Making Room for Each of Us

Our world isn’t designed for each of us. It is intentionally designed to not include some of us.

As we honored the first National Day for Truth and Reconciliation last week, it was an opportunity to reflect on policy and racist practices that were meant to assimilate an entire population of people to be more like white Europeans. Genocide, eugenics and racist or discriminatory policies are all practices that have been created to try and reduce the “difference” and to create more sameness.

As we head into Thanksgiving, this is another opportunity to reflect on what settler colonialism has meant and how it embedded white supremacy and oppression into how our entire culture is built.

These are big topics and require deep learning and thinking about how your own experience is connected. In our blog this month we talk about white supremacy which we need to surface in this work to create the change that organizations need. On #BridgesOfBelonging in September we heard about the journeys of navigating race and gender within structures that are not supportive of either.

At the foundation of our work is the need to dig beneath the practices of exclusion and inequity to surface how those are showing up, and to explore what that means for equity-seeking groups in terms of how they are seen, heard, and understood within those organizations.

There is enough room for everyone in our world, but we exist in systems and structures that are designed to many (arguably most) people out. This is the ultimate demonstration of a “power over” approach and we need to build “power with” approaches to truly move towards justice and equity. As we explore and learn to celebrate our differences, we will realize that there is an infinite number of differences, and that is what makes people interesting.

Every single person has a story, a journey of belonging and not belonging – we have all gone through those experiences. Our challenge is to be comfortable enough in who we each are and how we show up that we open the door and we hold it open to make space for the person next to us to also be welcomed and included also. This is not a zero-sum game, we each benefit when we take care of each other.

What will you do to open up space for someone else?

 

 

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