Diversity and Inclusion

What do we mean when we say diversity and inclusion?

Hosts Dana Davenport and Rebecca Malotke-Meslin explore the topic of diversity and inclusion with special guests:

“When we’re talking about diversity, it’s all the things that make us who we are,” says Jennifer Rowe, the Executive Director for Educational Equity for Indian Prairie School District 204. “Sometimes we naturally go to looking at race, but it’s so much more than that.”

The group also discussed systemic barriers and how allyship is an important part of breaking those barriers down.

“There are a lot more people who have power and influence that are not part of the process of breaking down the systemic barriers,” says Kori Carew, the Chief Inclusion and Diversity Officer at Seyfarth Shaw. “We have to get them on board. And the only way we can get them on board is by educating them on what the problem is, how it’s showing up, and why it’s unfair.”

For those wanting to be better allies, Rakeda Leaks, the Executive Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Naperville Community Unit School District 203 says, “difficult conversations have to start at home.”

“Talk about it,” says Leaks, “talk about what’s happening in the world today. And find out how their children, depending on the age, how they feel about those situations. What do they think it means?”

The conversation concluded with the idea of curiosity, where Carew encouraged everyone to read, watch, and listen to many different voices.

About the Show

Finding Common Ground is focused on important current events and how they impact our diverse population. We are many voices of one community, often with strong opinions on every side of an issue. Here, through courageous conversation in the interest of discovering collaborative solutions, we hope to find our common ground.

Throughout the show guests and viewers are invited to acknowledge the four agreements to courageous conversations:

  • Stay Engaged
  • Speak Your Truth
  • Experience Discomfort
  • Expect and Accept Non-Closure
*The episode was taped prior to this week’s incidents in New York City and Minneapolis.

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