Inclusion v. Tolerance: More than food for thought

Posted by on Nov 11, 2016 in bullying, inclusion

Over the past year, higher education has had an intense national conversation about the need to diversify its faculty, staff and executive administration. This time has long been coming, as a majority of the young people born are black, brown and beige. The United States is evolving into a “minority-majority” country. When I started my career in the early 1990s, often the word “tolerance” was used. TOLERANCE… and all I could think of is tolerating the taste of bad medicine, tolerating the cold. TOLERANCE. The word doesn’t mean you want me there… just that you tolerate me, put up with me. In 2016, this newer wave of activism by our young people has challenged tolerance and transcended to INCLUSION. The cultures from our community mosaic should be included, and not just in a culinary way. So often inclusion is dealt with by serving different foods from around the world… there is much more to it than that. Inclusion means tempering those micro aggressions, comments that show one’s bias about race, gender, or sexual orientation. Inclusion means allowing and truly inviting other voices to the table, without reprisal. Inclusion means equal pay for equal work, while differential pay shows whom you truly value. Inclusion means striving to understand people who grew up in different communities, backgrounds, and social economic status, and avoid jumping to conclusions about what they/we should or should not study, read, or write. We have an awesome time here; sure change is contentious, but we have a change to truly create that new nation. What we need to realize, is that the change is now, upon us know at work, in school, in our communities. Much more than food for thought. Originally posted on Annie Jennings...

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