Over the last few years, the Western world has seen an increased level of interest and urgency around cultural diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging (DIEB). From the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States, to the water shortages and mass graves of indigenous people in Canada, to there’s no lack of bad news about the current state of DIEB, particularly in the western world.
There’s a common change management model developed by Prosci called ADKARⓇ (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement). It posits that change can be made and sustained through making people aware of the need for change, creating the desire for the possibility the change represents, providing people with the knowledge about what the change entails and the ability to act within the new paradigm, and then reinforcing the desired behaviors and environment over time. One could argue that we in North America and Europe are at the middle stages of Awareness. What the research shows below is how vital it is that people who are privileged willingly take on creating the awareness and knowledge for themselves, so they can co-create a world that works for all, rather than relying on underrepresented groups to provide the awareness and knowledge, or police the reinforcement.
We ask you all to think wider, to think of the world, to live inside and outside your context and place, be respectful, be empathetic and re-think what you know and have learned. Come be a student or a teacher, be a guide or a helper. Do not be a bystander. Engage. . Ask yourself why you are not if you at not any of these avatars.
With that in mind, let’s Wrap.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
The Great 😍
1We the people. It feels as though this is taking forever, but views about national identity are slowly becoming more inclusive in US and Western Europe, according to Pew Research. This is particularly noticeable when polling people under the age of 30, who are less likely to place requirements on Christianity, language, birth or adopting the country’s traditions to be part of their country than older age groups, and more likely to say their country will be better off if it is open to changes.
2.We believe the children are the future. More hopeful signs from Gen Z and beyond. Professors at the University of Toronto Mississauga have determined that culture can play a significant role in children’s acceptance of gender-diverse peers (phys.org). The most interesting finding came from Thailand, known for its support of gender fluid and non-conforming culture, where children between the ages of 4 and 5 were more open to being friends with gender non-conforming peers than children from the U.S. or China. This refuted earlier research which posited that by the age of 5, children form gender-related peer preferences and gender segregate when they play.
3.Matchmaker, matchmaker, make me a match. A Perfect Match. A Financial Times article highlights Brazil’s new medical platform, which matches Black patients with Black doctors. AfroSaúde has so far enabled 2,000 patients to find and book consultations with nearly 1,000 Black medical professionals, including medical practitioners, dentists and therapists, paying directly on the AfroSaude platform. In addition to increasing the visibility of Black medical professionals, matching non-white Brazilians (approximately one-half of the country’s population) to non-white doctors helps drive a better standard of care. According to the article, non-white Brazilians have reported veiled or overt racism during medical consultations, such as the assumption that Black people are more resilient to pain.
Photo Credit: Unsplash
The Good 🤗
1.STEMming the tide (or trying to). This report from Silicon Republic about Diversity in STEM past and future trends shows how the Covid-19 pandemic has given the STEM world both positives and negatives when it comes to diversity. While remote working can remove barriers for workers with disabilities, the pandemic has also led to a ‘shecession’ in STEM according to PwC. The takeaway? “The last few years have seen many positive steps in the right direction, while plenty of reports show we still have a long way to go.”
2.Body by Beijing. The Generation Equality Forum in Paris on 30 June-2 July 2021 marked the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action on Women. During the session, delegates discussed how to get to gender equality by 2045 by focusing on three areas: valuing paid employment and unpaid care work equally, universal coverage for health and social protections (as long as it includes reproductive health and birth control), and bodily autonomy, which would enable women and girls to make informed sexual, reproductive, and healthcare decisions for themselves.
3. Breaking barriers. Free to code at last. Another way to start to break down silos and move towards a national agenda for broadening the participation of African Americans in Engineering and Computer Science is to address barriers to participation in the E&CS workforce, which can be organized into three types: pipeline barriers, ecosystem barriers, and pathways barriers. What can workforce stakeholders do? Suggestions included 1) prioritize hiring more African Americans to reduce social inclusion barriers; 2) create better support structures, like mentoring and networks; 3) provide training on topics like stereotype threat, implicit bias, and cultural responsiveness; and 4) revise tenure, promotion and performance evaluation criteria to render equal weight/value for minority-related research agenda. While this study was focused on African Americans, we could see how similar barriers and recommendations could impact any group that has been “othered”, e.g., differently abled, LGBTQA+, etc.
1.Gimmee, gimme, gimme, your love. Live longer, hoard more. According to Pew research, experts are optimistic about the next 50 years, as digital advances are predicted to support longer lifespans, greater leisure, and more equitable distributions of wealth and power and other possibilities to enhance human well-being. (That said, John Meynard Keynes predicted in 1930 that we would be working 15 hour weeks by now, but the only thing we at the Guild feel we are doing for 15 hours at a stretch are video conference calls.) The same experts predicted that the “divide between haves and have-nots will grow as a privileged few hoard the economic, health and educational benefits of digital expansion”, which would indicate that all our additional free time would not necessarily be going to a free and equitable global society. Tech won’t solve all our problems; we will have to take some ownership of the society we want to shape.
