#3DVU​​​ Inclusion: what it is and why it matters Episode 10 Season 2
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#3DVU​​​ Inclusion: what it is and why it matters Episode 10 Season 220 min read

3DVU is back with shorter episodes filled with interesting content, every episode will be less than 30 minutes, in this episode we tackle the questions: What is inclusion? And why does it matter?

Transcript of Episode 10 Season 2

Richard Streitz:  I don’t necessarily have to agree with you, but I could include you anyway. That’s okay. It’s okay to accept people who don’t think the same way you do. That’s part of the grant diversity of us as a global society, you know that’s, it’s that division of thought that ultimately is the, the spark of innovation.

LaMondre Pough: Welcome to 3DVU, one conversation, three different perspectives. I’m LaMondre Pough.

David Pérez: I am David Pérez.

Richard Streitz: And I’m Richard Streitz. Thank you for joining us.

LaMondre Pough: We know it has been a little while since you heard from us, since you’ve seen us. But we’re back and we’ve got some new features attached to the show that we really think that you’re going to enjoy. So we’re going to jump right into this conversation. And today what we’re talking about is inclusion, what it means and why it matters.

Gentlemen, let’s talk about what inclusion is. So what does inclusion mean?

Richard Streitz: Well, I, I think inclusion can be looked at a couple of different ways and inclusion, certainly from an accessibility standpoint means being inclusive of individuals and being able to accommodate individuals who may have varying abilities from one another.

Inclusion can also mean certainly acceptance of a person’s lifestyle, for example, and being inclusive of and being tolerant of of an individual’s religion, for example. So inclusive isn’t is an interesting word because it can mean so many different things in, in, depending on the context that it’s that it’s being used.

And oftentimes people can, when they hear the word inclusion, I think generationally they’ll think of one, a slightly different thing. So for example, an older generation, when they hear the word inclusion will immediately think ADA and accessibility and disability and the, and all the elements around that.

I think a younger individual, when you hear the word inclusion, they will think of it more as an acceptance of people as they are depending on, what pronoun they, they identify with what religion they’re with, it’s a much broader sort of idea of inclusion. So I think it’s interesting how that’s just something that I’ve noticed in conference that I’ve had with different individuals.

So it’s an interesting term.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah, it absolutely is.

David Pérez: It is an interesting term because it’s complex in and of itself and people don’t actually always understand what inclusion is when they’re talking about it. And it’s something that’s talked about often in governments and companies and almost everywhere.

And usually when you ask someone to define include. They always go to being inclusive. Which says everything. And it doesn’t say anything at the same time.

Richard Streitz: That’s so true.

David Pérez: I think that inclusion in its essence comes from the human need to belong and being able to call the whole world or as many people as possible, if not everyone, us. Basically that we are all the same thing, that’s inclusion and it’s complicated because it has different levels. And there are different things that inclusion touches like being included in, in, in a game in school, being included in examples, in your classroom being included when you’re applying for a job, being included when the economic system is not favoring you.

So all of those things are part of what inclusion actually means, but it definitely means being able to call everyone part of us.

LaMondre Pough: I think the perspectives are so interesting, because you can ask a number of different people, what inclusion is, and you may get a different definition from each of those people.

And I think you’re right, Richard, I’ve noticed too, if you speak to the more seasoned generations, they pretty much stick to the whole disability inclusion piece of it. But as you speak to the younger generation, you do hear a more broader perspective of what inclusion is. And I want to give you the definition from the from from the Oxford languages.

And what it says is inclusion is the practice or policy of providing equal access to opportunities and resources for people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized such as those with physical or mental disabilities are members of other minority groups. So this definition really leans on those who have traditionally been excluded, particularly those who’ve been pushed to the margins. And I think that with that kind of a definition and what both you and David said, I think it’s important that we began to talk about why that’s so important. Why is being inclusive and why having an inclusion mindset is so important.

Richard Streitz: I think two things: a, I think it is encouraging that the younger generation looks at this term and embraces it at a much broader sense because I think that’s really important and puts a bright light on the future of us as a species. So that, that’s a good thing, but more pointed to your, to your question directly.

I think the idea of being universal can only help in how we change and adopt how we live, how we work how we construct policies when the general and the broader mindset is that of a more inclusive state a state of mind, I think we end up with a much better wholer and more inclusive society in general, regardless of where it is in the world.

