Reflecting on a Year of Progress: Our End-of-Year IDEA Newsletter
Director, Marketing and Sales
From Questions to Understanding: Celebrating 2SLGBTQI+ Communities
On June 17th of this year, over 400 webinar subscribers registered for Akira DeCarlo’s webinar on the topic of Celebrating and Elevating 2SLGBTQI+ Communities. If you missed it, don’t worry, you can still access the recording here!
To provide some additional clarity and support on the topic, our team has compiled this comprehensive FAQ, addressing some of the most common queries received during the delivery of the webinar.1. What are some of your suggestions on how to handle the attacks on the queer community with things like anti-trans bills and feeling safe?
There are many ways to handle the symptoms of the anti-trans political climate in the workplace, especially regarding safety:
2SLGBTQI+-specific benefits are the number one thing many older 2SLGBTQI+ individuals look for when wondering if they will be safe at work. Especially in times when their rights are being taken away, having these benefits can be a counter to the continued legislative and institutional attacks.
Also, if a company or an organization is explicit about their commitment to the community, they should also be explicitly taking a firmer public stance against these bills.
Queer people are queer all year long, not just 30 days in June, and they want to feel safe and included the other 11 months of the year, too. You can work on your acknowledgment of this via your external support, by signaling public support for 2SLGBTQI+ friendly policies. It might mean signing letters like Human Rights Campaign or making sure you have values statements in places where you field candidate queries or applications, such as your jobs page and company LinkedIn profile.
Make sure your policies and company training are 2SLGBTQI+ inclusive: those policies can include “supporting leave for transitioning colleagues; allowing employees to use the bathroom facilities they find most comfortable, including all-gender options; and ensuring that HR systems are inclusive of all employees’ genders and pronouns, including allowing changes to documents and records” for transitioning workers.2. Do you have any advice on how to show allyship when people around you are flaunting their privilege? How do we help people realize the privilege they have?
Showing allyship and helping people recognize their privilege can be a delicate and nuanced process. It’s important to approach these conversations with empathy, patience, and a willingness to listen and understand. Here are some strategies you could put into practice:
- Educate Yourself: Before addressing the issue, make sure you have a solid understanding of privilege, its various forms, and its impact on marginalized communities. This will help you speak more confidently and provide accurate information.
- Lead by Example: Model the behaviour you want to see. Show genuine respect, humility, and empathy in your interactions. By demonstrating the values of allyship, you create a positive influence that others may choose to follow.
- Initiate Open Conversations: Approach the individual in a non-confrontational and non-judgmental manner. Express your desire to discuss privilege and its effects, focusing on education rather than blame. Use "I" statements to convey your perspective and feelings, which can be less accusatory.
- Ask Thoughtful Questions: Encourage introspection by asking questions that prompt individuals to consider their own experiences and biases. For example, "Have you ever faced any challenges related to your background?" or "Can you think of situations where your privilege might have played a role?"
- Provide Real-World Examples: Use concrete examples to illustrate how privilege manifests in everyday situations. This can help individuals see the unequal opportunities and advantages that exist.
- Use Statistics and Data: Presenting data and statistics that highlight disparities can be powerful in demonstrating the reality of privilege. However, be mindful of how you present this information to avoid sounding accusatory.
- Acknowledge Defensiveness: Understand that discussions about privilege can sometimes trigger defensiveness. Be prepared for resistance and acknowledge their feelings without invalidating them. Respond with patience and understanding.
- Avoid Blame and Shame: The goal is to foster understanding and growth, not to shame or blame. Focus on the system rather than individual guilt. Help them see that recognizing privilege is a step towards creating a more just society.
- Listen Actively: Give them the space to express their thoughts and feelings. Active listening can create an atmosphere of trust and encourage more open dialogue.
- Be Patient: Changing perspectives takes time. Be patient and recognize that the process of realizing one's privilege and making meaningful change can be gradual.
3. Does tokenism only pertain to prominent positions, or does it extend to other roles as well? How can you tell the difference between tokenism and authenticity?
Tokenism can extend beyond just prominent positions and can be present in various roles and situations. Tokenism refers to the practice of including individuals from underrepresented groups in a superficial or symbolic way to create the appearance of diversity and inclusivity without addressing the underlying systemic issues or providing them with meaningful opportunities and influence.
Distinguishing between tokenism and authenticity can sometimes be complex, but here are some key points to consider:
- Intent vs. Impact: Tokenism often stems from well-intentioned efforts to increase diversity or avoid criticism. However, the impact of tokenism is that it can marginalize individuals by making them feel like they're only there to fulfill a diversity quota rather than being valued for their skills and contributions.
- Inclusion vs. Visibility: Authentic diversity and inclusion involve providing individuals with meaningful roles, responsibilities, and decision-making power. Tokenism, on the other hand, focuses on surface-level representation without giving individuals the opportunity to participate and contribute truly.
- Substantive Involvement: Authenticity is characterized by actively involving individuals in decision-making, collaboration, and meaningful tasks. Tokenism, on the other hand, might involve giving individuals low-impact or superficial tasks that don't contribute significantly to the organization or project.
- Genuine Support: Authentic efforts involve providing support, mentorship, and resources to individuals from underrepresented groups to help them succeed. Tokenism often lacks this support and leaves individuals isolated.
