Hi friends! I want to send some extra love out to my fellow BIPOCs who are doing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, Belonging, Justice, Access (DEIBJA) work in their day jobs. It’s already part of what many of us have to do just existing as a BIPOC and many of us are doing additional work as part of working groups and committees at our jobs. It’s often very taxing to be a BIPOC in this space.
In the spirit of “courageous conversations,” in a recent meeting I pushed back hard on the idea of “diversity of thought” in DEIBJA work. Of course diversity of thought is important, but it’s not a pillar of diversity we are talking about in this work and it is often brought up as a false equivalency. No one is getting hate-crimed because of diversity of thought. There are no special legal protections for diversity of thought. No one is whispering, “Oh him? Steve is our diversity hire. Yeah, he believes that the Earth is flat.”
I get it. Folks want to expand the term diversity to include everyone because people don’t want to be left out but the thing is, we are doing this work because people are being left out. If everyone is included, then it’s easy. It’s easy to say, “Look! We’re doing it!” rather than to really dig into who is being left out and why and how do we bring them into the fold.
Anyway, if you are doing DEIBJA work, especially unpaid but still as part of your day job or career, I see you. I appreciate you and yes we should be getting paid because it is work and I hope you’re being gentle with yourself.