Equality, Diversity & Inclusion: what’s it all about?

two hands meeting

Author: Pavan Khera Pattar

Equality, diversity and inclusion, or EDI, DEI or even JEDI when we place ‘Justice’ up front (nod to Yoda). We’ve all probably heard these words being thrown around. But what do they mean, and how do they relate to us?

Well, we’re here to tell you so hitch up a hammock, sit back and relax whilst we talk you through all things EDI.

What is Equality?

Well, equality refers to the state of being equal, especially in terms of rights, opportunities, and treatment. This means that everyone should be treated fairly, without discrimination or prejudice.

In terms of its importance, it really helps promote social justice and prevent discrimination and oppression. Equality is a wonderful thing, ensuring that we have the same opportunities to succeed and fulfil our potential.

Diversity

Now, let’s talk about diversity. What does it mean? Diversity means having a variety of different people and perspectives. This includes differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, age, abilities, and more. Basically, diversity is what makes us all unique!

Diversity is important because it allows us to learn from each other and to see things from different perspectives. It helps us to understand and appreciate different cultures, traditions, and ways of life. Imagine if we all looked the same, thought the same, and acted the same. That would be pretty boring, wouldn’t it? No thank you. That’s why diversity is so important – our differences make us who we are.

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Inclusion

Finally, let’s talk about inclusion. What does it mean? Inclusion means making sure that everyone feels valued and included, no matter their differences. This means creating an environment where everyone feels welcome and respected.

Inclusion is important because it allows everyone to feel like they belong. It means that no one should feel left out or excluded because of who they are or where they come from. Imagine if you were the only person in your class who spoke a different language, or if you were the only person with a disability. That would be pretty isolating, right? That’s why inclusion is so important.

 

Why Do Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Matter?

So, now that we’ve talked about what equality, diversity, and inclusion mean, why do they matter and what are it’s importance? Well, there are a few reasons.

First of all, they matter because they ensure that everyone has a fair chance to succeed. When we treat everyone equally and value diversity, we create a level playing field where everyone can thrive, unlike that sports field at school on a slope with the wind blowing downhill, arghhh…. Remember that?

Second, they matter because they help us to learn from each other and to see things from different perspectives. When we embrace diversity and inclusion, we open ourselves up to new ideas and experiences, which can help us grow and learn.

Finally, they matter because they make the world a better place for us to all hang out in. When we value equality, diversity, and inclusion, we create a more just and compassionate society, where everyone can feel like they belong.

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How Can You Support Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion?

Alrighty, now you know the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion, you might be wondering how you can support them. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Be open-minded: Try to keep an open mind and be willing to learn (and listen) from others, even if they’re different from you.
  2. Speak up: If you see someone being treated unfairly, speak up and let them know that their behaviour is not okay.
  3. Celebrate differences: Embrace and celebrate diversity by learning about different cultures, traditions, and ways of life.
  4. Be inclusive: Make sure that everyone feels welcome and included, especially those who might feel left out or excluded.
  5. Stand up for what you believe in: If you believe in EDI stand up for those values and be an advocate for change. Sometimes it’s scary to disagree with our friends and family or call out offensive behaviour. But we promise you will feel better once you stand up for what you believe in.
  6. Educate yourself: Read books, watch documentaries, and learn about the experiences of people from different backgrounds to broaden your perspective.
  7. Practice empathy: Try to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and understand their experiences and perspectives.
  8. Get involved: Join clubs, organisations, or initiatives that promote equality, diversity, and inclusion to make a difference in your community.

Equality, diversity, and inclusion are important values that promote fairness, respect, and acceptance for all. By embracing these values, we can create a more just and compassionate society where everyone can thrive. As young people, you have the power to make a difference and promote the importance of equality, diversity, and inclusion in your communities and beyond. Remember to keep an open mind, celebrate differences, and stand up for what you believe in. Together, we can build a better and more inclusive world.

Put these ideas into practice and place your mind in a hammock…. until next time, see ya!

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