Adopt A Class’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Week
“Potential is equally distributed; opportunity is not.” https://www.mentoring.org/
Adopt A Class would like to kick off our diversity, equity, and inclusion week by highlighting the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion in mentorship. Adopt A Class strongly believes in fostering a culture of inclusion and is committed to racial equity throughout our work in Greater Cincinnati.
What is DEI?
It is one of Adopt A Class’s core values to work towards closing the mentoring gap. In our effort to bring more mentors to the schools we serve, it is crucial to have mentors who are diverse. That way, our students’ needs can be met in an inclusive atmosphere. To do so, we must remember that students identify with people who look like them! Adopt A Class aims to ensure that we provide increased opportunities for our students to be matched with mentors of the same race to increase our program’s positive impact on the students we serve.
“1 in 3 young people grow up without mentoring support.” https://www.mentoring.org/
Equity is defined as “working toward fair outcomes for people or groups by treating them in ways that address their unique advantages or barriers.” (https://career.colostate.edu/di-definitions/ .) While all students have the potential to do amazing things, there are many boundaries that don’t grant equal opportunity for all. Our goal is for Adopt A Class mentors to recognize that we live in a world where people have intersectional identities. It is important to not only address the barriers that minority individuals face, but also understand the advantages that certain groups have. This will ultimately cultivate further understanding of diversity and inclusion throughout our community and in their mentor/mentee relationships.
Layers to Diversity
As mentors, we need to remind ourselves that we all have different understandings of the word “diversity.” By realizing so and acknowledging that there are several layers to diversity, mentors can further help students see diversity in a positive light. They can empower students that diversity is an essential thing throughout the entirety of life. When you remind your students, that diversity is a “value-added asset,” students will feel encouraged and uplifted—thus expanding their horizons and preparing young people for their future outside of the classroom.
What Can I Do?
Adopt A Class challenges you to be a better advocate and supporter of DEI— in and outside of the classroom.To be a better advocate and supporter for DEI, you can:
- Motivation! – Encourage your company to lead programs and initiatives. Potential DEI focused initiatives you can implement are linked here: https://www.snapcomms.com/blog/diversity-program-ideas
- Educate Yourself! – Take time to research and fully understand the severity of the childhood poverty in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky area. Written by Sarah Stankorb of Cincinnati Magazine, this article features information on what child poverty looks like, as well as the effects it has on young people in our community. Below is the link to this article: https://www.cincinnatimagazine.com/features/growing-up-poor-in-cincinnati/
- Educational Activities! – Do more educational DEI activities with students during your mentoring sessions.
- Share & Listen! – Talk with your colleagues and mentees about personal experiences in terms of DEI and be willing to listen to theirs.