It is time to STOP teaching Diversity and Inclusion training courses and START educating your staff about why your company or organization is Anti-Racist. When you hear the word “Racism” it can make non-black and/or European descent employees to become defensive. But racism is not a bad word. Let’s start by learning the definition of Racism. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the definition of racism is:
“The inability or refusal to recognize the rights, needs, dignity, or value of people of particular races or geographical origins. More widely, the devaluation of various traits of character or intelligence as ‘typical’ of particular peoples. The category of race may itself be challenged, as implying an inference from trivial superficial differences of appearance to allegedly significant underlying differences of nature; increasingly evolutionary evidence suggests that the dispersal of one original people into different geographical locations is a relatively recent and genetically insignificant matter.”
It is my personal opinion, that when offering and training diversity and inclusion we perpetuate racism in the workplace by centering around the “All Lives Matter.” theme. Statements like “We” “All” and “together”, push the narrative that everyone could be victim to racism in the workplace which is simple not true.
I too have contributed to this way of educating companies and organizations and realized that even though the course is about diversity and inclusion, I do not have to talk about the group of people who are NOT marginalized just to make sure EVERYONE is represented. It is hard to get people excited to learn about something they have been doing their whole professional career, and probably life, and expect them to make immediate changes after being forced to take a course for three or more hours.
So, how can we make sure all staff can be educated without tone policing the content?
It is time to move away for throwing the book at adults and focus on what healthy and productive communication looks like in the workplace.
#1 Starting with Human Resources.
We know their main role is protecting the company, so it is time to have policies in place that you are actively practicing. Making sure not to victim blame, or “whitesplaining” what an employee may have meant. DO THE INVESTIGATION!
#2 Speak up.
I know this is easier said than done, but it is really important. Especially for those who claim to be an “ally.” It is also best to make sure you do not let too much time past before bringing up your concerns. Confrontation can be hard, so send an email and save for receipts later.
#3 Learn how to accept being called out.
I understand it may be a shock to your ego that someone had to let you know you that a statement you recently made them feel uncomfortable or discriminated against. I can tell you from experience, speaking up is more painful than your ego. The victim is opening themselves up to a potential hostile workplace. APOLOGIZE and thank them for letting them know. You do not have to be best friends, but your coworkers should know they are respected in the workplace.
#4 Tell your friends.
Spread education not hate. if it is a term or phrase regularly used in your personal or working circles, it is time for you to let people know were confronted and it is not appropriate to use. Become the example of growing from an uncomfortable situation.
Are you ready to have your staff educated on Anti-racism? Hire RSB Community Strategies LLC for your training needs and goals. Let’s get connected and work on making your workplace truly inclusive and diverse.