Conversations around Diversity (or DEIB - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging)

Karith Foster
Conversations around Diversity (or DEIB - Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging) are challenging these days. With language and terminology constantly evolving, best protocols may be apt to change as well. But here are some tried and true steadfast tools to keep the timely and sensitive conversations moving in the right direction.

These thoughtful Do’s and Don’ts can break a successful inclusive conversation or make one.

Don't assume that someone's political affiliation is all encompassing of their belief system.

There is NOT a majority rule party in America. According to the most recent gallup poll statistics 31% of people classify themselves as Republicans, while 27% identify as Democrats and the remaining 41% claim Independent as their political affiliation status. Unfortunately, in the United States of America we prescribe essentially to two political parties, sometimes three so people are forced to choose one of these categories. 

Do give someone the benefit of the doubt when asking questions.

Infinite curiosity should be celebrated- not just when we are young, but well into adulthood. When we stop being curious about one another we stop growing. Even more concerning is that we start down the path of apathy and indifference. For the record, the opposite of love isn't hate. The opposite of love is indifference. 

Don't assume that someone's family is just like they are.

Without confirmation, you don’t know who is married to someone of another ethnicity or religion or someone who is differently abled. You don’t know who has or comes from multi-racial family. Fun fact: more than 33 million Americans — about 1 in 10 — identify as being of two or more races, a number that grew by nearly 25 million people in the past decade, according to the 2020 Census. Multiracial people span all different combinations of races and ethnicities and make up the fastest-growing demographic in the country. While we’re on the topic, is it also not apparent who has someone in the LGBTQIA+ community among their loved ones. 

Do think about what it might feel like to be in someone else's shoes as well as in their seat.

Go the extra mile with your empathy and contemplate what they may be dealing with at that moment. Also do your best to see how things may look from where they are sitting. Different angles offer different perspectives.
What would Dr. King do?
Don’t assume that everyone is coming from the same place.

The human experience is a complex one. We have had different childhood experiences, good and bad. We've all had trauma in some form or fashion. But we do not all show our scars on the outside. 

Do see past someone's surface.

Some of the most unexpected yet celebrated revelations, lessons and epiphanies occur when we relinquish our judgment of another person. It’s easy to get caught up in image and circumstance and forget that things and people are not always as they appear.  

  • Don't assume ANYTHING about ANYONE
  • Do practice the Golden Rule. Treat others as you would like to be treated.