Discussion Groups

DEI Discussion Groups (sometimes called book clubs) prompt teams to read or review a DEI-related resource (e.g., articles, books, podcasts, short videos) and discuss their reactions, personal experiences, and insights in service of shared learning. These groups can look different from organization to organization but have a strong track record as an effective platform for engaging employees.


  • Spark conversation and dialogue about DEI and other specific topics in the workplace.

  • Explore and create a shared understanding and language of DEI terms and concepts.

  • Apply insights to uncover and clarify current organizational challenges.

  • Build trust and deepen relationships.


  1. Identify the goals of the reading group. These details will dictate the setup of the group and who is involved.

  2. Define the composition and size of the group. Sometimes groups are kept small (5-7 members). In other cases, the group may be larger (15+) to include an entire organization.

  3. Identify what the group will read based on the pre-identified goals. The amount of reading will likely dictate whether the group meets once to discuss the identified content or several times to discuss longer resources.


  1. Use a video communications platform. Due to the personal nature of the content, it’s important to use a video platform (e.g., Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype) so that you can see your group’s facial expressions and other nonverbal cues. Each participant should have a camera and turn on their video if possible.

  2. Break into small groups. Discussions over video chat with more than five participants can be difficult when you’re working to ensure equitable participation. Utilize smaller breakout groups to encourage participation and deeper conversation.


DEI discussion groups have created a safe space for our team to explore, discuss, and learn, creating the essential shared vocabulary to engage in deeper DEI work.

– Stephen Pham, The Learning Accelerator