Diversity Requires Inclusion

Diversity & Inclusion measures are leaving a lot to be desired when we look at the socio economics, gender and cross cultural divisiveness in the landscape of America. Mere diversity without real encounters and relationship will yield increasing tensions in our societies.

CNN stated in a recent report that the only thing Americans agreed upon amongst citizens surveyed from a variety of topics (this had a resounding approval across diverse ethnic, class and gender lines) was we are a “divided society”. In other words we greatly agree that we don’t get along nor desire to in many instances. We like our affinity groups, our cultures and classes homogenous. Just look into the communities in which we live and ask yourself who do you bring home for dinner?
While our major metropolitan cities have gentrified over the last 20 years there are more diverse ethnic groups present but the question to note is, are these cities inclusive? Or does the United States of America have an ethnic, class and gender equality problem? The resounding answer is yes!

Since diversity obviously does not automatically translate into inclusion we are a society clearly struggling with embracing diversity. Therefore, we have a lot of work to do. No more is “separate but equal”, something to turn a blind eye toward nor was it ever a means to a harmonious, united or prosperous American society.

Therefore, Diversity and Inclusion initiatives are drowning in a “Cultural Paradox” that will only get worse as our nation continues to grow in numbers of ethnic citizens of all classes and gender. A paradox means a statement that, despite apparently sound reasoning from true premises, (we are a diverse nation) leads to a self-contradictory or a logically unacceptable conclusion (we are a diverse nation when we are still predominately segregated, exclusive and ignorant or even apathetic). I conclude that if we are to topple this Cultural Paradox we will need a paradigm shift. To significantly institute such a Cultural shift will require engaging our challenges by integrating matters of the heart and not just the head. A paradigm serves as a pattern or model; a set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that constitute a way of viewing reality for the community that shares them.

Simply put, we are growing as a society of diverse ethnic groups all the while growing in our lack of compassion, respect and appreciation for the uniqueness that accompany such diversity even amongst class and gender. Many times the lack of compassion is for our own ethnic history as we have settled in to being an American and describing other classes and ethnic group by a color or their religion. This is inaccurate and inefficient in articulating the depth of ones heritage and unique benefits.

We must incorporate an Inclusion Paradigm Shift to off set the notion that Diversity automatically or organically will lead to inclusion. That is simply untrue and requires intentionality in order to change direction and chart a new healthier course of action. If that were true we would already have arrived at said place and unified as a society destroying racism, classism and sexism.
Since we value Diversity enough to facilitate practices, principles and procedures to ensure we will offer citizenship, hire, work along side of and live in a nation of diverse ethnicities and classes – we need to incorporate a Inclusion Paradigm – if we are going to see a socially and economically healthy society where “all” are actually accepted.
In the words of Rodney King, “Can we all just get along?” Yes we can but the real question is, “Are we willing to?” And who is going to teach us how to break down decades and centuries of false narratives, implicit biases and cognitive dissonance that liters our history in order to do so?

“Engaging in social business is beneficial to a company because it leverages on business competencies to address social issues, involves one-time investment with sustainable results, and produces other positive effects such as employee motivation and improved organizational culture.” – Muhammad Yunus

GOODFIT “Where Different Is Good” will assist your Corporation, Civic Community, Social Organization and Faith centers create a Diversity and Inclusion plan “FIT” for your needs.

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