And I, I, again, I think it’s positive in toward future that a lot of the issues border issues and philosophical issues that exist between countries and even the divisiveness, internally in our here in the U S that, that exists. These are really issues that are stemmed in the old way of thinking.

That I think in this day and age, we’re seeing doesn’t even have a place anymore, which is why we are, we have such a large divisiveness at this period of time. And because of that lack of understanding of a basic inclusion of all people in all ideas and all mindsets the idea that if I’m right, you have to be wrong because there is no possible any other Way of thinking or correct way of thinking.

And so that is by default is not being inclusive right. In being in acceptance of that other thought or ideology or what have you. So anyway that’s one approach or my concept of that.

David Pérez: Yeah. I also think that inclusion matters or it’s important because it is, it’s morally, if you’re leaving someone out. You’re, you’re it, you’re wrong then, there’s no way around it. I do think that there’s a clear line dividing what’s right. And what’s wrong. And excluding people just because they don’t form part of your group or the thing that you decided that was going to be your group.

It’s wrong because you’re leaving people, actual people out of whatever it is. And when inclusion comes and it comes as real inclusion as a thing that’s actually there, you can see the benefits immediately, like Richard was saying in better ideas, more diverse addressing problems.

It’s really incredible. What can happen when inclusion actually happens, but inclusion is usually not there. And that’s, I think the point of why it matters most. Why we need to talk about it. It is because it’s usually not their. Usually people are leaving are being left behind, are being left outside of economic progress of social progress of public policy creation.

So that’s when inclusion needs to be most important when there’s something to fight for and that’s when people are being left out.

LaMondre Pough: I agree. I think inclusion really matters because as the world has evolved and as we are becoming a much more global community, the gaps between the haves and the have not really demonstrate the need to be more inclusive. And what do I mean by that? As you pointed out David, and you also Richard, that when people are included, ideas begin to flourish, when people are included, solutions are birthed that otherwise would not have been even considered because that perspective was not represented and what we’ve learned, particularly in this past in the past five years globally, is that change happens swiftly.

And that oftentimes the things that we’re faced with are things that we haven’t seen before as a mass group of people. So that inclusion, that input is essential for solving our problems quickly. And for recognizing where issues arise quickly, and also realizing that if an issue is affecting this group over here, then the whole is being affected.

It’s almost like this move towards sustainability. When we talk about sustainability, it is more than just about environment. It is more than just about the climate change. It is really about looking at how systems interrelate and those systems will be social systems, economic systems, and in certain environmental systems as well.

And the only way to really create sustainability is to have true inclusion. So in order for us to not burn up our resources in order for us to move forward as a society, in order for us to really have the economic systems that is benefitial for all of humanity, inclusion is the only way to make that happen.

So that’s my perspective as to why inclusion matters. But then that also leads to the next question. So if inclusion matters, what does being inclusive look like? What does that mean?

David Pérez: That’s very complex. It depends on who you are, where you are and what you’re doing. Inclusion, as we have explored in the last couple of minutes is it’s such a rich thing that it’s almost impossible to just point at it and say, that’s what it looks like. But I think that inclusion is, a decision to think beyond your group or your culture or demographic or whatever you’re thinking and realizing that to achieve true empowerment and progress on society.

You actually need to make sure that everyone has a voice. That’s where it is, where it starts. You need to think about, about inclusion in business as, as making sure that people that don’t usually get a chance do get a chance and that you value everyone for their effort and their, what they’re bringing to the table instead of valuing them, just because of other things that we know that happens.

And you need to think about inclusion in government and policies as sometimes affirmative action. Sometimes that’s part of inclusion and the, and that’s what it looks like. I can’t say that here’s a nice book that you can read and learn all you need to know about inclusion because that’s not how it works.

Inclusion is very dependent on where you are, who you are, what you’re doing, and every inclusion has different faces. But the general idea is look beyond yourself, look beyond your group and see what you can do for others.

LaMondre Pough: I love what you said about inclusion being a choice, a decision that inclusion is a decision.

Yeah. Richard?

Richard Streitz: Yeah. What I was going to say is, is that. You know, it, it starts with the self, however, global inclusion ultimately really is. And David exactly to your point about how, it can affect so many different areas of life and living in general, but ultimately, LaMondre, you just said, it’s a choice and it’s a choice that we all individually make, whether it’s consciously or subconsciously to do it, to be inclusive.

