Updated: Jan 6
One of the hottest trends is the DEI Movement: Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Just read what fashion curator, Andrew Bolton, said about 2021’s September MET Gala, “I think young designers, in particular, are at the vanguard of discussions about diversity and inclusion...” Netflix recently released a report on their diversity, equity and inclusion steps. It is becoming a crucial part of our new cultural identity. So, what exactly does all this mean?
It means nurturing an environment where people’s differences are welcomed, heard, and respected. It allows for an environment of empathy and an awareness of others in general, as well as providing a sense of belonging. DEI emphasizes that processes and programs should be impartial, fair and provide equal possible outcomes for every individual. Diversity includes differences that may include race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, socioeconomic status, language, (dis)ability, age, religious commitment, or political perspective, etc.
As the world continues to expand globally and we as people evolve, it is important to consider DEI not just in businesses for better outputs and increased productivity but also in the way we live life. The world is getting smaller, and we are more connected to one another than ever before.
I am passionate about the DEI movement mostly because I am a person of neural diversity, female, and a person of (part) Asian ethnicity. I never felt like I fit in or belonged anywhere.
This movement provides people with neural diversity the opportunity to speak up about their experiences and share their challenges. The DEI Movement hopes to bring awareness and insight into what it’s like to be neurally diverse and provides the opportunity to create changes where they could better use their strengths as opposed to just doing things because everyone else is doing it. The movement can also start dialogues about how intelligence can show up in different ways. That is: there’s not only one type of smart.
I can only speak from my own experience—I was nervous about sharing about my neural diversity, given the stigma I feel is associated with it, and for fear of being seen as inadequate or only seen as my neural diversity and not a whole person.
Whether it’s a conversation about neural diversity, race, gender, beliefs, etc., I think underneath all the different topics, the real conversation we are having is all about welcoming differences, bringing awareness about all the uniqueness we have in the world. I think by bringing a specific topic (e.g., diversity, race, gender, etc.), the DEI movement provides the ability for people to relate to them on a more personal level. It’s a conversation starter, and it all goes towards the same goal, just a different path to get there.
Things can start to change when we bring awareness and curiosity to the topics. I think it’s important to come with the intention of openness to listen and a desire to understand the differences we all have. To do this, we need to partner with each other and figure out how to best move forward together. Also, we need to realize that we have the same goal of wanting to belong, feel safe and be heard. It’s not a conversation to divide but rather to unite humanity.
So, let’s have conversations, start dialogues, share our stories. Let’s be vulnerable and courageous. If you are in a place of power, be an advocate and create a safe place for people to speak truthfully. Educate and bring about awareness. Sometimes people are not aware of the impact they have on others. There are numerous social media platforms to share these days –Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Linked In, YouTube. Within Facebook, Twitter, Linked In and YouTube. You can also find specific topics/groups to follow that are within your specific interest. Do a quick Google search of an online blog of your interest, and request to see if you can contribute to their blog. You could check out your local community for upcoming town halls where you could possibly share. Or perhaps at your company, you could reach out to your HR organization to see what opportunities there are to share or present your thoughts.
Change needs to happen everywhere. However, given that we spend most of our time at work or working, it would make sense for change to happen across businesses. Change needs to happen at the individual level, and I think this change needs to be modeled at the leadership level.
Like all change, it begins with one: one person, one situation, one thought, one act of inclusion.
As a way to spread awareness and change culture one person at a time, I decided to create a way for anyone to be able to easily achieve a DEI mindset to start their day, and I am currently in the midst of designing a DEI inspirational Card Deck. I also have plans of spearheading DEI in the literary world by developing a publishing company focused on publishing DEI and neurodiverse authors.
In all of these endeavours, I hope to help to create a world where everyone can live their best lives authentically without shame or hindrances, and instead celebrate others and themselves. Please subscribe to my newsletter or follow me on social media for updates on my projects. And don’t forget… stay magical, my friends.
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