After listening to Stacey Abrams share her story and the three questions to ask yourself, I felt more grounded in the work that I do with equity and diversity. As the week is coming to an end, this video is an empowering reminder to stay in the work. You are needed!
Change is hard. That is a statement that I have said and thought so many times as I think about how to navigate organizations that could use a change or two but are too deep in their organizational norms and beliefs to move the needle a fraction in a new direction. Bulldog Drummond posted this article as a starting place to facilitate change within an organization that is deeply rooted. The suggestions offered are encouraging starting places and can help you enjoy the small wins that come with doing challenging work.
As a woman of color, it provided me with additional language to better understand how an organization that is lacking diversity across the spectrum would need additional supports. For example, the suggestion to "Honor the past." For some organizations, their past has been harmful to others. This suggestion made me think about the importance of stating the good aspects of the past while still acknowledging and pushing for equitable change.
Deeply rooted organizations may not be ships that will be able to turn course within a year but the tips in this article can help you find your starting place.
I have an automatic, negative reaction to the phrase “the business case for” + any equity-related issue. This particular reaction recently came up for me as I was reading a business journal for work. As a social researcher, I wanted to know what the business world had to say about equity issues and how to approach them, as that world is highly influential in my subset of academia which is very chatty about equity these days. I should have expected a “business case for” equity mindset to be prevalent throughout the read but hope, as usual, led me to disappointment. Page four featured a letter from the CEO titled, “Diversity: the Business Case and Beyond” and page 28 began an article on how “empowering young women” can be used as a strategy for attracting new clients.Read More
Equity work is many things. It is fulfilling, powerful, and chock full of potential to change the world around you, be it in small or significant ways. We know the work is difficult, but that’s part of what makes it so important to be involved. Without effort, change won’t happen.
It is important, however, to recognize that equity work can be beyond difficult. It can be exhausting. The work is non-stop; when you live and breathe an equity mindset, you have to apply it to every aspect of your life. Equity work requires self reflection, some of which can be disheartening, even devastating as your realize that people whom you might love very much hold dehumanizing opinions of you or other people you care about. Finally, it’s disruptive, meaning that it often isn’t supported by your workplace. For these reasons, it is no wonder that many of us wind up “burned out.”