Motivational speaker Verna Myers says: “Diversity is being invited to the party, but inclusion is being asked to dance.”
In December I find myself looking back at what has been, and looking forward to what I hope will be. This time last year I hoped 2021 would be a better year for us all after lockdowns, restrictions and loss. While it has not been quite what I expected, I’m hopeful that we are living Choice Support’s vision to create a world where everyone matters and everyone cares.
This hope has been fuelled by all the people who have joined Choice Support's new networks that focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion. We live in a world where, despite laws, people still face exclusion and discrimination every day. We know this from hearing the real-life experiences of colleagues who come to the Diverse Voices and LGBTQ+ networks. It is important that we hear the voices of the people around us and reflect on what this means for us as individuals and colleagues. We also hear joy in the many stories of life, traditions, positive action, and change.
I want us to move beyond the sound bites that say diversity is having a seat at the table, inclusion is having a voice and belonging is having that voice heard. These sentiments may be true, but are empty unless the people they speak to feel differently about the world they live in. There was one sound bite that I did like, the motivational speaker Verna Myers said: “Diversity is being invited to the party, but inclusion is being asked to dance.” My hope for 2022 is that we dance together. Our dances may be stilted and awkward at times, and it may require some bravery to get on the dance floor first. If we can dance collectively, we will learn new things, find new connections, see the world differently and discover the joy in the real meaning of equality, diversity, and inclusion. Wishing a Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year.