Monthly Archives: August 2011

Inclusionist Diversity Heroes and Zeros

Recent Heroes and Zeroes in Inclusive Actions, Comments and Behavior

Zero number 1- the Security Guard at the SF Jewish Museum who told two women holding hands that t hey had to stop, and then tried to kick them out.

Zero for his behavior and zero for his brain

The two lesbians were at the Gertrude Stein exhibit, for those who don’t know, Gertrude Stein was well –known as a lesbian, and the Jewish Museum has LGBT people in leadership.

Yo, security guard, zero number 1- maybe next time you need to check out the exhibit you’re guarding.

Since when is holding hands illegal- Uh oh- felony charges-holding hands in a public place- ten years at hard labor

And on the flip side-

Hero number one- exec leadership of the SFJewish Museum who were not going to get defensive or make excuses-

They uninvited the security guard, educated the rest of the security guards, and the following Sunday hosted a hand holding day, which apparently was very well attended

Zero number 2- staff member at Dollywood who asked a woman who was wearing a pro-gay marriage t-shirt to cover up the message. Granted they have a policy about people wearing shirt with messages, but that was not how the staffer responded- he told them this was a family park

Hero number 2-

Dolly Parton who has long been an open supporter of the lgbt community personally apologized to the women. “Everyone knows of my personal support of the gay and lesbian community. Dollywood is a family park and all families are welcome,” she said. “We do have a policy about profanity or controversial messages on clothing or signs. It is to protect the individual wearing or carrying them, as well as to keep down fights or problems by those opposed to it at the park. We even offer free shirts in exchange to those who want to remain in the park.”

Three Key Points

1-If you want an inclusive culture and want to attract customers from across the diversity spectrum, besides educating employees in your organization, you have to educate and integrate contractors, vendors and anyone else whose bad behavior can have a negative impact on you, your business and your reputation.

2- If there is a mishap, the sooner you address it, apologize, and take action, the sooner you’ll not only be forgiven, but you’ll have even more standing amongst your customers and clients

3- Create an accountability process and let outside contractors know

that you are holding them responsible and if they don’t share your values on inclusion, then they need to exclude themselves from your business

And finally, the third hero is Lil B, the 21 year old rapper ,whose album is called I’m Gay. That took a lot of courage, and a good marketing mind.

Lil B in fact is not gay, and has received death threats from homophobes

When CNN asked him, why he titled this album that way he replied

“It was something that was going through my mind for a while. I feel like I’m man of the people: meeting people, respecting people and accepting people. I hope that I can turn some of my fans that might be homophobic or supporters that might be homophobic and say,” “You know what, we’re all one people. This is love.” “It’s just respect, and I did that to bring people together and bring more love and to spark the minds of people and not let words and judgments and stereotypes stop you from loving.”