I am participating in 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes 2019 (all of my submissions can be found here).
Today’s prompt is: DIFFERENT
I volunteered today to be on a subcommittee at work that deals with diversity and inclusion.
It was my inclination to choose that committee over some other enticing options, because this topic has been on my mind so much.
Yet, I wonder how to approach it.
I was standing at a reception Monday night at a conference in Nashville called “civic pride,” and the goal was for the gathering to be inclusive of LGBTQ people who work in local government.
One assistant town administrator said what a difference it makes that in 2019 there are people who “look like me” in local government. For a moment, I thought most people at the table were going to cry.
Although I don’t work in my organization’s D.C. office (another small hurdle to being the DEI person, I know), I do understand (or try) how alienating it can be to live and work amid assumptions. Assumptions about what “everyone” believes or finds to be the status quo.
I also went to a session about equity at work. I’ll need to track down my notes, but in general the presenters said places that have had diversity and inclusion workshops, etc., don’t always end up being more diverse and inclusive because they have the “I did the workshop” mentality and never learn to integrate the lessons into their lives.
I suppose my initial thought is to (with my co-subcommittee member) present monthly “food for thought” type snippets of information.
You can’t hit people over the head with the obvious rightness and need to accept people who are different. Hopefully you can give them the impetus to figure it out for themselves.