Leadership Lunch and Learn: Diversity, Equity, Belonging, and Inclusion
Diversity and inclusion are more than policies, programs, or headcounts. Equitable employers outpace their competitors by respecting the unique needs, perspectives, and potential of all their team members. As a result, diverse and inclusive workplaces earn deeper trust and more commitment from their employees.
In the September Leadership Lunch and Learn session, two presenters from the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) shared their insights on the topic.
Teki K. Hunt, M.Ed., Director of 4-H Youth Development Program/Co-Coordinator-Peace Corps Prep Program/Instructor–Human Sciences, UAPB, School of Agriculture, Fisheries, & Human Sciences, kicked off the conversation with the activity: What is in a name? She said it is important to learn each other’s names, and that names can provide insight into people’s personal backgrounds.
Rachel L. Luckett, M.S., Extension Specialist II, Urban Outreach Director, School of Agriculture, Fisheries, & Human Sciences, UAPB North Little Rock Site, added that names can provide an opportunity to learn about the impact of differences, and can help create a community by listening to other’s stories.
Hunt shared how she was named by her brother and that he derived the name “Teki” after the short story, "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" by Rudyard Kipling. The story is about a mongoose, Rikki-Tikki, who bravely battles two large cobras that threaten the family who adopted him.
Luckett shared she was named “Rachel” after someone on the Another World soap opera. Many participants also shared the origins of their names.
Next, they asked participants to share what comes to mind when they heard the words diversity, equity, and inclusion. Participants shared the following responses: excitement, hope, awareness, acceptance, purpose, change, relationships, connections, unifying, and divisive depending on the person’s attitude.
They closed with a discussion about how to make people feel like they belong. Simple things like remembering names, saying hello, smiling, and showing kindness are easy ways to instill a sense of belonging in others. They shared, “The presence of each of us is important.”
During the presentation, they provided the following resources.
- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Community of Practice website
- Coming Together for Racial Understanding fact sheet and website
- 4-H System Access, Equity and Belonging Committee website
- Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: The danger of a single story | TED Talk
- Coming Together for Racial Understanding Community Extension Service internal workshop link to register https://learn.uada.edu/course/view.php?id=1996
Watch the recording here.
The next session will be at 12:15 p.m., Oct. 26. Taylor Knox, ExCEL Leadership Coordinator, will discuss innovation. Register here.