The racist ruling by SCOTUS highlights how extreme and out of touch this court is. As a DEI and Inclusive Leadership development professional, "the work has not been easy." Dealing with blatant acts of racism like this comes with the territory. It is hurtful, exhausting, frustrating, meaningful work that I do because my why propels me when gut punches like this tries to knock me down.
Being an inclusive leader, a DEIB champion, aligns with my values. Promoting fairness and respect is in my DNA. In the face of racism and legislation that upholds and codifies persistent and systematic racial discrimination ask yourself what kind of leader you want to be?
The decision to gut affirmative action at colleges and universities all but ensured that the student population at the campuses of elite institutions would become whiter and more Asian and less Black and Latino.
The status quo is fighting for its life. White supremacy is fighting for its life. Even with clear evidence that diverse is who we are in the world. Diversity cannot be stopped. Diversity is the key for solving the wicked problems that threaten our very existence.
SCOTUS decision is out of step with the world as it is. Educational diversity is not a nice to have. If equity, fairness, and preparing college students for success in the diverse world we live in is not the goal, what is the goal of education?
As a leader you will have more challenges addressing systemic racism. More challenges creating cultures of belonging, achieving equitable outcomes and engaging your people. We have never been here in our evolution. Nonetheless, research shows working together, thoughtfulness, courage, innovation, agility, adaptability and a growth mindset are guiding principles and skills needed in these unprecedented times. They don't exist in organizations that can’t establish credibility around diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging. Your people see you.
Retreating, abandoning, or ignoring reality is not a leadership strategy for DEIB. Unlike SCOTUS, digging in and acting as if meritocracy will promote equality, because in some alternate reality racism, classism, sexism doesn't exist is not a winning strategy for your organization. Successful organizations will need inclusive leaders who are equipped and clear.
The recent actions of SCOTUS is a cautionary tale. Harvard and the University of North Carolina will not become better as they become whiter. Women will not suddenly abdicate rights to their body because SCOTUS has spoken. People drowning in student loans will not forget or accept SCOTUS choice to let them drown.
You can live your values. Get clear on your why. Live from a mindset of abundance; not scarcity.
Allow your values, principles and morals to act as your source of courage and grit. Seek out experiences to expand your perspective? Accept that the world is changing but the need for courageous, committed, compassionate, trustworthy, empathetic leadership is not.
If your organization suggests that going backwards with your DEIB commitment is a productive response, inclusive leaders stand up! If you need help standing reach out to me.