The industry of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) have experienced a sort of awaking in corporations and organizations, especially in the past year. I have maintained for some time that DEI is more than a nice to do, more than a strategy, and more than an organizational overhaul. DEI is and has always been about unity. Many believe DEI is about representation, justice, and participation and that is part of it, but it is really about getting the best out of all your people. The only way to truly get the best from everyone is through unity.
During this time when we celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I want to put more emphasis on honoring than celebrating. I know the concept of unity appears to be out of reach in this current climate but Dr. King understood that the only way to progress is through a collective effort, not a separate and disparate one. In honor of Dr. King, I offer three video vignettes outlining how we might think about unity and begin to achieve it.
In this first vignette, I offer an elevated definition of unity that goes beyond holding hands, singing songs, and universal agreement. While Dr. King created an environment that included those elements, he knew that unity required different people, opinions, and outcomes -but all in the spirit of collective growth.