Practicing diversity & inclusion
In the past weeks, many people have been asking Inclusant for advice.
Regardless of political leanings, most people in the U.S. and many around the world have been deeply impacted by the polarized nature of public discourse surrounding the American presidential election. There have also been reports of abuse, harassment, and violence targeting different communities.
“What can I do?,” people are asking us.
There is no easy answer, because achieving diversity, equity, and inclusion requires ongoing and active efforts to gain knowledge and build cultural competency skills. Even Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) experts need to keep learning and doing ever better work.
Here is a set of suggested practices for helping decide what YOU will do.
The role of learning in D&I
Engaging with diverse peoples who will never share the exact same perspectives means we must educate ourselves about others. We also need to engage in ongoing self-awareness exercises – – people change over time and through life stages. So, keep learning about yourself and the world.
Why is self-care important?
It is necessary for you to have capacity and clarity in order to continue promoting inclusion in all your spheres of activity. Important areas for self-care include getting enough sleep, exercising if possible, reducing stress where you can, and eating well.
Communities need to be intentional
To sustain yourself, it is important to create and grow relationships that both offer support as well as opportunities to openly discuss diverse beliefs and views. Ideally, you can develop communities in which it is not only permissible but even expected that people will challenge each other to think critically and to be self-critical, with the goals of becoming more effective agents of positive change.
Be the change you want to see in the world
Whenever possible, model inclusive behavior and try to understand other people’s motivations, behaviors, and attitudes.This is not easy and it may often make us feel uncomfortable. Treating people with whom you disagree with as much respect as you wish for yourself is a good rule of thumb.