A Gemisode™ Series – Part II
In part I, we shared established terms connected to the tenets of diversity and then offered our own and broader approach, AJEDI-B ™. We then went on to highlight the harm and impact marginalized communities experience as a result of organizations continually narrowing diversity to an exercise of count.
So, you want to be AJEDI-B™ Master? Great!
First things first, you’ll need to do some soul searching on yourself and your organization to be clear on where you are now, where you want to be and most importantly, why you want to get there. If you are solely focused on the “business case for diversity and inclusion” and the profit and innovation increases that come with diverse workforces, STOP NOW! While it is true that several studies have been conducted and articles written highlighting the benefits of diversity, more recent research has linked organizational focus on diversity as a way to boost performance to the “detrimental consequences for the very applicants that organizations seek to attract”.
To truly understand the value (or for some, perceived threat) of AJEDI-B™ (Accessibility, Justice, Empathy, Diversity, and Inclusion, without which there is no Belonging) you’ll first need to acknowledge that as a society and as people, we often resist the tenets of AJEDI-B™ and fail to fully embrace the systemic actions and behaviors necessary for them to be actualized. Once you’ve gotten past the acknowledgement stage, the why behind the role you have had, or may currently have in resisting change(s), may become more clear. Should you then decide to embark on the life-long journey of self and social interrogation to dismantle systems of oppression, consider the following costs and benefits questions: what you will lose (real or perceived)? What might you gain by maintaining the status quo? Who will be impacted by your decisions and who won’t be?
While we don’t believe it possible to ever ‘arrive’ and be an expert when it comes to creating and maintaining true diversity, equity, inclusion and ultimately belonging (#GemAlert – psychological safety is not possible without belonging). We believe that it is possible, through curiosity, acknowledging biases and impact, being open to correction and growth, and having the willingness to adopt new approaches, that we all have the ability to master the commitment necessary for the AJEDI-B™ journey.
The journey to mastery is continuous…
- Acknowledge and Accept the stated experiences of others as well as your own biases and privileges
- Activate Awareness through self education before noting growth needs in others
- Access for All people must be a guaranteed right, not a protected privilege
- Accountability processes must be embedded into plans, policies, and practices
- Abolish harmful policies and practices to Adopt systems of healing, accountability, and humility
AJEDI-B™ mastery is an ever-evolving journey of self-assessment and adjustment, there is no final destination.