‘Diversity’ imagery and marketing focuses on how we visibly look different. But how do we live our lives? How is that shared?
How much visibility can we really bring to who we are underneath the ‘diverse exterior’? And should it be our job to?
The issue isn’t just the lack of diversity in spaces ... it’s the lack of what I call “thought-diversity”. A lack of openness on the part of people who live and work in their silos and are delighted at the mention of anything slightly spicy at which point they’ll bring up the ‘Fatima’ they received ‘Indian sweets’ from that one time.
Why is everything Indian? And do you know what Punjabi is? Do you know why India and Pakistan exist? Do you know where hashtag moon milk and hashtag golden milk come from? These Pinterest/Instagram/influencer crazes have their cultural roots in a place these moonmilk followers know nothing about.
Did the person who received the “Indian sweets” bother to have a longer conversation with the ‘Fatima’ they received them from or is it enough that they have a line about who she is to stockpile in their go-to’s whenever they are faced with a diverse interaction or conversation?
If you are living/working in a diverse geographical region, why is it that you don’t have more than a line to share about a certain community or culture?
Why do “diverse” individuals have to be planted into settings to make it look like we are doing the work to be more representative when the existing structures haven’t changed and neither have the people within it?
Perhaps grown ups need my “thought-diversity” training in their workplaces whilst our kids explore diversity in a less forced way. Until we inevitably silo them as well.