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Diversity versus Inclusion

April 02, 20224 min read

Diversity versus Inclusion

MATTHEW REYNOLDS

Liberated

I have to be honest and say that there is a part of me that wants to take the word “diversity” out of the work I do. Yes, diversity is about recognizing the differences between people, allowing people their dignity as a human being. You put two people in a room and you have diversity. Employers have a tendency to see in employees the different identities and backgrounds, yet that is how far it actually goes, recognizing the difference between you and me. They feel that is all that is needed to have equity in the workplace. The truth is, we all need to do the Work that will take our commitment further than seeing the obvious. 

I also feel the words, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion have been co-opted by the dominant culture to a point where they are just too performative. They have become a buzz phrase, a quick fix where things happen so quickly that we are not really uprooting what truly needs to be uprooted.

If I am to continue to use the phrase “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion” I want to lead with “liberated.” I want to lead with, “I am helping people be liberated from even the confines of the words ‘Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.”

I want to redefine those words, with the help of others, as I am helping people build something new. 

The work I do focuses on helping people look at their truth vision. So the idea is, if I have crafted my Equity Lens and I am asking myself “how much of your thinking is your thinking?” then I can at least start doing these things for myself; shifting what needs to be shifted and uprooting what needs to be uprooted in my surroundings. I can ask myself, “When am I still upholding the dominant culture?” “When am I still upholding white supremacy?” To recognize it, shift it and make the change, liberation.

The divide and conquer weapon used by the dominant culture gets us off focus from what is most important; keeping care of humanity front and center. For instance, we are fighting over what we each have a right to while, for yet another summer, the west is on fire with thousands of acres and homes burning and citizens at risk. Do you know that according to scientific reports, the month of July was the hottest the earth has ever been, at least of what we can track going back 150 years. We are still not striving for getting rid of fossil fuels or looking for alternative energies. We are still fighting over Critical Race Theory. The states that have passed legislation about Critical Race Theory are not looking at the ideas of education and justice and what is going on in that field and in that world. Divide and conquer working exactly as it is supposed to. 

I get that the divide and conquer is here, but what I don’t get is how we can all still be bamboozled by it on such a magnitude and such a level that we are choosing to stand strong in what we think we believe in, even though what we “believe in” is not upholding humanity in any shape or form. How much of your thinking is your thinking?

Going back to the word “Diversity.” If we are only focusing on this word, we have done nothing to build inclusivity. We can’t build unconditional belonging if we don’t recognize inclusivity. We can’t build unconditional belonging if we don’t recognize each other's humanity.  If the solution is to come from the perspective of our differences instead of our shared humanity, then it is easy to see why our living and upholding humanity is such a struggle. 

We know we are all different even beyond race and ethnicity. The focus needs to be how we are liberating our minds and engagement with one another to the point where we are accepted for who we are with liberated included. We need to create a new Lens of viewing each other, acknowledge and embrace our diversity, embrace inclusion and allow our new truth vision to better the world around us. It is time to celebrate and care for humanity. When we can truly embrace, honor and live as humans no matter our inward being or outward appearance, that's when we reach a point of inclusion. Inclusion cannot be achieved without knowing, using, and loving who we are as humans and citizens of the world.

This is what I aim to accomplish with my Work. Embracing our humanity so we can ultimately achieve inclusion, yes for each and every one of us. 

So yes, I want to lead with liberation. I want to lead with, “I am helping people be liberated from even the confines of the words Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.”

I want to redefine those words as I am helping people build something new. 
If you want to build something new, I invite you to learn more about my work and how I help people in crafting their Equity Lens. Check out my 5 Steps to Crafting Your Equity Lens and let’s begin the journey to cultivating change.

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