For Jillian Cardinal, reading the Convene story published in March about The Eventprofs Book Club she founded last year to extend the networking and dialogue that started at 2019 Convening Leaders “is like going ‘Back to the Future,’ pre-COVID,” she said by email.
A lot has changed in the world since then, as well as with the digital book club. Cardinal, a sales manager at Montreal-based event company JPdL, has quickened the pace of the book-based discussions and added new workshop-style events — and participation has more than doubled, she said. “When Black Lives Matter conversations re-emerged this year,” Cardinal said, “knowing I have a platform and a growing community, I wanted to offer a substantive dialogue.”
As she was considering the options, Ashanti Bentil-Dhue, an events entrepreneur, speaker, and diversity expert based in London, sent Cardinal a LinkedIn request. It was “as if the stars aligned,” Cardinal said. “When I read her bio, I realized it couldn’t be more perfect.”
On Thursday, Bentil-Dhue and Cardinal will lead a discussion based on the book, So You Want to Talk About Race, by Ijeoma Oluo. If you haven’t read the book, don’t worry. Typically, about half the people have read the book, Cardinal said, and half of the participants are first-timers.
You can RSVP for the event, which is at 5 p.m. EDT, Aug. 20, and find a calendar of upcoming events on The EventProfs Book Club website.
Barbara Palmer is deputy editor of Convene.