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Teen Challenge – Accepting Diversity and Inclusion

Good Morning! Here’s the Monday Morning Blog!


Happy Valentine's Day! What do you have planned for your sweetheart? Or that someone special to you? Or even a treat for yourself? All options are allowed.


Did you touch base with that teen in your life last week? How about picking up a card or a treat they may love and give it to them today for Valentine's Day? It will let them know you are thinking about them and that they are appreciated by YOU!


February's Theme - Black History Month

There are many people and events that have shaped the history of our country. Black History Month is a time when we highlight the achievements of Black Americans in our country's history.


This month, I am centering the theme on my blogs and mentor page on a few of these achievements. Check out my mentor page and see how I am doing just that Selma P. Verde - Mentor Page

With our country continuing to struggle with racial relations, I thought it would be good to focus on accepting diversity and inclusion of others who are different from ourselves for this month's teen challenge. I believe the acceptance of those two ideas will go a long way to making everyone feel included.


So, what is Diversity and Inclusion?

When it comes to diversity and inclusion, here are the definitions,


Diversity

Diversity is understanding that there are differences between people. Not only racial differences, but differences in culture, religion, sexual orientation, where you live and how much money you make.


Inclusion

Is accepting and including people who are different from ourselves and including them in what we are doing as equal partners.


This quote from Verna Myers, a Diversity and Inclusion Expert, explains the relationship between these two ideas.

While we are able to see and understand that there are differences between us and others, do we make a point to include those who are different from us? Or,

  1. Do we shun them?

  2. Bully them?

  3. Treat them differently because they are different from us?

The fact we have historically treated people differently from ourselves has gotten us to where we are now. Unable to get along with people who may be different from us. In this month's Book of the Month The Darkest Child, the main character, Tangy Mae is treated differently by the people who live in Pakersfield, GA. because she is black, but she is also treated differently by her own mother because her skin is darker than her brothers and sisters. What can we do to change it?


More acceptance of diversity

Change is hard for some people. It may be easier to have things stay the same, but change and acceptance of others and their differences will help us to grow together. Embrace diversity as a good thing. With diversity comes all sorts of different ethnic foods for us to enjoy, celebrations from other countries to learn about and new ways of doing things to explore. Engaging in these activities and asking about them can lead to great conversations and build relationships with others who are different from ourselves.

More inclusion

Acceptance and inclusion are action words. It is fine to accept the diversity. This will help change the mindset about being different from someone else as being a bad thing. But we have to start acting on the change in mindset and making an effort to reach out to someone who is being treated bad because they are different. Take the time to learn about someone who is different and building a relationship with them. Embrace people for being people and not as being a color or a belief.


What is being done to facilitate diversity and inclusion?

  • Businesses are changing their cultures to include more diversity and inclusion. They have programs and college degrees focusing on this very thing to have trained people helping to make change in beliefs to lead to more acceptance of others in the workplace.

  • Many Blacks are telling their stories through books and interviews so we can become more educated about their journey.


What can we do?

  • Be respectful of all people regardless of how they look or what they believe in. Agree to disagree if needed, but be willing to listen to their side.

  • Not only know they are different, but embrace that fact and talk to them about what makes you different from each other.

  • Accept the ideas of diversity and inclusion and pursue actions to make the mindset become more of a reality.

Part of the experience that Blacks are sharing with us is overcoming the challenge of being seen and treated differently just because the color of their skin. Accepting diversity and the inclusion of those who are seen as different will go far to change the current views in our society. It will help everybody feel included for who they are.


What experiences have you faced with Diversity and Inclusion of yourself or others? Please let me know in the comments below.


The Way Series incorporates diversity

When my editor Michelle and I worked through early revisions of The Hard Way and Shawn's Way, we added characters of different racial backgrounds to the story. Not only does it show what racial makeup would typically be found in a borough of a city like New York City (which Manor City is loosely based on), but to show that characters of different backgrounds could come together as friends. Learn more about the book on the books tab of my website Selma P. Verde - Books.


Have a great week!

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