From Minneapolis - Our Plea Is For Diversity And Inclusion, Everywhere.
It has been one week since George Floyd’s death took place in Scrimmage’s hometown of Minneapolis. Since then, a powder keg has ignited across all of our hometowns fueling two extremes from truthful conversations and peaceful protests to incendiary events and intolerable perpetrators.
Similar powder kegs have blown and gripped our population in previous months, years, decades and even generations with, in the end, marginal advancement, few lessons learned, or little purpose devised. Why is history repeating itself – again? Why haven’t we learned? And, why are the resulting actions so divergent, not unified?
Ironically, today also marks the start of Pride Month, an initiative motivated by the notorious Stonewall uprising fifty-one years ago. Still, despite how far we’ve progressed, bias and ignorance clearly remain. It is seen in the workplace every day with obvious exclusions and tribe mentalities propagated. Yet, discrimination because of race, gender, beliefs, spirituality/religion, sexual orientation, as well as those with mental or physical disabilities is supposed to be illegal – it is not to be condoned.
With our industry responsible for the training and development of individuals across the workforce, each of us can make a difference stamping out all forms of discrimination, once and for all - and for the next generation(s). Diversity and inclusion programs have been a great start and are now more critical, than ever.
We can do more, though. We can lead by creating new conversations and honest dialogues. We can offer reminders to be open, listen and enlightened to different viewpoints and experiences. We can teach awareness and be more mindful of our own biases. We can do better in business, in the workplace and in our communities.
“Yes, the events of this past week have hit home,” acknowledges Scrimmage CEO, Derek Lundsten. “I commend the Scrimmage team, as they have once again shown unity and courage in standing up and (peacefully) making their voices heard during this time. However, it is who they are. From individual benevolence to our Scrimmage Cares philanthropy, it has been our collective mission through the years to support, as well as to give voices and opportunities to those underserved in our communities. It is our vow, more than ever, to continue to show such stewardship and to be the agents of change.”
There are now two simultaneous wars to battle. In recent months, our industry showed leadership and stepped up to support employees in the midst of a new pandemic, by providing the needed tools, technology and materials to work-from-home, to learn-from-home. We have the opportunity again to lead, support and advance our workforce by implementing new diversity and inclusion programs, education and dialogue in the midst of yet another (not-so-new) pandemic.
Let's learn together. Let's be a force of change together. Let's make our learning and development industry, our people and our employees proud.