Photo Credit: Anne Nygård, @polarmermaid, unsplash
The Bad 🤕
1.You blinded me by science. Science has a diversity problem. If we posit that STEM will have an outsized impact on our future, as seems likely, we will have issues with future DIEB representation. It’s not just providing STEM education, but showing and modeling positive images of STEM workers that are diverse and representative. Geoffrey Carlisle, an EdSurge Voices of Change Fellow and an award-winning 8th grade science teacher at KIPP Austin College Prep, instituted a “What does a scientist look like?” survey every year for the past five years. Results have remained consistent, with 98% of students naming scientists that were white and male. In addition, less than 20% of the same students believed they could become a scientist. According to the author, “These results matter because who our students think of as scientists impacts whether they believe there’s a place for them in science and further illustrates how far racism and sexism permeate science.”
2.Take this STEM and shove it. Research conducted by the American Enterprise Institute digs deeper into why women and minorities feel unwelcome in STEM careers. While women, African-Americans and Latinos all reported feeling less welcome in STEM fields, with 51% of those from nonwhite, non AAPI/Hawaiian backgrounds saying African Americans face more obstacles and 46 percent asserting the same about Latinos. However, only 26 percent of white respondents believed African Americans face obstacles in STEM occupations, and 25 percent of white respondents said the same about Latinos. The perceived obstacles faced by minorities prevent younger generations from pursuing STEM jobs, foregoing not just upward mobility and long-term financial security, but also the opportunity to shape the STEM future in their own images. Meanwhile, International Students seek friendlier nations than the U.S. to pursue their STEM educations. More next week.
3.Push me, pull you. One step forward, two steps back. In this Forbes article, Ashley Stahl notes that job loss related to the pandemic has disproportionately affected Black and Latinx workers and set workplace equality back by several years, with the gender equality index projected to drop two points between 2019 and 2021 to levels below that of 2017. Not the right direction, folks.
Photo Credit: Joshua Hanson, unsplash
The Ugly 🤢
1.Games people play. There’s no upside to this game on the internet. Black game designers and gamers have been shedding a light on pervasive hostile and racist sentiments still existing in the video game industry. This Washington Post article highlights the physical, mental and emotional toll on Black communities due to online trolling, shouldering the responsibility of reflecting authentic Black experiences in their work and reckoning with Black trauma. Will this extend to the Metaverse? Very likely. We’ll explore more in a future edition.
2.Sunrise, sunset. Slowly got the years. In case you were hoping we would just grow out of it, this Canadian citizen says otherwise. We were born in Canada but the racism we lived through is generational.
3.We climb out of hell. One inch at a time. The other American pastime. This article attempts to answer the age-old question: Why are there so many Black players in the National Football League, and so few Black coaches? The answer will not surprise you. Read on about the NFL’s terrible track record on diversity.
We weave in the rest of the zeitgeist into the Wrap and the week that was. These related threads are for the reader to pause from their Wordle and use them to consider and rethink their view.
Meme of the Theme
“Did you hear the one about the man, woman, boy and girl who…. “ Surely to tick someone off. If we don’t laugh, we cry. There must be some research on how the exploration humour and how it helps bind humans or divides use like a guillotine. The source of this pic says it all. “12 of The Least Offensive Diversity Memes”. Who sets these measures? And who watches the watchers as morals, mores and cultures evolve and change. In the inimitable words of Larry (M*A*S*H) Gelbart, “Most Jokes State A Bitter Truth”.
National Diversity and Homophonery
You know, I was very Hungary one day, so I went to go Czech the fridge. I managed to find some Turkey that was leftover from Thanksgiving, but it was all covered in Greece. So I closed the fridge and Czech’d the pantry. I saw a Canada beans, so I grabbed them and microwaved them, but it exploded. My mom says that Iran out of diversity with food, and that I needed to expand on that. She also mentioned we need to get groceries. I said “Denmark my words, I shall go to the grocery store!”.
Thank Merriam. The synonyms for diversity, so far… what will we add this year?
Chartz of the week
Book List of the week:
“Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, issues today the 2020 edition of the publication Eurostat regional yearbook, which provides a statistical overview of the regions of the EU across a broad range of subjects: population, health, education, the labour market, living conditions, the economy, business, research and innovation, digital society, tourism, transport, the environment and agriculture. This year’s edition includes new additional chapters: one on statistics related to living conditions, which can be used to analyse progress with respect to the European Pillar of Social Rights, and the other on the environment and natural resources, which helps to assess developments in relation to the European Green Deal.”
Movie of the Week
Now, this is a melange of delicious differences. “In this romantic comedy written and directed by Mike Mosallam, a white American named Kal (Michael Cassidy) and a Lebanese-American named Mo (Haaz Sleiman) fall in love in West Hollywood and learn to adjust to their cultural differences. Their courtship begins during Ramadan, a Muslim tradition of fasting and abstaining from sex for a month.” — Newnownext.com
This week is edition #5 of a compendium of stories and headlines we’re tracking in the Grey Swan Guild’s Global League of Sensemakers’ Newsroom. Imagine a newsroom that went deeper, had little bias and didn’t have to get their points across in 40-second sound bytes or linkbait headlines. That’s us.
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