4 Powerful Ways to Boost Diversity and Inclusion Efforts

By Kwanza Jones

diversity and inclusion

I was having a conversation with someone the other day and they asked me:

What does it mean to be underrepresented?

It instantly brought me back to an event that I hosted called, No Seat? Build Your Own Table.

At this event, I asked the participants if they've ever felt underrepresented, not included, or underestimated.

Not one person at this event said they hadn't felt any of these things.

We're talking about 100 people who had 100 different life experiences.

100 people who were unique ethnicities, races, genders, backgrounds, etc.

The fact is, we've all experienced it. So what can we do to change it?

No matter if it's at your job, your school, or in social settings, diversity and inclusion shouldn't just be brought up at Black and Brown tables.

It needs to be inserted and asserted at EVERY table. It begins with you. You have to inspire a sense of belonging.

How do you do that? Here's what I have to say:

4 Ways You Can Keep Diversity and Inclusion ON the Table

1) Get a Seat at the Right Table

Talking about diversity and inclusion in your friends' DMs or at the kitchen table is one thing, but discussing it with people of power is another.

Start connecting yourself with the right communities where diversity and inclusion is ALWAYS on the agenda and the people around the table are DEDICATED to making a change.

I make it a point to join ALL of these communities whenever I can, including incorporating diverse hiring practices for my own SUPERCHARGED teamily, AND overseeing my Boost Friends community, where people from all walks of life are happy to collaborate on hot button issues with up and coming entrepreneurs and world-changers.

When people in positions of power actually listen to the hustlers on the ground level - that's when the REAL progress can begin!

2) Speak Up, Speak Out, Get Loud

Only YOU know your life experience.

Only YOU can speak to the tables you've been excluded from.

Your voice matters and don't let anyone tell you any different.

3) Enter from a Place of Empathy

If you still can't find a chair to pull up at the right table, then it's time to create your own. And, to remember that the best way to appeal to others is empathy.

Remind them of when they were left out of the conversation. The US will soon be a majority-minority country. Tell them that for every extra seat they pull up at the table, hundreds of more voices can be heard.

You don’t have to be the mouthpiece for every underrepresented or underprivileged individual, but getting your diverse perspective into the conversation is certainly a start.

4) Keep Diversity and Inclusion at the Forefront

Remind the gatekeepers that "Diversity and Inclusion" is no longer the last item on the agenda.

Let them know that welcoming underrepresented populations is no longer an optional afterthought.

Diversity and Inclusion is THE thought of the 21st century, and we're closing out millions of people to think of it in any other way.

Now... It's Your Turn!

So, are you ready to finally find your well-deserved seat?

I thought so!

Now all you have to do is take ACTION.

Let the fire in your gut drive you and don't take no for an answer.

If you need a community of people to support you and boost you up, Check out my Boost Friends community.

As I always say, no one succeeds alone...sometimes you need a boost!

Who loves you?

I do.

Bye for now.

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Kwanza Jones

Kwanza Jones is on a mission to boost a billion lives through culture, community, and capital. She is a sought-after speaker, accomplished artist, impact investor, and philanthropist. With a multifaceted background spanning music, media, production, law and business, Jones is an energetic and visionary leader. She is CEO and founder of SUPERCHARGED® by Kwanza Jones, a motivational media company. Jones has served on numerous boards including the Apollo Theater, Bennett College, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer, and Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Through her Jones + Feliciano Initiative, she has committed over $165 million to education, entrepreneurship, equity and empowerment organizations. Connect with me on Instagram | LinkedIn | Facebook | X (formerly Twitter) | Kwanza Jones Boost Friends™ Community.