“Seek to impact someone’s heart, which will ultimately change their mind.”
Have you ever seen a Ted Talk, an interview, or a spoken word performance that made you see something in an entirely new light? Did it make you reconsider any previous biases or assumptions that you may have had? The feeling that changed your perspective was empathy, and the fact that you are reflecting on it now means it holds a special place in your heart. This is why our Core Principle #4 is, “Seek to impact someone’s heart, which will ultimately change their minds.”
There is a place and time for everything, including statistics and data. Often, when we quantify results, it gives validity to a study. However, we do not want to focus exclusively on quantifiable JEDI efforts. At US2, we want to demonstrate how understanding our own biases creates awareness, and hearing stories of others’ experiences helps us develop a sense of empathy. This empathy is what moves us from a place of discrimination, whether intentional or unintentional, into being non-discriminatory. This is when we choose to be accountable for our words and actions and make a conscious effort to not discriminate. From there, we can become anti-discriminatory by choosing to speak up when we encounter or witness an injustice and taking action against it.
We at US² also believe in sharing stories from when we have experienced marginalization and stories of times we participated in discrimination. It is humanizing to know that others make mistakes and to hear the impact similar mistakes can have on others. As you spend some time reflecting on this core principle, we encourage you to journal about your own story. You can check out some of our stories here (link to our biographies) for inspiration, or you can dive right in. What is an implicit bias that you hold? What is a way that you have experienced marginalization? How will you share your story?