A word of caution, my thoughts are intended to be provocative and to spark difficult follow-up conversations.
First, the march toward “multiculturalism” and the inviting term “women of color” has allowed our identities to be superseded and lost. The use of such aggregated words suggest unity and that we are stronger together, but in fact we may be weakening our negotiating positions. When we consistently merge under a group identity, we risk losing our unique and individual contributions and voices.
Second, while we have mastered the art of the “mass conference, we have failed to master the art of continuity, increased touch points, and on-demand interventions. Major conferences can be well crafted, enormous in production value, fabulous in esprit de corps, and well stocked with high-profile celebrity and big-name panel members and prestigious keynote speakers. The downside is that a mass conference can silence individuality and is one point in time with no known touch points until the next annual conference. Conferences are grand; continuity is preferred to enable lasting changes and transformations, and to keep the conversation and action plans moving forward.
Third, our needs are being filtered and translated for us as opposed to building our own platforms, agenda, and forging alliances where we have a seat at the leadership table. I call this the law of “well-intendedness.” Many majority women’s group’s conference leaders are or want to appear well intended and focused on diversity inclusion.
However, mere diversity inclusion does not translate to diverse leadership platforms or targeted agenda. We are included, but often lack power and control over the look and feel of the very programs that are supposed to empower us. We are both visible and highly invisible at the same time.
What are your thoughts on diversity inclusion? Share with us ways to master the art of continuity, increase touch point support and on-demand interventions.
About the Author and Speaker
Dr. Raye Mitchell is the founder of the New Reality Foundation, Inc., and CEO at the Winning Edge Institute Inc. She is a power and influence expert, attorney, author, speaker and activist. Mitchell is a member of the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund network providing legal support for women and girls affected by harassment. Mitchell has received national acclaim for her work mentoring women and girls of color to beat the odds and excel as leaders.
Mitchell is a graduate of Harvard Law School, the University of Southern California (USC), the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy (B.S.) and the USC Marshall School of Business (MBA). She is a native of Los Angeles, California.
Twitter: @drrayemitchell or https://twitter.com/drrayemitchell
Amazon Link: http://www.amazon.com/author/rayemitchell