Inclusion is not an adjective

Tasked with writing a piece that celebrates diversity for International Women’s’ Day I set off to see what the internet thought. I was overwhelmed by the number of events, discussions and blog posts that google returned.

International Women’s Day is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the success and stories of women across the world. However as with days such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day, this respect, appreciation and most importantly inclusion must be continued daily.

Because the way I see it, diversity is an adjective, to include is the verb. Or in the words of futurist Jacque Fresco, “The shape and solutions of the future rely totally on the collective effort of people working together. We are all an integral part of the web of life.”

Take for example a mixed basketball team, which requires at least 2 – 4 women on court at any time. That’s sensible, right? But what if you’re the third and fourth women on a team and each week you are benched for the entire game. I mean, you’re in the team, what’s there to complain about? How about missing out on the opportunities to participate on court, not feeling like a valued team member and unable to even try to score a goal. You’re not included, you feel as though you don’t belong.

Instead of having one game a season of court time, how about each game we give everyone a chance?

Helen Keller once said “Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” I wholeheartedly agree; The journey of life is in all ways a team game. A game that begins with respecting and valuing everyone for their authentic self.

Inclusion of not only women, but people of diverse backgrounds, is an issue that stretches beyond a singular date.

For we are all different and there are many labels that tell us so. But what we have in common is far greater than what draws us apart. When we focus our attention on creating spaces and opportunities to include others we live out international women’s day everyday.

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Written by Maddie Ford, an Accelus Intern. Maddie is a recent graduate who is on the pursuit to cultivate her creativity and discover her passions.