“We must intentionally include so as to not unintentionally exclude.”
“We don’t discriminate, everyone is welcome here!” It sounds good on the surface, and it has great intentions behind it (refer to Core Principle #2 to reflect on Intentions ≠ Impact [link to blog post]). However, what does that phrase mean to someone who has historically been excluded? What about someone who has never been invited into the space or had their voice represented at the table?
When creating equitable spaces, such as in the workplace, it is common to focus on the needs of those who are already present and active in that space. To be truly equitable and inclusive, it is essential to consider the needs of those who may feel unrepresented, underrepresented, or unheard. Think about how you can reach out to individuals from marginalized communities that are not present at the table. Intentionally bring their voices and ideas into the work that is being done. Listen genuinely to overcome any exclusionary practices that may be occurring accidentally. While it can be helpful to leave the door open for new perspectives to arrive at the space in their own time, it is much more beneficial to bring excluded communities to that open door.
We invite you to take some time this week to journal and reflect – what is one thing you can do to intentionally include individuals from underrepresented or historically excluded communities? How will you identify places for improvement that may be causing accidental exclusion?