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Joy DeGruy: Diversity Training Isn’t Enough!

Wilmette Institute Webtalk

The Wilmette Institute is a higher educational institution offering courses in Bahá’í history, texts, and the Bahá’í approach to social transformation. They are committed to a diverse academic community in their student body and faculty. The Wilmette Institute courses facilitate consultation, action, and reflection leading to personal and collective transformation for the common good.

They seek to provide innovative and transformative learning experiences for college students and others who want to make the world more compassionate, just and inclusive.

Racism, Trauma and Justice: “Be, Anxiously Concerned”

“The belief that workplace diversity can bring increased productivity, new ideas, and therefore higher profits, appeals particularly to corporations. Although diversity training may make good business sense, the model falls terribly short of the comprehensive racial justice approach required for progressive social change. What too often gets lost in the muddy waters of multi-cultural awareness is any analysis of power and the ways racist attitudes and organizational culture operate. A racial justice approach requires an organizational transformation of power relations.” (David Rogers, Western States Center)

The global challenges facing humanity are many, the complexity and enormity of the challenges are staggering. Still it is clear that among the most challenging problems facing humanity is racism. When we consider the issues associated with Covid–19 we find ourselves inextricably entangled within the thick web of structural racism, classism and the social determinants of health.

For far too many of us shrink away from the responsibility to take the ‘deep dive’ into the issue of racism and oppression and create real and lasting change. This is the opportunity for the creation of laws that will guide systemic change; and to protect the most vulnerable that are most often found to be living at the intersection of classism and racism. To that end, my contribution to human affairs is to educate, inform, and motivate others to embrace the cause of “Oneness” by better understanding what is keeping us from it!



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