Diversity, Equity and Inclusion As a Strategy for Growth
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There is plenty of evidence that communities that embrace diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) perform much better than those which do not. As the United States becomes a minority majority country, being able to be inclusive will be fundamental for the prosperity of our nation. Earlier this year the Brookings Institute released research results stating that economic inclusion may be the key to lasting growth and prosperity. Their publication shows that the relationship of growth and prosperity to inclusion grows larger and stronger over time.
To advance in DEI, it is important that we embrace changes at an individual level but most importantly that we change organizations and ultimately systems. Understanding the underlying cause of the lack of diversity and then acting upon it is key.
I belong to organizations where we have looked at our teams and realized the executive team members and leadership are not representative of the communities we serve. Intentionality becomes relevant in these situations, so in some instances, we have slightly changed procedures to guarantee we truly embrace DEI.
New Orleans has the fortune of being home to organizations that understand the need for diversity, equity and inclusion. These organizations also help others achieve their goals in this regard. Founded in 2017, Beloved Community is a New Orleans based organization committed to building a new ecosystem that can sustain equitable, diverse schools, businesses and neighborhoods. Their name is inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. teachings. He promoted the concept of inclusiveness, both economically and socially, through the notion of the “Beloved Community.” He stated that achieving economic and social justice is necessary for a healthy society.
In their first year of operation they have reached more than 1,575 students, over 170 school faculty, and more than 2,000 youth. Beloved Community has helped multiple organizations obtain a budget increase allocated to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.
Beloved Community is building a diverse voice in local leadership across education, housing, and the corporate sectors. They are devoted to making sure that the commitment to real solutions to support DEI remains long after any individual leader, local legislation, or funding stream is gone. Most importantly, they are true believers that people change systems, which is why they offer capacity building programs to support, build and sustain the path for growth. You can find more about their services at wearebeloved.org.
Until next time!