Tell Me The Truth: Exploring the Heart of Cross-Racial Conversation

90 minute on-stage conversation
How can we speak openly and honestly in cross-racial conversations? What would such a conversation even look like? Shay Stewart-Bouley (Black) and Debby Irving (White) show us as they share racism’s impact on their lives and how cross-racial conversation has been instrumental in their own understanding of 21st-century racial dynamics. Shay and Debby will explore the common fears and pitfalls of cross-racial conversation that keep people isolated in their own racial groups, at the expense of personal, professional, and societal growth. They’ll also help audience members understand how interpersonal social patterns hinder organizations from living up to their own ideals for diversity. No two conversations are alike as they step on stage with no agenda. Current events, in their own lives and in the larger world, inspire the organic conversation they engage in. Finally, Shay and Debby will offer suggestions to create racial justice habits that can move us from isolated events to sustainable connections.

Available Dates

Monday October 10th, anytime
Tuesday October 11th, anytime

Need a different date? Inquire via our contact form

Winter dates will be announced in October





These two outstanding activists should have a podcast, a TV show, a workshop on how to talk about race - any conceivable bullhorn with which to bring their model of thoughtful, honest dialogue to a nation sorely in need of it. Their conversations model the one that all Americans must have: the one where we confront our racial demons together and work in partnership toward a united community.”  Anna Gooding-Call, Nevins Memorial Library librarian

“Shay and Debby bring a truthfulness to the conversation about race, privilege and cross racial friendship in a unique way.  They have not only given me the voice I need to move forward as a Black woman in this work, they opened up an ongoing dialogue to an entire community.”  Nikki Moore, Marblehead Racial Justice Team

“Shay and Debby are opening the lines of communication around topics that our society desperately needs to discuss.  Their dialogues raise relatable experiences which, when examined from more than one perspective, highlight the need for interaction, communication, and understanding of the experiences of different people in our culture.” Lorien Lake-Corral, University of Maine

Previous Hosts

Black Heritage Trail ~ Portsmouth, NH
Harvard University Health Services ~ Cambridge, MA
Colby College ~ Waterville, Maine
Central Square Theater ~ Cambridge, MA
Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry ~ Roxbury, MA
Marblehead Racial Justice Committee ~ Marblehead, MA
SURJ Southern Maine/Seacoast ~ Kittery, ME
University of Maine ~Orono, ME
University of Maine ~ Bangor, ME
University of Maine ~ Augusta, ME
Nevins Library ~ Methuen, MA
Shaker Heights Community Collaborators ~ virtual
Wayland Free Public Library ~ virtual
MLK Community Initiative ~ Glastonbury, CT
Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences - virtual
Natick Coalition for Change ~ Natick, MA
American Civil Liberties Union ~ Portland, ME
Bar Harbor Maine YWCA ~ Bar Harbor, ME
Families Organizing for Racial Justice ~ Newton, MA
Seattle Equity Summit ~ Seattle, WA
Friends School of Portland ~ Portland, ME
Highline Public Schools ~ Seattle, WA
YWCA of White Plains and Greater Westchester ~ virtual
The Impact Collective, Getting To We, King Boston ~ virtual