“It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity there is beauty and there is strength.”
We speak about inclusion but from what I have come to notice and experience, inclusion is just a game of appearances, with limited concrete steps and actions that make use of the diverse personas and experiences embedded within a multifaceted individuals.
I believe in order for society to truly make advancements we must be willing to drop the blindfold and the tone-deaf dialogue and truly dig our heals in and come up with better solutions; channeled through honest curiosity.
“Civilization begins when we stop running and we start living together.”
-Reg Monroe (TWD S5)
In reading the December 2019 issue of the entrepreneur magazine the article on Sterling K. Brown captivated my attention. There were so many nuggets of wisdom provided, the interview was as authentic as one can get. When asked his thoughts on D&I Sterling had this to say, “ Saying that you don’t see color dismisses who I am. I am black. I am male. I am cis-gendered, heterosexual, and so to say you don’t see any or all of those things is naive.” He goes on to say “ everyone wants to be seen.” Is he aware that he is speaking for all marginalized members of society? It is sticking and important. To work with someone to simply fill a quota or check off a social box is missing the point entirely. You leave on the table so much more and if you take a two-dimensional approach to the three-dimensional issue-opportunity you will miss reaching new heights and making a breakthrough that can truly have an impact on society and within the social fabric of you close as well as the global community. Look at the airline in Australia ‘Qantas’ which is a perfect example of understanding diversity and more importantly, embrace the intricacies of what that means to embrace the wealth of varied human perceptions. CEO Alan Joyce fostered an environment with a mindset that created a substantial embrace of diversity that created actions to support it. Think about this for a moment; when Joyce was asked about the turnaround. Joyce is quoted saying “ We have a very diverse environment and a very inclusive culture.” The dynamics of that according to Joyce “got them through tough times…Diversity generated a better strategy, better risk management, better debates, and better outcomes. This is a key factor in their current success.
This is just looking at the effects of how true inclusion can affect a company. If Inclusion was more than just an appearance-based strategy for businesses but also one for the societal structure we can push forward, in business and social constructs. However, for this to happen there needs to a concerted effort to drive diversity and inclusion within the structures of all of our civilized institutions.
Think about the church hour…It is one of the more segregated time slots in society. The moral majority is making policy and living it out in the confines of erected walls of class, religion, and race. There is no inclusion. Just a facade claiming diversity in the form of the one or two allowed tokens to keep the sweat of the proverbial brow. To quote directly from Deloitte’s Insights “ It’s about looking beyond demographic parity to the ultimate outcome — Diversity Thinking”. It is not about looking beyond the surface, it is about expecting more from what lies beneath and giving it an opportunity to communicate those opinions, experiences, ideas, etc., to move the needle in a positive direction for society as a whole. We must stop running from the nature of humanity. We were all placed on Earth to serve diverse environments, that generate varied results that move humanity forward. From the global trade creating diverse cities and countries over time, it is inevitable for cross-culture solutions to abound. However, if we take too long we can miss the opportunity to support its organic growth. We have to learn from one another to form a society based on its intricate cultural differences that are pre-existing.
Are our diversity and inclusion practices missing the mark? From my perspective, it is insincere. It is a failed attempt at trying to tie together a world that does not understand itself. It is missing the built-in grit and determination by creating more barriers by driving stereotypes based on false beliefs or limited experience, instead of nurturing the relations that can grow from true inclusion. What I find is that it take a massive amount of perseverance to move against the barriers and continue forward in the face of adversity.
Let’s be honest for a second. Inclusion is being practiced as a show & tell just to make us look good, while we fill a quota. Frankly, inclusion is another label that begs the included party to be noticed and included in the days' activities. It is forced fed in a dominated environment that does not have the true desire to create intimate working relationships. Inclusion is more of a buzz word, a please play with the unwanted kid on the playground.
What inclusion needs to be is that they truly higher and work with individuals based on honesty, and truly unique perspectives. Fostering an environment where the feedback is authentic and real and drives the universal progression of an organism. Companies waste opportunities just highering to fill a quota and not truly allowing the talent to have freedoms and input that there professionally accepted counterparts do. This has a two-fold effect and more often than not a loss of profits and revenue due to this oversight or perpetual lapse in better judgment.
Although I primed this around the business. This is happening prior to the workplace. It is built into the fabric of society. It is in the way media portrays the person of color in varied dynamics. I can expand on this but this is not for such an intricate bread down. This is to highlight the reality and the failure to truly embrace the nature of humanity as it has been designed by nature.
We have a false identity built into economic gaps and creating silos within our cities and towns. These silos harbor the schools, churches, and social clubs we attribute our sense of belonging and driving force behind our individualism. D&I has to be a master plan to strengthen society within national boundaries. It fortified in the home and can be fostered through proper education of true historical review and diverse classrooms and community centers.
What we must do is generate a strong plan that is centered on what we are and not what we want to pretend to be. Nothing is supreme if it perishes. We are all one given an internal battery that has an expiration date for this earthly plane. The best that we can do is drive a singular adaptation of what peace is and how it is acted upon. Peace can never come from disdain, mental understanding, or external projections on to a person or group. Peace and growth are products of unity.
Be well. Be good. Be accepting. Be love.