HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are topics that often might come up in the workplace, in academic spaces, or even in social situations. But do we all understand what they mean?
Kenny Anderson, the Director of the City of Huntsville’s Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), sat down with Steve Johnson on Leadership Perspectives to discuss what DEI actually means and why the things his office does to promote DEI is important.
Diversity, according to Anderson, represents how we differ from one another. Whether it be race, ethnicity, gender, socio-economic status, or religion, these are all ways we differ from one another and are the things that make people and communities diverse.
“One of the things I always tell people is to learn to speak outside the boundaries of race and ethnicity. That’s usually the exclusive conversation we end up having about diversity, or DEI,” Anderson said. “Those are very important things to recognize, but we’re also talking about gender, we’re talking about religion, we’re talking about socio-economic status, disability, place of origin which of course speaks to the issue of ethnicity, and we’re also talking about just the way people experience life in terms of academics, in terms of whether they are blue-collar or white-collar workers, or whether they are married or not married. All of these things represent issues of diversity.”
Anderson also discussed the value of equity and inclusion.
He said equity deals with policies, access, and having equal pathways to experience life, no matter your identity. Inclusion is how those people find themselves being involved, engaged, or invited in the processes of what is going on around them in the workplace, in academic spaces, in religious circles, etc.
Anderson’s discussion with Steve about DEI doesn’t end there. He goes on to discuss why it is important for everyone to be involved in conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion, how it affects everyone, and why his office is important to a city like Huntsville.
To hear the full conversation with Anderson, you can find it in the video player at the top of this page.