Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view. Until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” – Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

We want all people in our community to feel a sense of belonging and safety.  Several recent reports shine light on the reality that many in our community feel anything but belonging and safety.  We believe it is our responsibility to lead the way on a learning journey that will improve our personal and collective understanding of race, class, and culture, giving us tools to move forward together to ensure just and fair inclusion for all members of our community. We must understand the past, without being trapped in it; embrace the present, without being constrained by it; and look to the future, guided by the hopes and courage of those who have come before us.

Diversity is the representation of all our varied identities and differences—collectively and as individuals. We seek to proactively engage, understand, and draw on a variety of perspectives. We believe that the solution to the problems we hope to address can be found by affirming our similarities, as well as by finding value in our differences.

Equity seeks to ensure fair treatment, equality of opportunity, and parity in access to information and resources for all. We believe this is only possible in an environment built on respect and dignity.

Inclusion builds a culture of belonging by actively inviting the contribution and participation of all people. We believe every person’s voice adds value, and we strive to create balance in the face of power differences. We believe that no one person can or should be called upon to represent an entire community.

There are many reasons to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion. Here are a few to start with:

  • Each person has value to contribute, and we must address barriers and historical factors that have led to unfair conditions for marginalized populations.
  • It makes economic sense. Organizations and countries that tap into diverse talent pools are stronger and more efficient. Economists see discrimination as economic inefficiency – the result of a systematic misallocation of human resources.
  • It makes business sense. Organizations will better serve their customers if they reflect the diversity of their customer base.
  • Diverse teams lead to better outputs. Scott Page, author of The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools and Societies, uses mathematical modeling and case studies to show how diversity leads to increased productivity. His research found that diverse groups of problem solvers outperform the groups of the best individuals at solving problems.

Recommended books include:

  • The Hidden Rules of Race: Barriers to an Inclusive Economy, by Andrea Flynn
  • The New Jim Crow – Michelle Alexander
  • Blind Spot: Hidden Biases of Good People – Mahzarin Banaji
  • Between the World and Me – Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Eloquent Rage – Brittney Cooper
  • White Fragility – Robin DiAngelo
  • American Like Me:  Reflections on LIfe Between Cultures – America Ferrera
  • *Waking up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race – Debby Irving
  • Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria: and other Conversations about Race – Beverly Daniel Tatum
  • Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America – Ibram X. Kendi
  • The Color of Law:  A Forgotten History of How our Government Segregated America – Richard Rothstein
  • So You Want to Talk About Race – Ijeoma Oluo
  • Tell Me Who You Are: Sharing our Stories of Race, Culture & Identity – Winona Guo
  • When they Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir – Patrisse Khan-Cullors & Asha Bandele
  • Race Talk and the Conspiracy of Silence – Derald Wing Sue
  • An African American and Latinx Histoy of the United States – Paul Ortiz
  • The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks about Race – Jesmyn Ward
  • Baldwin: The Collected Essays – James Baldwin
  • I Have a Dream – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Testament of Hope:  The Essential Writings and Speeches – Martin Luther King, Jr
  • Where Do We Go From Here – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Why We Can’t Wait – Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • This Muslim American Life:  Moustafa Bayoumi
  • Appalachian Reckoning:  A Region Responds to Hillbilly Elegy – Anthony Harkins
  • To Life: A Celebration of Jewish Being and Thinking – Harold Kushner
  • The Color of Success: Asian Americans and the Origins of the Model Minority – Ellen D. Wu

The Clark County Public Library is offering diversity reading kits with many titles. A full list of books may be found by clicking here. The library is located at 370 S. Burns Ave, Winchester, KY 40391.

You can also visit Harvard University’s Project Implicit website, which contains great background information about implicit bias as well as a variety of implicit bias “tests” that provide great examples of the ways unconscious bias affects us all.  https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/