Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Journey: Where to Start

By Vynamic

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI) is a topic that has gained increased focus worldwide in the past 18 months, as the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism collided. In reaction to the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, protests erupted worldwide, and the public perception of racial justice and police brutality shifted significantly123. While this awakening in public perception is important – it is also long overdue. Centuries of racist policies, both explicit and implicit, have taken a toll on their recipients4 in a multitude of ways.

For example, in America, racial minorities receive less public education funding5, receive a lower quality of medical care6, and earn disproportionately less income7 than their white counterparts. In the UK, minority ethnic groups are disproportionately targeted as crime suspects, a persistent issue in the 35 years since the introduction of stop and search legislation, according to a recent government report8. The report also shares that in 2019 and 2020, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BME) people were over four times more likely to be stopped and searched in the UK than white people.

So why after so many years did this awakening happen specifically in 2020? In addition to the visceral shock of the violence against George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the pandemic starkly highlighted current health inequities, with racial and minority ethnic groups at higher risk of getting sick and dying from COVID-19 in the US9 and more likely to receive unclear information about COVID-19 safety protocols in the UK10. There was also a rise in anti-Asian violence due to the origin of the coronavirus. It was impossible to follow news on the pandemic without also seeing its disproportionate impact on Black, Brown, and Asian communities. Additionally, for many during the pandemic, a reduction in social obligations, commute time, and even unemployment led to an increase in time devoted to absorbing the racial injustices of the pandemic and police brutality11.

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