. Check out some pictures from the event below. We had a great turnout and an even better discussion. We hope you will keep the dialogue going.


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