DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION
I believe that diversity, equity, and inclusion are each important values that should be promoted and upheld in all aspects of life, but especially in our churches and communities. As individuals, I am convinced that we can all play a role in advocating for these values and want to share some ways that you can do this right where you are. With that being said, here are 10 ways you can be an active advocate for diversity and inclusion in your church and/or community:
10 WAYS YOU CAN BE AN ACTIVE ADVOCATE
Educate Yourself: One of the first steps in advocating for diversity and inclusion is to educate yourself on the issues and challenges that marginalized communities face. This can involve reading articles, books, and other materials, as well as attending workshops, seminars, and other learning opportunities.
Listen To and Amplify Marginalized Voices: It’s important to make space for and listen to the voices and experiences of those who have been marginalized. This can involve sharing the stories and perspectives of these individuals on your social media platforms, supporting organizations led by minority cultures, and actively seeking out and engaging with diverse perspectives.
Get Involved in Community Organizations: There are likely many organizations in your community working towards diversity, equity, and inclusion. Consider volunteering your time, skills, or resources to these organizations, or joining a church that aligns with your values.
Support Businesses that Prioritize Diversity and Inclusion: One way to advocate for diversity and inclusion is to support businesses that prioritize these values. This can involve patronizing businesses owned by marginalized individuals, as well as businesses that have a track record of promoting diversity and inclusion in their hiring and business practices.
Challenge Biases and Stereotypes: It’s important to actively challenge biases and stereotypes when we encounter them, whether it’s in our own thinking or in the words and actions of others. This can involve having difficult conversations, calling out inappropriate language or behavior, and advocating for more cultural representation or inclusive policies and practices.
Be An Ally: Allies play a critical role in advocating for marginalized communities. Being an ally involves more than simply having sympathy for those who face discrimination or just believing in equality. It requires actively working with and for others to combat oppression. As Tenzin Gyatso, the fourteenth Dalai Lama, said, ‘It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.’
Stand Up for Justice: Advocate for justice and equality in your church or community by speaking out against injustices and taking action to address them. This can involve participating in protests or other forms of direct action, as well as working towards systemic change through policy advocacy or other means.
Support Diversity in Media and Entertainment: The media and entertainment industry has a significant influence on how we view and understand the world around us. Support diversity in media and entertainment by consuming content created by and featuring marginalized individuals and communities, and advocating for more diverse representation in the graphics & media utilized at your church.
Encourage Diversity and Inclusion: If you have the ability to influence hiring or other policies, advocate for more diverse and inclusive practices. This can involve pushing for more diverse hiring, promoting inclusive policies and practices, and creating a more inclusive culture overall.
Be An Example: One of the most effective ways to advocate for diversity and inclusion is to be an example of these values in your own life. This can involve actively seeking out and engaging with diverse perspectives and experiences, challenging your own biases and stereotypes, and being an ally to marginalized communities.
BE A DIFFERENCE MAKER
I hope this was helpful to you and that you’ll take me up on one or even all of these 10 ways to be an active advocate. Trust me when I say that you truly can make a difference within your circle of influence. If enough of us do that, we can begin to see real, lasting change come to our churches and ultimately our communities.
For more information like this contact me to schedule a Cross Cultural Literacy Session for your church or organization. You can also check out our Recommended Resources to see a list of videos, books & documentaries we think are helpful to those who are looking to learn more.