Powered by massive marketing campaigns and often millions of dollars. The work of equity boasts beautifully scripted plans and statements complete with politically correct quotes, perfectly staged pics, and videos striking a perfect poetic balance of every shade of skin, gender variance, age, and abilities, all bragging about a job well done. Equity has taken the place of the one-horned uni. Worn on little girls’ tee-shirts surrounded by rainbows 🌈 and flowers 💐 and sometimes crafted as a cute artsy face painting.
But have you seen this mythical being, anywhere?
The unicorn has obviously ridden in from a distant utopian land waving its pastel-polka-dot equity flag. It’s an adorable tale but not the story that we want to share about equity. We must do better. Equity is action, (period). The work becomes difficult only when you resist it. The beauty of achieving equity lies in the fact that it manifests in real life, making a tangible impact on the lives of real humans. That’s something to be excited about. This is the perfect reason to be inspired to take action!
Now that we’re energized and ready to move forward, you’re probably asking, “What’s true equity work? Haven’t I, we, this organization been doing the work of equity the entire time?” Well, if you’re experiencing authentic results that are representative of those most in need or marginalized…maybe your organization is the exception but it is certainly not the standard of what’s been taking place in our culture. Based on the research findings, the data unequivocally indicate that there is an enormous amount of work that urgently needs our attention. All doable! By including historically excluded marginalized voices in decision-making processes and ensuring equal access to resources and opportunities, we can make sure that solutions and actions taken to address inequities are informed by those who are most affected. This approach offers diverse perspectives and lived experiences that enrich our understanding of the issues at hand and ultimately leads to solutions that are more responsive to the needs of marginalized communities.
Moving toward equity requires inclusion. It’s refreshing and welcoming! When marginalized voices are included it helps to build trust and create a sense of shared ownership among all stakeholders. It can also help to counteract the power imbalances that exist between those in positions of privilege and those who have been historically excluded. You’ll find that by doing so you will begin to create solutions that are adequate, effective, and impactful. It will be nearly impossible to uphold systems, barriers, and challenges that lead to systemic inequities. Why should we take the risk of perpetuating oppression when we possess the power to create a culture where we feel empowered to dismantle old hierarchies and move beyond tiring antics?
Involve marginalized communities and all voices at every planning stage to be intentional and inclusive from the start. This includes active listening, and co creating effective and sustainable solutions that truly promote equity for all. We don’t have to hide behind the elusive dreams of mythical magical creatures. To achieve equity for all, we must listen actively and collaborate to create sustainable solutions. We have the power to turn our wildest dreams into reality, creating a just society. Let’s dream big and build a world unlike any we’ve ever known before.