A Clear Divide
I attended the Guilford Board of Education’s conversation on equity and social justice on May 14. I left appalled at the hostility some members of our community have toward any type of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)initiatives. The animosity in the room was palpable.
Although chairs were set up in a circle to encourage conversation, there was a clear divide. Those in support of DEI on one side, those opposed on the other. For those so strongly opposed to DEI, I ask, have they ever felt the pain of not being included? Have they ever had your abilities underestimated or their accomplishments questioned because of the color of their skin, a disability, or their sexual orientation? If their answer is “No,” maybe this is the reason they are so adamant that DEI is unjust.
What are they afraid of? That a student with darker skin will get into the same college as their child? That giving a student a few extra minutes on a test will allow that student to get a better grade than their child? That their child might learn that there are points of view that differ from theirs?
By striving to be a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive community, we all gain and grow as a community. It’s not just Guilford Public Schools striving toward greater diversity, equity, and inclusion, it’s Hollywood, it’s universities, it’s corporate America. DEI is everywhere and it is the future. Those who are opposed are the one who will be left out. DEI is for everyone; if you are against DEI, the benefits of DEI won’t be there for you, either.
Rather than Guilford making headlines for opposing DEI initiatives, wouldn’t it be wonderful if our town made headlines as the embodiment of DEI initiatives?