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Event Recap: Reflections on diversity

main.jpgA few weeks ago, over 40 YNPN-TC members gathered at Goodwill-Easter Seals to talk diversity and inclusion. But this was not your average, token diversity training session. The event was conducted using the Open Space format, which means the agenda had not been set when the event began.

So how on earth did any type of meaningful discussion transpire? Well, it began with a few brave attendees throwing out the first discussion topics. The rest of the participants joined them in small groups to delve into a variety of issues according to their interests.

Participants examined the importance of diversity through the lens of history, considered how pre-conceived notions can hinder inclusion, debriefed about diverse teams that have worked, and discussed what YNPN-TC can do to promote diversity, among other topics. At the end of the event, attendees came together and reflected on their conversations. Check out some of those reflections below.

Reflection # 1: There is a desire for better diversity training and more conversations about diversity at work.

What participants said:

  • “I’d like to find more diverse mentors.”
  • “Who is responsible for conversations about diversity in an organization?”
  • “I’d like to create safe spaces within my organization.”
  • “Non-profits need to do a better job educating their employees about the history of oppression.”

Reflection #2: It’s okay to feel uncomfortable when discussing issues related to diversity. Be open to the views of others and ask the same of them.

What participants said:

  • “Everyone encounters/experiences diversity differently.”
  • “Putting oneself in vulnerable/uncomfortable situations is important.”
  • “Be open to making mistakes in conversations about diversity and inclusion.”

Reflection #3: You can make a difference in creating a more diverse and inclusive world.

What participants said:

  • “Diversity is a shared responsibility.”
  • “What do you do when someone you care about says something that offends you?”
  • “Challenge assumptions.”

How do you and/or the organization you work for incorporate diversity and inclusion into your work?


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