Conversations about DEI can become complicated quickly. Here are 7 ideas allies can use to keep it simple.
For hopeful allies, conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) can become complicated quickly. Rather than give up, active allies should stay the course long-term despite painful interactions and push back.
As Dr. Nika White, author of Inclusion Uncomplicated: A Transformative Guide to Simplify DEI says, “Allyship is about being willing to be uncomfortable. Acknowledge the discomfort that comes for someone who’s on this journey, and know it will get hard at times if you’re truly committed to systemic change.”
Allyship is a journey, not a destination and it requires courage and vulnerability. Rather than being combative (which rarely changes people’s minds), allies realize the importance of meeting people where they are at with simple explanations.
Start with defining the what, why and how for DEI
With increased polarization comes the opportunity to simplify DEI by starting with what it really means and what it does not mean.
“Resistance to DEI is often a lack of clarity, which can lead to disengagement or even derailment of the work. To increase engagement and buy-in for DEI at your organization, you must unravel the complexity of diversity, equity, and inclusion, tease out the root causes of systemic oppression, and deliver simple, actionable tools for real change,” Dr. White believes.
It’s important that allies have clear language around what DEI means, why it matters on a personal level and what actions they are committed to taking long-term to address systemic issues. Don’t let people make up their own definitions.
Clarify misperceptions about polarizing terms like privilege, white supremacy or wokeness
Triggering words can shut down a conversation quickly. Take time to address common misperceptions. For example, privilege is about unearned advantages (not about being a bad person), white supremacy defines the ideology that white people are inherently better than people of color (not about hate groups) and woke means being aware of social issues (not being against people).
Set the tone by modeling inclusive language
Inclusive language is key to understanding differences. It signals…..
At Next Pivot Point we have lots of resources to help you facilitate successful diversity and inclusion initiatives. Schedule some time with our team today to discuss where to start or how to do better. You can also check out:
- Our available workshop topics for developing inclusive leaders.
- Our Train the Trainer programs for scalability within your organization
- Our Right-Sized DEI micro-content packages for consistent small-drip content throughout the year.