The advantages of diversity, equity, and inclusion are innumerable and impactful. To understand the advantages of embracing diversity, we must first comprehend that diversity is multi-faceted and includes individuals of all races, ages, religions, socio-economic backgrounds, gender identities, sexual orientations, veteran status, abilities, and more. We also must understand that equity can, among other things, address pay inequity. Lastly, inclusion improves accessibility for displaced communities.
Recent protests that took place across the United States in connection with the George Floyd killing in Minneapolis remind us that we, as a nation, still have a long way to go with regard to equity and race relations. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to take its toll on our country, infection and death rates of communities of color have laid bare the inequities that exist within our nation’s healthcare system. Many credible sources have confirmed that the COVID-19 infection and death rates of communities of color are generally higher than those of the rest of the nation.
As individuals, we can become agents of transformative change. There are several ways in which we can embrace, advocate for, and enact diversity, equity, and inclusion, such as by:
- reaching out to your local, state, or national political officials to advocate for strengthening existing laws or creating new legislation and policies that further ensure equity and inclusion in housing, education, the workplace, healthcare, and more;
- advocating for or strengthening employer policies and procedures that ensure a corporate culture where diversity, equity and inclusion is embraced and discrimination is not tolerated. Many employers already have policies that deal with equity, inclusion, and discriminating behavior and practices, but as many of us know, there are some employers who do not;
- developing, implementing, and/or advocating for trainings and seminars that focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, volunteer organizations, schools, colleges, and universities; and
- expanding your own personal and professional networks to include diverse individuals. Such diverse networks can give you opportunities to learn about different perspectives, cultures, and backgrounds, start and continue dialogues that address disparities, and open previously unknown frontiers.
More individuals, organizations, and corporate entities realize that diversity, equity, and inclusion spur competition, recruiting, retention, productivity, mutual understanding, and strengthened communal bonds within our nation. For these reasons and more, it is my hope that the future of our nation will include a much stronger commitment to the many strengths and benefits of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Bobby T. Rimas
University of La Verne Legal Studies Advisory Committee Member