As young people we are the vanguards of a new era, one defined by equity, diversity and inclusion. Our diverse journeys serve as a testament to the power of collective action and the spirit of change. As we continue to pave the way for a more just and inclusive world, we should support and amplify each others voices. After all, it is our passion, innovation, and boundless energy that will shape a brighter future for us all.
Discovering EDI – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion
This blog stems from a conversation I had with the co-founder and chief operations officer at Kunda Kids, an award winning children’s book and media company based in the UK – Mrs. Louisa Kiwana Olafuyi. In the work that she does, she is intentional about promoting the African narrative in children’s literature. In our conversation, I felt the passion and desire to want to put diversity at the forefront of the work that she does, and pushed me to really explore and embrace diversity, equity and inclusion as a conceptual framework.
My interview with Mrs. Louisa Kiwana Olafuyi: Empowering Young Minds and Promoting Diversity in Children’s Literature.
The idea of equity, diversity and inclusion was never as clear cut before I went to Canada in 2022. It was evident that being in a culturally different environment with multiple races, traditions and social/cultural backgrounds is when I understood that equity, diversity, and inclusion aren’t just buzzwords; they are the cornerstones of a just society.
A blog that talks about the things I wish I knew before coming to Canada adds context to this: “6 things I wish I knew before coming to Canada”
I started working as a student equity and diversity advisor for the Center for Experiential Education under the University of Waterloo in the summer of 2022, and working with fellow peers and experienced equity gurus, made me appreciate the strive for equity not just in Canada, but on a global scale. I discovered that these three pillars although interconnected are defined separately.
Diversity, on the other hand, recognizes and appreciates the rich tapestry of cultures, backgrounds, and experiences that make up humanity. As young people, our innate curiosity and global connectivity allow us to embrace diversity effortlessly, cutting across all the geographical boundaries to learn from and connect with peers from all corners of the world – Of Course aided by the use of technology and media.
It is a deep aspect our experiences, encompassing a wide range of differences in terms of our backgrounds, identities, perspectives, and experiences. It’s a recognition of the unique qualities that each individual brings to the table, making our societies and communities rich and vibrant.
As we strive for equity, we aim to level the playing field, ensuring that every individual has an equal opportunity to succeed. Equity in a nutshell is about recognizing that each person’s journey is unique, and addressing systemic biases that hinder progress.
I was featured in the Waterloo chronicle discussing my thoughts and opinions on how I think racism and equity are tied together. I alluded to the fact that “…in the fight to combat racism, eliminating the racial disparities and improving outcomes for everyone are at the forefront of reaching the racial equity we seek. Racial equity as a social effort can be systematically and individually achieved…”
The full article about this can be found here: Your Voice against Racism?
Inclusion, the glue that binds equity and diversity together, is where the young people can truly excel. I have seen many reject exclusivity in favor of togetherness. What we understand is that true progress can only be achieved when everyone is welcomed, heard, and valued. We are harnessing the power of social media and grassroots activism to create inclusive spaces where no voice is drowned out, and no perspective is dismissed. Look at the Young Swedish activist Greta Thunberg as an example.
There has been remarkable efforts in promoting equity, diversity, and inclusion, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges the world faces when it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion. As young people we should acknowledge that there might be skepticism from older generations, online harassment, and the overwhelming weight of global issues can take a toll. However, our resilience and determination is unwavering. Once we understand that progress in this field takes time and effort, and are committed to the long haul, there is nothing we cannot achieve with focus.