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Now More than Ever

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November 17, 2016

As we digest the results of last week’s historic election, I feel compelled to give some insight into where D5’s work with respect to diversity, equity and inclusion in philanthropy is heading.  Firm plans and approaches are still being determined but recent events, conversations, convenings and feedback have confirmed the general sense that the work itself needs to continue.  Now more than ever…

The terms–diversity:equity:inclusion–are often debated, defended and sometimes dismissed.  D5 has advanced strategies and frameworks, developed messages and promoted toolkits.  We’ve analyzed data and built platforms.  But in the real world, the process we just endured was too often cast as one of division and antagonism, of ‘us vs them’ and of deeply rooted fears based in identity, relevance and transparency.  But it was also a cry to make real the hard work needed to co-create a future in which we ALL feel safe and valued.

This is the opportunity–this is the stretch we all have to make.  By authentically embracing diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences and allowing that diversity to be fully included in our processes–‘with no need to preempt grievance,’*–we can truly advance equity in ways far more nuanced, complex and fundamental than we often assume.

At the end of the day, the real work of strengthening the common good is in living and being these values.  Which means we can make change in every conversation, every relationship, every action–every reaction.  Whether we like it or not, we are all in this together.

This complicated dance is the new frontier; let’s ‘walk forward into that light…’*


*”Praise song for the day” by Elizabeth Alexander
Poem for the 1st inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama, 44th President of the United States of America
link to full text

  • John

    I think it’s important to note that even the definition of diversity has been evolving as we continue to work toward better inclusion in all fields of business. By further defining diversity, we open ourselves to the opportunity of having representation from more groups of people than before, further increasing our capacity for different views on issues and day-today operations. Thank you for sharing.


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