4 Ways To Rewrite The Rules of Representation
By Kwanza Jones
If you know me, you know that I'm all about equality, empowerment, and education.
Most importantly, powering possibilities and boosting representation, access, and affordability to people who are overlooked, unaccounted for, and underserved.
I recently spoke at an event at my alma mater, Princeton University. This was a full-circle moment for me because when you look only a few decades back, scholars that looked like me didn't have a place.
Fast forward to my time there and although we were now allowed in the space, there were still instances where we were reminded that we didn't belong. And now, I'm speaking at an event dedicated to boosting diversity, inclusion, access, and affordability for all students.
Underrepresentation doesn't just mean there's less of us in numbers. It also means less funding, less welcoming spaces, and fewer opportunities to be heard. It would likely take another decade or so to undo and rework the unjust systems that are in place but I'm all about solutions.
Here's what you can do now to start rewriting the rules of representation and create more access and opportunities for the underrepresented:
1) Identify (and CALL OUT) the Problem
Have you ever been left out of a situation or opportunity because of the color of your skin? Your gender? Your financial background?
My guess is yes.
We all know that this happens way too often.
But remember, the powers that be, that are excluding you, might not know it yet.
And THAT'S where you come in.
Write a letter. Make a meeting. Send that email.
Don't do it to get even, do it to get LOUD. Let your underrepresented voice be heard. Because if you don't do it, who will?
2) Come Armed with SOLUTIONS
So you arranged that meeting, you sent that letter, you're talking the talk when it comes to bringing visibility to underrepresented communities.
But...are you also prepared to WALK THE WALK?
Simply airing your dirty laundry isn't going to get anyone anywhere. What you need are creative solutions.
Ideas that open up new spaces for underrepresented groups so they are not only represented...but welcome.
You need to assert the importance of creating more spaces, more opportunities, and more access for underrepresented communities. You don't need money to create solutions. You just need a plan and a network of people that are going to boost your efforts.
In short, you've got to be prepared to #DOTHEWORK and shake up the status quo!
3) Speak from a Place of LOVE
No one ever gets what they want by throwing a fit and having a nasty attitude.
Remember that people come together over connection. Common experiences. Empathy.
So, once you've got your meeting date and solutions in tow, how are you going to guarantee that anyone will care?
With a little bit of patience and a whole lot of empathy.
4) Get Yourself a SUPPORT group
Conquering an unjust system is tiring, but you don't have to do it alone.
Seek out like-minded world-changers who want to create an impact as much as you do.
If you need a place to start, check out my SUPERCHARGED Boost Friends community. We support each other and boost each other to be better.
Because that’s what Boost Friends do.
Until next time.
Who loves you? I do!
Bye for now.
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