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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Giving people the tools to discuss difficult topics with others

The National Parent-Teacher Association has created a series of very informative, short videos to help parents and teachers breach these difficult topics together. We have added them to our website as a webinar, each video plays for about ten minutes, and each one has a person talking about their experience with the topic and the different things that influenced in one way or another the way they go about diversity, equity and inclusion in their lives.

These videos, even though they are designed for parents and teachers, are very useful for everyone interested in making their communities better. We should be aware of these problems, and actively work on improving or eliminating them, working on recognizing when we fall short and correcting our mistakes and misconceptions, as well as guiding others to do the same.

It is important that we all keep each other accountable, but that is not an easy task. Most of us have a very hard time approaching topics like these with family and friends, because most times we don't have any idea how to start the conversation or what to say.

In this post, I'll be talking about each video in the webinar as to provide a general idea of the subject matter. Each one gives us techniques and strategies for effective action and communication.

These videos can each be seen on their own or in any order, as each one is about a different, yet related, topic.

This video talks about what a bias is, and how we are all biased. It explains what this means and how they are not always bad, but you need to be aware of these biases and embrace and grow from them. It gives us ideas on how to address these when we interact with other people and their own biases, and how to talk to others about them, and how to work on our own as well.

This video talks about what this word means, and what damage these do to the people that are on the receiving end of these comments and actions, and how they impact people even at an organic level. It also gives us strategies on how to stop these from happening, and what to do when you need to respond or confront a perpetrator- or correct yourself when you are the one that mistakenly did something that hurt someone else like this.

This video talks about how our education system, and the way we learn in our schools, is lacking BIPOC representation. The history of people of color is being glossed over or not mentioned at all, and there's a lack of examples from BIPOC authors when assigning books or reading them to students. It emphasizes the importance of including every person in the curriculum, and talks about ways we can advocate for it in our own schools.

This video talks about the importance of identifying and addressing diverse language needs in a community, and how to help the people from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds feel included. It also talks about the importance of thinking about budgeting in a way that makes sure these needs are addressed and fulfilled in the school setting, and in any activities that are geared towards families, taking in consideration what these parents would need to feel included and valued as members of the community.

This video talks about what it is to be an ally to people in minority communities, what it means and how to become one. It also talks about different ways to be impactful in your own community.

This video talks about having conversations about racial equity and injustice, and what this means for people. How these difficult conversations are very different depending on the experience of the person engaging in them, yet extremely important to have nonetheless. It also talks about how these conversations unite the community, helping BIPOC express their feelings and talk about their experience, and helping white people understand what they can do to help and/or correct behaviors in themselves and others, and how these conversations help create a more welcoming environment for BIPOC.

This video talks about the importance and responsibility of fostering PTA meetings to be inclusive of all cultures and be more mindful of the diversity in each community, making sure that all perspectives are engaged and being intentional about including the community and their interests and backgrounds.

This video talks about the problem of "not seeing color", how that makes BIPOC feel, and how that is a dismissive comment that hurts instead of helping, because we are all indeed different and that is to be acknowledged, because we can learn wonderful things about each other through these differences. It addresses also how when we say we don't see these differences, identities are left out. That alienates people and makes them feel different, in turn making them feel like they can not bring anything of value to the table. It then gives strategies on how to have every voice be heard for the benefit of the community.

This video talks about the importance of partnering with community members to be able to address problems in their community, making sure that the people you partner with are the best for the job that needs to be done. It also talks about how these relationships can be very different depending on who these partners are and what we need to accomplish, and how sometimes we need to assess if we need to lead, or if it would be better for someone else with more experience or greater insight be the one to lead us.

This video talks about how to be an ally to people being discriminated against, what ableism is, and how it intersects with other types of discrimination depending on each person and their identity. It also to helps identify instances of ableism in ourselves and others, and how important it is to correct these behaviors.

This video talks about what racial trauma is, how unique to each individual it is, how it affects people both physically and emotionally, who it affects, and why. This trauma can impact how families engage with their children's schools, and it is important to acknowledge its impact and develop strategies on how to address that.

This video talks about how it is important to have leadership that represents the community, that are as diverse as the members in it are, and that reflect how the community sees itself, as well as leaders that don't look like them, for they all bring a broader lens to the table, and open a way to bring more issues out that could be addressed and that would help us attain more equity and inclusion, and would benefit all of us- and the community itself, in the long run.

This video talks about the importance of promoting mutual respect, understanding and inclusion when it comes to religious diversity in a community. What to do to to foster this, and strategies to be successful at it, making it comfortable for members of the community to share their different religious backgrounds.

The topics addressed in these videos are very important, for they help our communities become better at acknowledging that our differences are not a hindrance- these differences can make us stronger, but we must learn to work together and respect and understand each other. When everyone is included, everyone benefits from the richness of each others' cultures and experiences, and all the different things they bring to the table.

The world is a better place when we actively work to help others feel included and appreciated.


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