In today's world, it's more crucial than ever to build a community that's truly inclusive, equitable, and diverse. After all, a community is a place where everyone should feel like they belong, connect with others, and thrive. But what does it take to create such a community? How can we ensure that everyone feels empowered and supported?
We recently had the privilege of hosting a Masterclass at CMX with Abbiola Ballah, an Equity & Inclusion Consultant, Mentor & Speaker, and Founder of Phern Education Studios, who shared invaluable insights on how to prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in community building strategy. From the importance of prioritizing DEI to practical steps you can take to create a more supportive environment, Abbiola's insights offer a comprehensive roadmap to building a more inclusive and empowering community.
At the heart of Abbiola's roadmap are four main pillars: understanding the importance of prioritizing DEI, understanding what safe and brave communities entail, what needs to shift to make that happen, and, most importantly, where to begin.
Abbiola encourages us to start with the understanding that a community is made up of individuals, each with their own unique identities. And when someone joins a community, they don't shed that identity—they bring it along with them. These identities can be privileged or marginalized, and it's important to recognize the intersectionality of these identities as they shape our perspectives and experiences. With this awareness, we can move one step closer to building safer, brave communities.
To do this, we need to shift towards taking intentional actions that have an impact. Instead of focusing on a checklist of actions that we think will make the community 100% inclusive, we should think of building equity and inclusion as an ongoing journey, commit to this journey, and take small steps that can lead to significant change. We need to do the internal work first and make it part of our DNA, both personally and professionally. We need to realize that we have blind spots and know when to ask for help. It's crucial to be proactive, shift from passive to active, and speak up when harm is caused to ourselves or others.
If you're interested in learning more, we encourage you to watch the recording of the full masterclass. Abbiola's insights offer a comprehensive roadmap to building a more inclusive and empowering community, and her practical steps can help you create a supportive environment where everyone feels empowered and supported.