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The Other Side of the Diversity and Racial Equity Conversation

are strange times... or is it? In the thirty years that I have been in the business of coaching and advising business and industry, its leaders Diversity and Racial Equity Conversation, work through their issues and challenges surrounding Diversity and Racial Equity by conducting trainings and other initiatives. But when leadership changes and the challenge diminishes, so to does the focus. When it comes to building effective leadership and sustainable success around the realm of Diversity and Racial Equity there continues to be an awkward silence in the room.

We still have to keep in mind that there are those who did not experience the challenges of disparate or overt discrimination, or exclusion, or access denied because of the neighborhood in which they were raised. Then there are those who have escaped into the "land of opportunity" and those who have still been left behind. Some of you may think that I am talking about just the Black/Brown and White debate. But more and more it is becoming economic. That is another article.

For this discussion, The question is... "If we were to asked the question of how do people on the "other side" of the conversation take in all of the various positions in, what would that sound or look like?

First, I want the readers of this article to understand that I am not advocating for any particular group or side. But being in the thick of things through my Consulting Practice I see and hear a lot of stuff. (that is a technical term). There is one side, that for me has been missing from the recent conversation of Equity, Privilege and Inclusion. I just wanted to share a few more balanced observations based on observation and feedback.

"Justice for all" is the same with the exception of the punctuation marks. Experience is showing that with some groups, the rules of engagement are clearly defined. However, with others, there is latitude. The result is extended stays in public facilities or even death. And in other instances, lighter sentences or cancelled sentencing. Again, this is the conversation.

No matter how you look at it, or what category you fall into. we all need to continue to talk about realistic solutions to the FEARS that exist and collaborate to squash mis-information and political agendas that are driving our United States apart. Fear and ignorance due to lack of exposure, regardless of the Group you claim drives this ongoing lopsided dialogue.

America is an extraordinary country and there is enough to "go around." What we need to keep in mind is that relationships do make a difference. And the first step is starting or continuing the conversation. And for Diversity and Inclusion to have real substance, everyone needs to sit at the table not just when we are made to, but because it is good for the community and business. We all win. And be honest in their commentary with a "WHY" the emotion is being felt. Most important, LISTENING will be the key to the Success of moving forward together.

Gail Birks is available for bookings at Contact Ms. Birks at 954-476-3525 or

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