If everyone is inclusive in their mind and thought then the then everything else, doesn’t start becoming an issue because by default, everyone is just more inclusive. So I think starting with oneself, it sounds easy and it’s extremely hard to do of course, because you. Everyone will have to go through the litmus test of how tolerant are you as a person of things that you aren’t necessarily in agreement with.

And how does how does that alter your behavior? So I don’t necessarily have to agree with you, but I could include you anyway. That’s okay. It’s okay to accept people who don’t think the same way you do. That’s part of the grant diversity of us as a global society, you know that’s, it’s that division of thought that ultimately is the, the spark of innovation.

And it’s the mother of invention that so it’s interesting how ultimately, it starts with that personal choice of deciding to be inclusive and for all the items, for all the areas that we spoke to, what that really means. From being inclusive and accepting a different flavor of ice cream, for example, than the one that you typically use or, individuals that you speak to circles of peoples, you know, circles of friends, that that maybe could broaden your idea or concept of something that maybe you hadn’t even thought of before.

And it again, I think the idea of choice, a personal choice and deciding to consciously be more inclusive oneself can drive a lot of this at a much larger and global scale.

David Pérez: Yeah. I want to add something to that because even though it is a choice, again, it’s morally wrong not to be inclusive, so it’s an imperative, that’s a choice you have, but you need to make the right choice.

And the right choice is to be inclusive. Just in case people were thinking that they could choose not to be inclusive. That’s wrong. I just wanted to be very clear about that.

Richard Streitz: Exactly.

LaMondre Pough: And, and and honestly that is the, that is a battle that, that consistently rages. And when we see that played out, particularly in politics particularly in, in the way that we. The last few years we saw a shift that happened. That was really an anomaly that it was, it became about me. Everything became about me. If it’s not for my country, if it’s not about my country, the world be damned, and that was the exact opposite of that and and I think sometimes that the the pandemic kind of shook us a but.

Where we had to start thinking about others. We had to start thinking about, wait a minute, we are really all in this together. And how do we work that? And even in that we saw the division that was that really were not that really were not pushing inclusive, but we had to, in order to survive, we had to become a more inclusive world in order to survive.

Now, to me, inclusion, it looks like openness that it’s open to ideas. It’s open to different perspectives. It’s open to hearing and seeing and experiencing things that may not have been at the norm or things that have that are not in the center, but on the margins and honoring that, respecting that and appreciating that.

So it’s more of a philosophical approach. To what inclusion is, but that’s how I see it. That inclusion equates to openness and openness that fosters belonging, openness that says that, that says that I do belong that I am here or you belong. And even if we don’t agree, that does not diminish the fact that you belong.

So to me, inclusion is openness that leads to belonging. And so of course with that, the next question becomes then how do we make inclusion happen? How do we do this?

David Pérez: Yeah, it’s again it’s the thing, right? How to make it happen, because even though the three of us work in inclusion and we know about inclusion.

I’m sure that we often have that feeling of what these group of people is or are saying is simply not important because they’re not in the same mindset as we are. So are we not being inclusive when we’re doing that? Are we excluding people just because we think that they think different, even if they’re not thinking set precisely about their political affiliation.

Just thinking about when we think people are wrong, are we being exclusive because in the way we act and the way we take what they’re saying, because listening to everyone to everything you guys just said and everything I’ve said. I’m realizing that. Yeah. I’ve probably been exclusive of some people in some conversations and some things because I, they simply don’t align with my viewpoint.

And I think it’s how to make inclusion happen as, as much as it has, how it looks like has to do with the choice to do it. To making the decision of actually going out there and looking at things critically and opening your mind to see where people are coming from. Because think about about every individual, every human being, as as a thing that’s only looking through, through glasses, right?

Those glasses comprise everything they see as reality. That can be whatever you think about colors, political ideals, genders, anything, the, they only see what’s inside that glass. So if you dismiss what they’re saying or what they are thinking just because you don’t understand where they are coming from, then there’s no opportunity for progress.

You are being exclusive. Even if you’re aim your end goal is inclusion. You need to start by, and I know people use this word a lot, it’s being tolerant. And after being tolerant, then understand where they’re coming from and try to understand, try to help them understand where you are coming from. And maybe that way we can make inclusion happen in all society.

When people have conversations, that actually means something instead of having arguments, I think that’s where we can start.

