View from the Top | DEI: “Strength Lies in Differences, Not in Similarities.”
DEI: “Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.” – Stephen Covey.
The concept of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) started to help us learn how to appreciate our differences and work better together. What would you call it if you had the power to reinvent DEI? DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion), DIB (diversity, inclusion, and belonging), D&I (diversity & inclusion), JEDI (justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion), or EDRI (Equity, Diversity, and Respectful Inclusion).
Stephen Covey's quote means that we humans should understand that each individual is unique and has individual differences. These can be race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.
If I had the power to reinvent DEI, I would call it Equity, Diversity, and Respectful Inclusion (EDRI); here's why:
The term "Equity" acknowledges that treating everyone the same does not necessarily result in fairness, as different individuals may face other challenges and barriers.
The term "Diversity" acknowledges the value of differences in identities, perspectives, and experiences. It promotes a culture that celebrates and embraces these differences. This includes creating a workplace that values and respects individuals from all backgrounds and identities, including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and age.
Finally, "Respectful Inclusion" emphasizes creating an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued, respected, and included. This involves creating a culture that seeks out and welcomes diverse perspectives and ideas and fosters a sense of belonging for all individuals.
By emphasizing equity, diversity, and respectful inclusion, the term "EDRI" would reflect a more holistic and inclusive approach to promoting fairness, respect, and equal opportunities for all individuals.
Because we do not have the power to change what we call DEI today, is no reason to not do your part. Remember, it's the work we do that matters, not the acronym you choose to describe it.
Authored by Gloria W. Greene, Assistant Vice President, Contracts & Grants
The University of Alabama at Huntsville
SRAI Board of Directors President