- Long-Term Commitment: Authentic inclusion is a long-term commitment to creating an inclusive culture and addressing systemic barriers. Tokenism tends to be a short-term or superficial fix that doesn't address the root causes of inequality.
- Diverse Perspectives: Authenticity values the diverse perspectives and experiences that individuals from different backgrounds bring. Tokenism might tokenize a single aspect of a person's identity without considering the full range of their contributions.
- Feedback and Input: In authentic environments, individuals are encouraged to provide feedback and input, and their perspectives are taken seriously. In tokenistic situations, their voices might be disregarded or overlooked.
- Sensitivity to Concerns: In authentic spaces, concerns raised by underrepresented individuals about their treatment and opportunities are taken seriously and addressed. In tokenistic situations, these concerns might be dismissed or downplayed.
Diversity and Inclusion Training for Individuals: Fostering Understanding and Empathy
Inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA) training for individuals goes beyond corporate initiatives; it's about equipping you with the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to collaborate and manage complexity in a meaningful way. For years, CCDI Consulting has offered training to individuals via live workshops and self-paced eLearning modules. From introductory topics like IDEA Fundamentals and Introduction to Unconscious Bias to more advanced IDEA topics such as Understanding Privilege, Introduction to Cultural Competence and Indigenous Inclusion.
But why is IDEA Training Important for Individuals?
IDEA training begins with self-awareness; the more that we understand ourselves and what perspectives we hold, the more that we can identify when someone holds an experience that differs. IDEA training is for everyone. Diversity includes all identities, and inclusion is about creating spaces where all of those identities can thrive IDEA training also helps individuals understand the experiences and perspectives of others. Through storytelling and experiential learning, it enables people to empathize with individuals from diverse backgrounds.
Furthermore, effective communication is essential for building diverse and inclusive communities. IDEA training teaches active listening, open dialogue, and respectful communication while equipping individuals with practical strategies for promoting inclusivity in their personal and professional lives.
Benefits of IDEA Training for Individuals
- Increased Self-awareness: IDEA training encourages self-awareness and personal growth. It challenges individuals to broaden their perspectives and embrace lifelong learning.
- Empathy: Better understanding and empathy lead to improved relationships with colleagues, friends, and family members. .
- Globalized Skills: Inclusive workplaces value diverse perspectives and talents. IDEA training can enhance an individual's career prospects by fostering the skills needed in today's globalized job market.
- Conflict Resolution: Effective communication and conflict resolution skills acquired through IDEA training help individuals navigate difficult conversations and reduce conflicts related to diversity and inclusion.
- Community Impact: IDEA-trained individuals often become advocates for change in their communities. They can contribute to building more inclusive and equitable societies.
What to look for in IDEA Training for Individuals
When considering IDEA training for individuals, it’s essential, as a learner, that the training meet a certain criterion to be effective. Here are key factors to look for in IDEA training:
- Comprehensive Content: IDEA training should cover a wide range of topics related to inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility. It should encompass not only theoretical concepts but also practical strategies and real-world examples.
- Inclusive Facilitators: facilitators should have expertise in IDEA topics and be skilled in creating an inclusive and safe learning environment. Education, work experience and lived experience are all important factors to consider.
- Accessibility: Ensure that IDEA training is accessible to all individuals, considering abilities, preferences, and needs. This may involve providing materials in multiple languages and formats so that individuals can engage in accordance with their needs.
- Networking: Look for opportunities to learn from others on an individual IDEA journey. What have been their accomplishments and their opportunities in this space?
- Engagement: effective IDEA training incorporates experiential learning methods. Seek training that uses interactive and participatory methods to engage individuals actively. Role-playing, group discussions, and real-life scenarios can make the training more effective.
- Measurement and Evaluation: IDEA training should include mechanisms for assessing the impact of the training. Look for evaluation mechanisms, such as surveys and debriefs, to assess the impact of IDEA training.
- Ongoing Learning: IDEA training should not be a one-time event. It's important to continue your learning journey through books, workshops, online resources, and engagement with diverse communities. What resources are available before and after training to support learners?
IDEA training for individuals is a powerful tool for fostering understanding, empathy, and inclusivity in our increasingly diverse world. By raising awareness, challenging biases, and equipping individuals with the skills to navigate diversity, such training contributes to building more equitable and harmonious societies. While challenges and criticisms exist, the benefits of IDEA training are substantial, making it a valuable investment in personal growth, professional development, and social progress. Embracing diversity and inclusion at the individual level is not just a choice; it's a responsibility that leads to a brighter and more inclusive future for all.
Big Ideas in IDEA Monthly Poll
In Case You Missed It
Important Days of Awareness
- December 3: International Day of Persons with Disabilities
→ United Nations
→ World Health Organization
→ International Day of People with Disabilities
- December 6: The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women
→ Government of Canada
→ National Day Calendar
- December 10: Human Rights Day
Disclaimer: Our newsletter and blogs feature personal opinions and diverse viewpoints. We aim to create a safe space for our team to share their perspectives on diversity and inclusion. Please note that individual articles may not align with every reader's view or comprehensively cover a topic. We appreciate the diversity of opinions and respect our team's contributions.