Equity and Inclusion Issues

diversity 2Lately, there has been lots of discussion about Equity and Inclusion in our workplace, in our volunteer corps and in our society.  I’ve been learning more and more about it.  But what do those terms even mean?

I’m an admirer of Leticia Nieto.  She helped me understand about power differentials.  She has a great series of articles.  The first one is called “Understanding Oppression“.  It’s difficult to discuss these issues as speaking for myself, it tends to make me feel guilty or tense so I want to avoid it. But it’s becoming clearer to me that I need to address these issues.

I like how Dr. Nieto describes what it is like to be a Target in her article “Skill Sets for Targets“.  In it she describes that we are all targets at some point – children have less power, women, elderly, disabled, minorities, etc.  We have all experienced a sense of powerlessness at some point so how do you deal with it and how can we get better at speaking up?  But then, most of us have been Agents at some point – the ones with the power. In her article “Skill Sets for Agents” she addresses the different stages of awareness of power differentials and how to become an advocate and agent for change in our workplace and society.

I’d be interested in hearing your responses to these articles.  VAN NW plans to hold a half day workshop in the spring to discuss some of these topics.  What are your biggest concerns? How can we have a more diverse and inclusive volunteer corps? How can we be advocates in our work?

I’m a van of Vu’s blog “Nonprofit with Balls”. He wrote a blog recently called  “Hey, You’ve got a little racism stuck in your teeth“.  He said fighting racism is like brushing our teeth: We personally have to look at our reflection and brush and floss every day. We don’t get rid of racism by attending one class. It’s a daily sort of journey.

So here’s to the journey together!  I look forward to some fun, hard, uncomfortable but forgiving conversations with each other.Diversity

 

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