“Inclusive 360” by Bernadette Smith – NOT Just Another Diversity Book!

Bernadette Smith, author of “Inclusive 360: Proven Solutions for an Equitable Organization”

This new book launched on September 21st !!

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As a diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) consultant and trainer, I do like to read various books on this topic and blog about them. And every so often, an author I personally know sends me a pre-publication book to review and blog about.

Such is the case with “Inclusive 360: Proven Solutions for an Equitable Organization” by Bernadette Smith. I met Bernadette several years ago at the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce’s annual conference (our companies are both certified LGBT-Business Enterprises via the chamber) and later enjoyed coffee with her when I traveled to Chicago where she shared about her plans to write with me.

Seriously, this is one of the very best diversity books for organizations I have read in years, and I plan to use it as a resource in my consulting work. So why is this book so outstanding? Five reasons:

1. The book is packed with ideas and dozens of examples of various innovative and impactful actions organizations have taken. Bernadette covers employee belonging, diversity in product and offering design, inclusive recruiting, pay practices, employee benefits, procurement practices and more. I cannot think of an area of business she did not cover. And all of this in under 200 pages!

2. She structures the book within the 3 main topics often included in all diversity work – part 1 is diversity, part 2 addresses equity and part 3 addresses inclusion.

3. Bernadette provides a very useful construct that she repeats in each chapter called ARC – Ask, Respect and Connect:
• Asking is about being open and inquisitive; asking good questions to better understand someone’s issues, struggles or position and then listening intently
• Respect is about actively listening and then accepting the input provided or data with an intention to honestly gain insight from it.
• Connecting is then providing appropriate responses and actions
Bernadette uses this ask, respect, connect methodology as she explores the various aspects of DEI

Order your copy today!

4. A high percentage of the book contains realistic actions that organizations can take on the various areas of DEI ranging from basic and intermediate tactics up through leading edge, truly inspirational actions.

5. And finally as appropriate and when totally relevant, Bernadette is authentic and transparent and shares some difficult parts of her own learning journey around diversity, equity and inclusion.

I highly recommend this book as a great tool to help you and your organization in your DEI journey no matter the size of your company or what stage you are in.

Here is the link to order your copy now, and I hope you are fortunate as I am and get to meet Bernadette in person some day.

So-called Illegal Aliens are Human, Too

When I do general diversity and inclusion training, I often include a section on diversity of language and communications. I provide lists of the appropriate and respectful terms and words that people should use when referring to different groups of people. One example is using the term “sexual orientation” instead of “sexual preference,” which is insulting to gay people.

In a recent training session with a city police department, I got pushback when I shared that the respectful term to refer to immigrants who are here without proper documentation as “undocumented immigrants” instead of “illegal aliens.” I explained that all humans are created equally by God or whatever higher power you may or may not believe in and should be treated with respect. I do not believe God sees any person as “illegal.”

Some in the audience continued to argue that these are illegal bad people. I did try to have them separate a person’s actions from their humanity, and asked them, “If you do something bad from time to time, does that make you a bad person?” Yes, you can say that someone’s actions are illegal or bad, but that does not mean the person is illegal.

They still were not buying it. Then one person in the back of the room gave that old age argument, “they should come into this country legally like our ancestors did,” to which I replied, “I wonder what the Native Americans who were here before us think about that argument. Our forefathers stole their land from them and pushed them out.”
After the training, I then realized how I could further the discussion by asking them to have some empathy and put themselves in someone else’s shows.

EXAMPLE 1 – As Hitler was leading millions of Jews to the gas chamber, do you think the Jews may have the human right to get out of there any way they could, even if by illegal means? Or should they just stand by passively and get killed instead of illegally entering some other country?

EXAMPLE 2 – A good policeman just like you in Mexico is trying to fight the powerful drug cartels that are sending their drugs into the USA. The drug lords have already killed one police officer and their family, and have communicated to you that you, your wife and children are next on their hit list. Would you just stand by and let your family be executed, or would illegal escape to the USA to preserve you and your family’s life?

As a country and as individuals, let’s show some empathy and kindness toward everyone, including illegal aliens … WHOOPS … I mean undocumented immigrants.