What Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Means
DEI is the influence of a diverse group of people on the same field (equity), intentionally including the perspective of all individuals in the group in meaningful conversations.
Figure 1. Equality, Equity, Justice.
DEI is one step toward justice; DEI empowers a diverse group of people to act together and achieve shared results – like watching a soccer game or setting a strategic vision for an organization.
Most recently, I have demonstrated my value of DEI in these ways
- Became a Board Member for Boulder Treasures, a local nonprofit supporting adults with disabilities through a job-training program and job coaching services.
- Established a Riders Advisory Council for Via Mobility Services. (A group of clients who meet regularly and influence the development of services. Members represent Via’s clients’ diversity, including older adults, people with long-term and temporary disabilities, and caretakers.)
- Participated in the Steering Committee of Boulder County’s “Mobility For All” Technology Ambassador Program. Collaborated with community partners and residents throughout the county to develop transportation-related technology workshops and a volunteer training program to help residents of all ages and abilities feel more comfortable using mobility apps like Uber. This project received a Pinnacle Award from the Boulder County Commissioners.
DEI is Important
DEI is a means to an end. If “now” looks like individuals with different experiences operating with disconnection, then I think the “end” transforms this group of individuals into “we” and “us,” or people with diverse backgrounds working in connection. DEI is worth overcoming the obstacles on the way to that vision.
DEI increases the representation of underrepresented individuals and groups of people. Representation matters and influences against discrimination by replacing negative and inaccurate stereotypes with real people’s presence and voice. Representation changes the narrative.
The world is dynamic; The adoption and implementation of DEI build momentum, leading to discovering new knowledge and developing new skills that enhance whole communities.
Daniels, D. (2017, October). Equity.png [Graphic demonstrating “Equality,” “Equity,” and “Justice.”]. Retrieved December, 2020, from http://getrealscience.org/ddaniels/wp-content/uploads/sites/38/2017/10/Equity.png