Valuing diversity—exercising diversity leadership—means treating others with respect and dignity, ferreting out injustice, celebrating differences, and simultaneously seeking common ground. Acknowledge differences—celebrate them—but embrace the fundamental sameness we share as human beings. Differences aside, we share basic values, goals, and aspirations. Most importantly, we share a common humanity. Tapping into that common humanity requires wading out of the shallow waters of difference as division and plunging headfirst into the deep pools of diversity as dynamism. One of the ways that we may come to understand and appreciate diversity is to listen to the narratives others have to tell about their personal journeys, especially those related to differences, be they based on race, ethnicity, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or any other the other major identity markers. These tales shape our lives. IncogNegro recounts, poetically, stories of race and diversity. Listen. Listening breeds empathy, evokes compassion, and moves us a step closer to walking the proverbial mile in someone else’s shoes. Everything begins with that first step. Ultimately, like actors on the world stage, each of us has some role, however small, to play in fostering an inclusive community in which we all have the opportunity to thrive.
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