I am not a racist
Regardless of the reason, by attempting to pigeonhole the subject of diversity solely as a black, white, or racial issue does everyone a disservice. Doing so, leaves entire segments of minority and marginalized populations out of the discussion, limits the availability of varied opinions at the table, and minimizes a wealth of experience. Furthermore, it limits our ability as a society to develop in a way that allows every segment of the population to feel included, heard, and supported.
The majority of the population is not racist. But the “now what?” matters, then ever because there are still thoughts, laws, and behaviors that are rooted in prejudice, bias, and discrimination that result in inequitable opportunities and unfair experiences for individuals who are part of minority and marginalized groups.
So now what?
For many people, their instinctive response to the word diversity is, “But I’m not a racist.”
Congratulations, that is a suitable place to start. The time has come to go deeper and start to ask the bigger question.
“Ok so you’re not a racist, now what?”
Because here is the thing, Diversity is not just about race or racism. It is about things like conscious and unconscious bias, preference, equality, representation, understanding, compassion, comfortability, acceptance, equality, and inclusivity. But for many years training programs in and out of corporate America painted diversity solely as a BLACK AND WHITE issue.
Now we expand the conversations. Now, we begin to have heart centered conversations around what it means to be accepting, to have a diverse workforce, and to create a culture of inclusion. Now we peel back the onion and begin to challenge things like our hiring practices and marketing strategies. Now we begin to address diversity with a broad brush and go beyond roles and responsibilities to truly get to know one another with a goal for expanded knowledge and understanding.
Now we take all of those things a step further and say not only do I want my company to embrace diversity I want to personally challenge myself to identify and work thorough my own personal bias to gain a better understanding of the experiences that people who are different from me have lived.
Now we explore Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, not because it is the right thing to do as an organization, which it is. But NOW we do it because it is the right thing to do, PERIOD.
11/5/2022 02:45:04 pm
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