Don’t Just Include Me

Posted on May 19, 2010

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These days there is so much talk about diversity. It is kind of a vogue thing for companies, organizations and groups to talk about being diverse. In no way am I saying that it is or is not a genuine desire. But what I am saying is, I don’t really see the desire producing much, which makes me question the depth of the desire.

Here’s the thing. I have had many conversations with many of my friends of varying racial and cultural backgrounds and I am really tired of talking. I am also tired of seeing weak attempts on all sides to include one African-American, one White, one Asian, one Latino or one woman as part of the panel or speaker line up for an event dominated by one group. One minority face included on the marketing material does not mean much.

Personally, I do not feel uncomfortable going to an event, working in an organization or interacting in an environment where I am under-represented. (I’ve been in the minority my whole life.) But I would like to see a genuine attempt at diversity that is more than including one minority face in a line up (or a less significant role like singing or performing).

The one suggestion I will offer today is this: Diversify the seats around the table where the decisions about the event or organization are made, then there will be a better chance of creating the diversity we say we want.

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