Diversity advocates cannot avoid dealing with the intersection of inclusive diversity and robust speech. Tensions between those two imperatives are inevitable. These tensions complicate our efforts to address such speech-related issues as privilege, power, marginalization, hostile work environments, and the expression of intergroup hate.
This is the third in a series of columns based on my research as a current fellow of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. In the first two columns I argued that diversity advocates should not be drawn into the position of opposing free speech. We don’t need to, because totally “free” speech does not exist in the United States.
Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 3: The Diversity Movement – by Carlos E. Cortés
In my first column in this series, I began a discussion of the intersection of diversity and speech. This has grown out of my research as a current fellow of the University of California National Center for Free Speech and Civic Engagement. Let me expand upon those ideas.
The basic point is this: in the United States, free speech does not really exist. It is an inspiring metaphor, but not an actual reality. Unfortunately, the term has been overused. Today people throw “free speech” around in a helter skelter manner. Too often the term serves as an all-purpose knee-jerk response to diversity advocates when they raise issues of inequitable and non-inclusive language. At times it can short-circuit serious diversity discussions.
Our nation’s speech system is far too complex to be captured by those two words, “free speech.”
Continue reading Diversity and Speech Part 2: A Changing Context – by Carlos E. Cortés
It’s Time for A Paradigm Shift
Diversity is increasingly becoming a powerful force in the determination of an organization’s success. Everyone has talents, some of which are recognized and used, and others never identified and thus never put into use. Organizations that engage diverse teams can draw on the synergy associate with it to innovate and subsequently achieve unprecedented success. It is evidenced in Harvard Business Review article, titled, “How diversity can drive innovation.” In that piece, (Hewlett, Marshall & Sherbin) assert, “Employees of firms with 2-D diversity are 45% likelier to report a growth in market share over the previous year and 70% likelier to report that the firm captured a new market.”
Considering various research showing the correlation between diversity and business success, many organizations are now, for good reasons, calling for greater diversity in the board room and significant areas of leadership in our global market place. There is clearly ubiquitous evidence demonstrating that diversity correlates with business success. McKinsey and company assert “New research makes it increasingly clear that companies with more diverse workforces perform better financially.” According to Deloitte, “Diversity and inclusion at the workplace are now CEO-level issues, but they continue to be frustrating and challenging for many companies.”
Continue reading The Era of Diversity Talk and No Action Is Over – by Joseph Nwoye
In case you missed it, October was National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). However, you may not have noticed due to several other monthly observances nationwide. NDEAM is sponsored annually in October by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, which says the observance dates back to 1945.
Did you know? The employment population ratio for people without disabilities (65.7%) was more than triple that of people with disabilities (18.7%) in 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Continue reading Disability Awareness: Five Questions for EEOC – by David B. Grinberg
Starbucks’ plan for an afternoon of unconscious bias training is admirable but may not be effective. The fuzzy, vague term of unconscious bias is often applied indiscriminately, but unconscious bias isn’t a one-size-fits-all term amenable to a one afternoon of training. Yes, it can refer to the incident where the police were called to arrest two African-Americans waiting for a meeting at Starbucks. But it can also mean only smiling at customers that look like you, rejecting resumes from diverse applicants, and promoting the employees who resemble the current leadership team. If we want to address unconscious bias effectively, we need to first be aware of how the senses, emotions, and brain interact to create unconscious bias. Second, we must go beyond awareness of our biases to sensitivity to their impact. Lastly, we need to develop a system that internalizes wise decision making with ongoing reinforcement of that competence.
Continue reading The Challenge of Unconscious Bias – by Deborah Levine
“Diversity defines the health and wealth of nations in a new century. Mighty is the mongrel. The hybrid is hip. The impure, the mélange, the adulterated, the blemished, the rough, the black-and-blue, and the mix-and-match – these people are inheriting the earth. Mixing is the new norm. Mixing trumps isolation. It spawns creativity, nourishes the human spirit, spurs economic growth and empowers nations.”
As much as I’d like to, I can’t claim that the above quote belongs to yours truly. No. Its actual source is G. Pascal Zachary’s, The Global Me: New Cosmopolitans and the Competitive Edge.
Initial reactions aside, you have to admit that this one’s a classic thought-provoker. Once I ceased quibbling over Zachary’s intriguing choice of words and began really processing this on a much deeper level, it started to hit home.
And here’s why.
Continue reading Mighty is the Mongrel: Diversity – by Terry Howard
We in the diversity world need a new pair of words. Or maybe they already exist and I just don’t know about them. Here’s my concern.
In November I had a discussion with my cyberpal Neal Goodman, president of Global Dynamics. Neal had just read “Toward a 21st-Century Interculturalism: Reflections of a Cranky Old Historian,” my keynote address at the October, 2017, national conference of the Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research. In that talk I had contrasted the words ethnonym and ethnophaulism.
Continue reading Needed: Some New Diversity Language – by Carlos E. Cortés
‘Terry, I’m (gasp) an atheist!’ There was not a hint of anger in her during the entire time “Mary” and I talked that afternoon in the crowded sandwich shop. In fact, it was just the opposite. “Mary” laughed, we laughed, so hard and so much that out of the corner of my eye I could see icy stares from booths nearby “telling us” to pipe down so that they could get back to their business dealings, grandkiddos, tuna sandwiches, chips and lattes. Here’s the email “Mary” sent me the Friday before that prompted that late Monday meeting:
Continue reading The Atheism Challenge – by Terry Howard
Deborah: Sadly, I’m watching yet another evacuation of a Jewish center on TV. I know what it’s like to oversee an evacuation during a bomb threat. I was in charge of security at a Jewish agency in Chicago, was trained by the FBI in security after the Oklahoma City bombing, and oversaw the design for a secure Jewish Community Center in Chattanooga.
Continue reading Counteracting Hate with Positive Diversity Stories – by Deborah Levine & Terry Howard
Mauricio Velasquez is the President & Founder of Diversity Training Group (DTG). In this interview he shares his observations of current trends in Diversity & Inclusion. With more than 25 years experience in diversity field, Mauricio is a mover & shaker in the business, government, and education sectors. Check out his analysis of the diversity issues in the 2017 workplace and hear his strategies for dealing with their increasing intensity.
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