Inclusion is defined as the action or state of including or of being included within a group or structure. We are familiar with that right?
On the playground, everyone gets picked to be on the team. Sucks to be picked last.
At home, older siblings are required to include their younger siblings. Spouses or lovers are reminded by national holidays to include one another.
At work, there are affinity groups, conferences, workshops and on a government level, affirmative action policies for the places we work, and the institutions in which we are educated include to include diverse persons.
These are all acts of inclusion. What all of these different acts in different areas of our lives have in common is that they are acts without heart. You also know that they are just acts because they feel like we are just going through the motions. This is why they are not sustained in any element of our lives.
We don’t appreciate being chosen when the picker didn’t have a choice in the matter. We don’t feel so special when someone celebrates our love because it’s required, or when people are being trained to respond to our diverse identities instead of naturally embracing us as 100% of who we are.
Our guest today perfectly phrased what inclusion really means. Acts of inclusion is only as effective as the spirit in which it is done is. The motivation of persons can’t be a quota or to meet an obligation of some sort. It has to be in a desire to create a spirit of inclusion within structures and groups where all parties can then reap the benefits.
Cecilia B. Loving, is the Deputy Commissioner/Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer
Diversity and inclusion Officer, for the New York City Fire Department. She a D/I leader who has been responsible for creating and deploying D/I strategy, improving the infrastructure to support the strategy, and ensuring that the organization’s foundational principles of inclusiveness and diversity are integral to all of its internal and external policies, work and practices.
You won’t want to miss her this incredible episode.