There are some foundational diversity and inclusion concepts that people interested in adopting an inclusive mindset (brave, humble, and dedicated) should be aware of. In this video, look at the importance of being brave and staying on the learning edge; identifying the differences between bias, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression; and understanding privilege in a way that enables you to leverage it for others.
- In the conversations about diversity and inclusion, it is critical that we develop an inclusive mindset that allows us to be brave, be humble, and be dedicated. What do we mean when we say that? This diagram was developed by the University of Michigan's Intergroup Dialogue Institute, and we use it in our company to talk about creating spaces that are both safe and brave. The center you'll see is a green area called the comfort zone. And what I like to say about the comfort zone is it's the place where you learn very little. It's who your friends are, what kind of music you like, your family, and even where you get your news from. A comfort zone's a great thing. But learning by definition means we come into contact with something that's unfamiliar, and unfamiliar is often uncomfortable. But if we can lean into this discomfort, then it can be our learning edge. And this we call constructive discomfort. What we don't want is for people to be in the red area, called the danger zone. You know, your palms start to sweat, your stomach is in knots, your heart starts to race. This is the place where you feel shut down, and unsafe, and threatened, and really unable to continue with your learning journey. Only you can know when you feel unsafe, but we're going to invite you to challenge the question of are you really unsafe, or are you just uncomfortable? Because if you shut down the second you're uncomfortable, you may miss out on a key learning opportunity. A lot of people spend a lot of their daily lives in the danger zone, and you have to consider whether that is your experience, or whether you even conscious of that phenomenon. If you don't think about where it's safe to walk at night, you're probably a man. And if you don't think about race in the United States, then you're probably white. And if you don't think about money, then you are for sure not low income. This is what we call the dreaded P word, privilege. There's a lot that's being said about the term privilege, but all of us have a complicated set of marginalized and privileged identities. Even though I'm a queer woman of color from a low income background, I still carry educational privilege, language privilege, citizenship privilege, all of these things that complicate my identity. If I ask you to think about your identity, you might not think first off about being a person who is able-bodied, but that's a privilege that most of us carry. And if you were blind or deaf, you'd have to make different accommodations just to watch this course. If you're in a wheelchair, then you have to think about whether there's a ramp on the other side of the street before you leave this side. Not thinking about an aspect of your identity is a telltale sign that you have privilege. And when we talk about an inclusive mindset, meaning that you need to be humble. It's owning up to that advantage. Here are four words that we've got to be dedicated enough to know the difference between. Bias, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression. We like to say that bias is not the shark, it's the water. All of us are biased. Every single person. Even as young as three, we start to have different ideas around who is good or bad. It's baked in to the way that we think. All of the brain science tells us so. But when we start to more consciously apply stereotypes to groups, we call that prejudice. That's the idea that we think anything is true about a whole group of people, whether it's people from a certain country, or who are a certain gender. Those are prejudices, even if you think they're positive. Now, when you combine prejudice with the opportunity to have power over outcomes for someone else, that's discrimination. If you are in a position where you hire, or you promote, or you have a business and you can choose who to serve, those are all places where you can have the power to negatively impact other people. And that power, writ large at the systemic level, is what we call oppression. What happens when a certain group maintains a level of power so that they can discriminate broadly and over a long period of time? Then we have systems of inequity in education, in economics, in our criminal justice system. And this is so important. If you're going to be dedicated to having an inclusive mindset, then you're going to have to name the difference between bias, prejudice, discrimination, and oppression, because it's key to dismantling inequity in our society.