Rallying for Inclusion for all Generations

By Jessica Speziale

A recent SAFE survey shared that almost 30 percent of students in the United States are involved in bullying on a regular basis. The most common type is verbal bullying, which includes derogatory terms based on an individual’s race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, etc. This can make one wonder how the next generation will survive in the workforce.

Gina Duncan is recognized as a national and international speaker on transgender inclusion in the work place. Learn more about her Transgender Corporate Training.

There’s no doubt that progress has been made in the areas of inclusion – but, there is still a long way to go. And, we can get even closer to our goal by educating each generation.

Gina Duncan, who serves as the director of transgender inclusion for Equality Florida Institute, shares, “We need more education and it begins with setting inclusion policies in schools – just like the rest of corporate America is doing. There are too many misconceptions and misunderstandings that can be solved by educating earlier and saving the next generation from some of the unconscious biases that our older generation faces today.”

Here are three things you can do to begin the rally for inclusion: Inform: Expose the younger generations to differences, including sexual preferences, cultures, races, religions, etc., as soon and often as you can. Organically, they will become excited to learn about and explore differences, making “different” more comfortable for them.

Educate: Look for books and TV shows that encourage inclusion, i.e., by simply watching a show like Modern Family can share what “modern” means in today’s world. And, if you are an administrator in an educational system, check out Promoting Diversity in Your Schools.

Role model: Set the example by understanding and valuing differences, i.e., highlight the value of someone with a disability during your conversations with younger generations. And, create standards for what’s tolerable and what needs to be addressed with discipline early on.

“It is important that we are aware of the issues and can develop solutions to engage the next generation,” explains Duncan. “Many employees want to work for progressive companies who embrace diversity and enable people to come to work as their true and authentic selves and because of this, they love their jobs. And, think of how much more passionate children and teens would be about education if school systems were just as progressive, welcoming and inclusive. Harassment and bullying would be a thing of the past.”

With each generation, we can get closer to equality. It’s all about normalcy and it’s only a matter of time until there are no issues with gender expression or sexual orientation, and embracing differences in general.

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