DEI Book Clubs with eLearning Insights

Creating intentional space and time to discuss topics related to DEI in the workplace can be difficult. In addition to e-learning courses offered at OpenSesame, an impactful way to start or continue conversations around diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is through a book club! 

An employee-run book club can be a great way for coworkers to share information, personal stories, ideas, and discuss DEI topics in depth, especially as it relates to the workplace. 

Employees can choose to participate and take turns leading discussions around specific chapters or themes. Whatever you decide, make sure you have people who are interested, accountable, and willing to have conversations that can help you build trust and create positive change within the workplace. 

How to Create and Run DEI Book Clubs

Running a DEI book club is not only a fun way to enjoy books and meet new people, it’s also a great way to learn new perspectives and participate in some healthy DEI conversations.

  1. Figure out Who to Invite:
    • Whether you want to host a DEI Book Club for just you and your team or bring together a larger group of people, the book club should be open to all, however, it will be helpful to identify a group of committed readers to get the club going.
    • It can be daunting to find people to join your book club, but books really do have a way of connecting people.
  2. Identify Your Form of Communication:
    • How often you meet may depend on the group or the books you choose. When to meet may need to be adjusted as your DEI book club develops. But all of that will be impossible to coordinate without a way to communicate with your fellow members.
    • Email, communication tools like Slack, social media, and texting are all valid options. Just make sure to choose one or you might find yourself hosting a book club that no one knows about, and that’s no fun at all.
  3. Decide How Often You Will Meet:
    • The club’s regularly scheduled meetings should maintain momentum and strengthen the relationships between the club. The frequency of these regular meetings sets the club’s cadence. Set a pace that keeps the club working together fast enough to finish the book, but not so fast that they wear out before they cross the finish line.
    • If you go too long between meetings, the club will suffer. Members may start to drift apart between meetings. If you have too much time between meetings the club begins to head in different directions. 
    • You can use a free scheduling tool like to find the ideal time for your members.
  4. Decide Where Your Book Club Will Meet:
    • Some book clubs run both virtually and physically, either alternating online and in-person discussions or running both at the same time. Think about what will work best for your group of book lovers.
  5. Think About How Members Will Access the Books:
    • You should also think about how everyone will access the book. You can have everyone get the book in the best version they prefer (Physical Book, E-Book, Audio Book) and reimburse them, if allowable at your organization.
    • Visit your local library to get access to the books.
    • Buy a few copies of the book and make them available for check out in your organization.
  6. Identify the DEI Books to Select From:
    • It may be helpful to have a list of books to select from ahead of time. We’ve hand-picked DEI-related books to get you started:
  7. Set Up the Discussion:
    • Once you start reading the book, it will be helpful to have access to discussion guides for the books. There are a number of wonderful resources available to help you guide your book club:
      • LitLovers contains over 3,000 book discussion guides, generic questions and information about how to talk about books
      • Reading Group Guides has over 4,000 discussion guides with reviews and questions
      • Check out the authors and publishers’ websites—many will have interesting news about the books, discussion guides and even author answers to book club questions
      • Check the back of the book—the kinds of titles that tend to be popular with book clubs increasingly come equipped with discussion questions printed at the end of the actual book
  8. Access Book Insights:
    • OpenSesame has access to book insights for popular DEI courses.
    • The inability to retain information is a common problem and in fact, the forgetting curve shows that people forget 50 to 80 percent of what they learn after one day and 97 to 98 percent after a month. While constant practice is one way to ensure learning sticks, you can also use e-learning courses to reinforce the knowledge and skills gained by reading the book and participating in discussions. 
    • You can improve learning retention levels considerably by spacing out the courses assigned in the same cadence as your team meetings.  By accessing OpenSesame’s book insights, this will be a great way to reinforce knowledge. Proper retention of information in the DEI books plays a vital role in enhancing performance and behaviour change in the workplace.