Diversity: Being invited to the party.
Inclusivity: Being asked to dance
(My invented definitions based on the words of Verna Myers)
While reading-up on the topic of inclusivity, I came upon the words of two of my favorite people, Thich Nhat Hanh and Oprah. Here are some insights regarding the term inclusivity.
Thich Nhat Hanh described inclusivity with the verbs “accept and embrace.” This embrace idea connects with Verna Myers’ thought of dancing…close, personal, human…This made me think that inclusivity means not just letting someone in the door, but giving them a hug too. Also, these words suggest close, concrete actions and not just a “nice, far away idea.”
In a 2016 Time interview, Oprah revealed that she had dropped the word diversity from her vocabulary in favor of inclusion. She offered this reasoning, “the word that most articulates what we’re looking for is what we want to be: included. It’s to have a seat at the table where the decisions are being made.”
So, when you hear about the term inclusivity- think of asking someone to dance. Think about parties you’ve attended. The people on the dance floor usually seem to be having the most fun.