Growing with Purpose Podcast: Reframing How We Think and Talk About Race with Mel Gravely
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On this episode of the Growing With Purpose podcast, Paul Spiegelman talks with Mel Gravely, majority owner and CEO of TriVersity Construction. He is also the author of nine books, including his most recent, Dear White Friend.
After writing eight business books relating to his PhD in entrepreneurship focused on African Americans, Mel felt compelled to contribute to the social justice movement with his book Dear White Friend (in which he intentionally left out his PhD). Through a series of letters to his white friends, Mel cites extensive research and data to support his own sentiments around race, and how our country’s history and systems have led us to this point in history, but has not prepared us for it. As he says, “If we can’t figure out how to talk about what we’re feeling and experiencing and what we see, how can we hope to solve it?”
In this episode, hear Mel tell Paul his approach to this book and what kind of impact he hopes it can have on future discussions around race. Plus, hear how Mel’s parents helped prepare him to be a successful leader, and what his definition of success is for his company.
Listen to Mel’s story below:
- “My perspective on race is articulated in this book”
- "The way we’ve been talking about [race] is more monologue than it is dialogue."
- Parents pushed him to go into culturally uncomfortable situations, which prepared him to navigate social and professional circles
- “Don’t feel guilty about what you didn’t do before, let’s talk about what we’re going to do next.”
Leadership Book that Inspired Mel:
Emotional Intelligence by Brandon Goleman