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Is Diversity Equity and Inclusion Next on the Chopping Block!

After the recent United States Supreme Court’s 6-3 decision to eliminate Affirmative Action — bolstering nationwide efforts to erase the horrific Black Experience in America (more aggressively in Florida) — one must logically assume that Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) might be the next program dismantled — which could be a tragic loss for Black people.

Hello, I’m Johnicon George Sr., owner of Icon Connects, LLC. Welcome to the Real Social Change Blog.

Newspaper opinion columnist Danette Mitchell recently wrote in her column for “The Reporter” her reasons for accepting the Supreme Court’s decision. She stated, "Collectively, affirmative action has proven ineffective for Black people and hasn’t closed the racial wealth gap that continues to widen.”

She continued we shouldn’t fight any longer to keep a program framed initially for Black people yet metamorphosed into benefiting everybody else but Black people.

Logically, I agree with Mrs. Mitchell. Emotionally, I say, “Hell No!”

We fought for Affirmative Action, yet a group of Asian Americans presented a case to the Supreme Court to strike down a program that was never meant for them.

In the Black community, we were human trafficked, stripped of our identity and culture, dehumanized, and relegated to be nothing more than property. The oppressors treated their dogs better than us.

After the emancipation proclamation, newly freed Black people still were systemically locked out of every institution that would allow them to progress in America.

In 2023, Black lives are still viewed and treated as disposable. We deserve reparations, that has become increasingly mainstream conversation nationally, and every special consideration and accommodation to help put us on a level playing field.

As for DEI, cultivating a diverse employee population where everyone feels secure in bringing their best selves to work is the right thing to do and is better for business.

DEI companies attract diverse talent and customers and retain employees. Any institution’s goal, whether in education or the workplace, should be to support a diverse environment, representing America.

But again, logically, special preferences alone will not move the Black community forward. We must help move ourselves forward.

For the past few years, the Tri-City branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Color People has made available scholarships for high school seniors entering college. Despite the organization’s efforts to reach its youth, individuals from other ethnic groups apply in greater numbers than Black seniors. Why?

In 1966, Dr. Maulana Karenga gave Black people a blueprint known as the Kwanzaa principles. These relevant principles should be understood, expanded upon, promoted, and lived year-round. We can implement one principle for fifty-two days each by doing the tasks each represents.

Please allow me to refresh your memory of these powerful principles: unity, self-determination, collective work and responsibility, cooperative economics, purpose, creativity, and faith. I’ll add higher education, which includes learning about and celebrating our extraordinary history in America!

Back to the looming demise of DEI, it’s just a matter of time before DEI might follow the downfall of affirmative action. No need for us to fret. Black men and Black women, together, can develop strategies to be proactive rather than reactive.

The Real Social Change Blog is a community blog. Please feel free to submit DEI topics you want to see discussed. If your suggested topic is selected, you can choose an Icon Connects SWAG bag or a $50 value MARY KAY gift basket!

You can also post your comments, discussions, and suggestions on the blog. Please do not post private information. And remember to be courteous, as I will quickly remove offensive, disrespectful, or irrelevant ones.

Take a moment to view previous blogs, browse the Icon Connects, LLC website, and subscribe!

See you next month!

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