Wednesday, September 1, 2021

choice Thoughts: From Inclusion to Belonging

It is with great pride that we present to you our  issue From Inclusion to Belonging

A note from Garry, Publisher

My awareness of the part I play in the conversation about diversity, equity and inclusion hit me like a lightning bolt at the 2019 Association of Coach Training Organizations (ACTO) annual conference in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. 

The exact moment is very vivid in my mind. It was when one of the speakers, Robin DiAngelo (author of the book, White Fragility) said, “I am a white woman of privilege.” Clear as day. Factual and to the point. It soon hit me, and became part of the weekend’s discussion, that I was a white man of privilege. Factual and to the point.choice Thoughts

To me and many white male friends, it came as a huge surprise to hear and see how we were walking through the world. In my case, I had been oblivious to the impact I was having with my unrealized and hurtful biases and prejudices. 

What has happened since is multifaceted. On a personal level, I’ve chosen not to be afraid to have the conversations I was not aware I was avoiding. I’ve learned to give people permission to give me feedback when what I am saying or doing impacts them and their world. 

On a coaching and professional level, I was honored to be invited to the ICF Committee on Social Justice in Coaching Education. What I learned from this global and diverse group filled me with sadness, while the work we did filled me with hope. Thank you to the group for including me in this amazing conversation. 

I could not let it stop there. I felt the need to keep the conversation alive. I was asked to host a presentation by a DEI expert to the Gay Coaches Alliance (GCA) and later a working group on DEI for the GCA. Interestingly, despite being pro-gay, we have a challenge attracting BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) members. The conversation continues. 

On a business level, through choice Magazine, we published an issue last year entitled “Diversity & Inclusion: Why our differences make a difference.” It was a great start but deep down it did not feel like enough. So in our last issue we introduced a new regular column entitled “kaleidoscope” to focus on the issues and challenges of DEI in coaching and with our clients. This guest column will appear in each and every issue of choice. The conversation continues. 

Now, we’ve chosen to once again devote an entire issue to DEI, and I’m sure it won’t be our last. It is our mission to keep the conversation top of mind … to do what we can to make a difference on this extremely important topic. These conversations must continue until our unconscious brains are rewired, and the coaching profession has a huge role to play in moving our world forward. 

While this issue addresses racism and the role of coaching with a DEI mindset, choice will regularly cover topics around DEI that address ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, language, culture, religion, mental and physical ability, class or immigration status.

On an altogether different note, we are delighted to introduce a new video podcast series called “Beyond the Page,” where we choose an article from a recent issue of choice Magazine and have an in-depth conversation with the author. No doubt some of the articles from this issue will make for excellent podcast discussions. To find out more about how you can access the podcast, visit choice-online.com/blog. 

Enjoy the learning. Let us know what had an impact or what we can do better.

 

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