Beginner Training Resources
This training will help your DEI Committee look for opportunities to speak and act against unfair behaviors and amplify the views of those who don’t experience the privilege of the majority of the group.
This resource will provide your committee with basic insight and tips for a well-rounded perspective on addressing DEI issues in the workplace.
Problematic DEI Narratives
Blog Post 6.2021
The Racial and Diversity climate has yet again changed due to the events of 2020. As a result, you may have attended 1 or 2 or several Diversity and Inclusion trainings recently! Although well-meaning, I want to share with you some statements that I have heard repeated by DEI consultants and programs that may be informing the narrative of Diversity Equity and Inclusion at your organization, and why I consider them to be problematic.
“DEI helps to increase your company’s bottom line and revenue”- When we frame Diversity, Equity and Inclusion solely as a business model to help make more money, we place it in the same vein as capitalist cultural appropriation- Using something someone else naturally possesses and turning it into a profit to help you gain financial capital or social capital. Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is first and foremost an ethical guideline for who your company is and will be with regard to how you will value historically marginalized communities of people, not a driver for monetary gain. Equity and Inclusion will help make your company better because it's the right thing to do.
“DEI is important now because the makeup of the majority of the future labor force will be Black and Brown”
Fostering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in this narrative makes it seem like DEI was not important before, as though it shouldn’t have been a pillar of ethical business standards prior to the racial shift in the population, and because now that the Black and Brown population is increasing, we need to help Whites understand how to “work better” with this growing population. We cannot minimize DEI to a solution to help Whites work better with non-whites. Leadership, wage gaps, allyship, and inclusive decision-making are all deeply important reasons to implement DEI initiatives.
“Establishing DEI committee, frameworks and values is our primary goal” Yes, DEI initiatives exist because Black, Asian, Female, Neurodiverse, LGBTQ and non-white Hispanic populations have been disproportionately socially and financially displaced in the workplace en masse. However, a workplace where minority populations make up the majority of the workforce does not transfer the majority of the wealth in this country. This shift is not necessarily a symmetrical benefit for the communities mentioned above. The systemic and inherited wealth of the US lies in a small percentage of White families. This is another "feel better about your company statement" with no accountability tied to it. DEI again is a tool, an ethical guideline a set of anti-racial, anti-discrimination standards. Daily bias checks, daily learning and daily committing will always need to be performed in order to achieve equity. We need to ensure our Values and Vision are internal drivers for external action not sentiment.
If you have come across these statements at a seminar or training, hopefulIy I've informed you on how they can be damaging to the narrative of equity. If we keep an open mind to remaining teachable in this field, we can ensure that our narratives are continuing to positively shape our justice efforts.