Richard Streitz: Yeah. It’s interesting. I think that’s an important part. That’s an important point you bring up about having conversations and not just diametrically opposing because it’s a viewpoint that I don’t necessarily agree with or don’t necessarily understand.

And oftentimes not agreeing with something has to do with not understanding or lack of. Yeah, a lack of understanding of somebody else’s point of view. So I, I agree a hundred percent that understanding where another individual is coming from is so critical in being accepting.

And again, that we’re tolerant of another individual, regardless of their opinion because their opinion doesn’t define whether or not they should be included or not. I think if we get caught in the trap of that, the, the social trap of that and I think what we’ve seen play out in the past couple of years is the social trap that, that many individuals have fallen into, of listening to the constant dual loop of only things that they agree with.

And the negative side effects of that is that you end up with an incredibly divisive polar polarized viewpoints on items, because everything has become so hybrid in, in and of itself that the lack of diversity and inclusiveness of that other site, that sort of thinking, or that other thought ends up being so highly concentrated that you end up with this highly polarized viewpoints. And that is purely a sign of lack of inclusion, a lack of inclusiveness of not only just peoples but thoughts and everything. And so I think we’ve seen, displayed for us all to see as a giant lab in front of us, what’s happened when that lack of inclusiveness plays out to at some degree.

LaMondre Pough: Yeah. Yeah. That’s so interesting, I remember a few years ago I was at a it’s a lotta years ago, actually. I was at a really large conference and there was, it was a conference of people with disabilities and this group was extremely anti institutionalization.

And so am I just for the record. So am I but I remember there was a speaker that got up, because it was like an open mic where you could, you could voice your opinion and ask a question. And one lady got up and she began to speak. And she simply said, there are instances where nursing home placement is appropriate and before she finished the word appropriate. She was booed to the point where it was almost violent, where it was the situation where she literally left the ballroom and in fear. And I remember sitting at the back of that ballroom and thinking, this is scary. This is scary because she didn’t even get the opportunity to complete her statement now don’t get me wrong. She definitely did a terrible job at reading the room. Okay. She definitely,

Richard Streitz: Know your audience, right?

LaMondre Pough: She did not know her audience and I get that, but the vitriol and the things that were said to her, and that was literally all she got out in that statement.

And it was that point that I realized wow, I mean to to disagree with someone is one thing, but then to completely shut down their voice and not allow them to even express it, this is it. This is an instance where intolerance was really being demonstrated on the side of the people who thought that they were morally on the high ground, that they were morally in the right.

And I think that, I think that what that says to me, and this goes to your point, David, that inclusion really starts with holding yourself accountable. If we really want to see inclusion in the forefront, then we must hold ourselves personally accountable and check ourselves, check our own biases, check our own levels of intolerance and find out, wait a minute. Is it just that I disagree? Or is it just that I’m not even seeing that there is a difference where I’m not even recognizing that this is, that this difference even deserves the recognition of being there. And even though that may sound it is obvious, yeah, of course. It’s not. Because it manifests itself in some sneaky ways. And this is the one thing, and this is the one thing that I realized about inclusion. Even though we can say inclusion is simply providing equal access and opportunities to marginalized and otherwise disenfranchised populations.

That sounds very simple. But it is also extremely complex and extremely nuanced and it takes deep analysis in terms of who we are and how we contribute to systems that exclude others as well. What is our part in this? And I’m talking about in all of our systems, I’m not just talking about systems in which there is, a dominant group that has power.

But I’m talking about in our own systems that we create in our own homes, in our own businesses and our own environments. Are we being inclusive? Because I believe that is the only way to get to it is those small things that we do that are then amplified that pay into the larger system or contribute to the larger system.

And this is how I believe that we can really begin to see inclusion happen. In real and very unexpected ways. And so as we continue this conversation about inclusion, we want to hear from you. So drop us a line, join our Facebook group, drop us a message in our Facebook group. And we want to hear from you why inclusion matters and what does that look like for you?

And until the next time, thank you so much for joining 3DVU.

David Pérez: Thanks for joining us this week on 3DVU, make sure to visit our website Ruhglobal.com/3DVU. That’s RUHglobal.com/3DVU. Or you can subscribe to the show wherever you listen to podcasts or join our YouTube channel so you will never miss a show. While you’re at it, if you find value in the show, we appreciate it if you would leave a like or comment or simply tell a friend about the show that would really help us a lot too. If you would like to join our conversations, you can join our Facebook community 3DVU, three perspectives, one conversation. .