Equity is the awareness that simple equality does not lead to equitable results, since we are all different and have different needs.
Watch the following video that explains this difference between equality and equity:
Relating to one’s experience within an orientation of curiosity, experiential openness, and acceptance. Gaining insight into our own mental, emotional, and bodily states. De-centering one-self, seeing one’s own thoughts and feelings as relative and temporary.
The practice of mindfulness helps us gain awareness of our mental and emotional states, it helps us be aware of automatic reactions and received ideas, it helps us become more aware about people around us and more self-aware.
Why is equity training with mindfulness needed?
- We are all brought up in specific cultural/social environments that condition our perceptions of one another
- Nobody is exempt of prejudice and biases, we identify people by race, gender, colour, origin, ability, wealth, religion… even age, size, accent, or perceived beauty to name a few markers (unconscious or implicit bias)
Society and mainstream culture constantly sway us, our view of the world, and how we see one another. We absorb dominant ideas, beliefs, aspirations, desires and make them ours:
- We carry them in our bodies, in how we move and in how we present ourselves to the world
- This is not necessarily a positive influence, and it can be systemic, at times providing privilege, at times creating disadvantage
- Here is a video of an example of how boys and men pay a high price for the privilege they receive:
Click here to see examples of privilege in our society and how it can be both systemic and invisible; then close that window to come back and keep reading on why and how to complete this workshop… or just keep reading below and go to Privilege in the Ideas and Concepts drop-down menu later on.
Why Drop the Guilt?
Equity training (also Diversity and Inclusion or Anti-Oppression training) refers to teaching a three-fold form of awareness:
- Privilege and disadvantage perpetuated by mainstream culture, most of the time without our conscious awareness (unconscious or implicit bias)
- People’s own complex social locations
- How to engage in a constant self-reflective effort to work towards equity in our everyday interactions amid diversity
Equity work is a “labour of love,” an every day struggle to build loving and caring communities and places of work and in an awareness that the “playing field” is not level at all; that our differences matter in order to get acceptance, recognition and opportunities from mainstream society.
Reflecting on our own privilege in an inequitable world is essential.
We may have privilege of some form or another; by luck of birth, we may be placed in a system that creates suffering; we may not deserve everything we have…
Becoming aware of this, may produce discomfort in us and may make us feel guilty, or disheartened, or angry.
People with archetypal privileged identities (such as white males) may experience negative feelings when presented with this kind of evidence; especially when they have experienced disadvantage (such as growing up poor or in an abusive environment).
On the flip-side, disadvantaged minorities may not want to be labeled “disadvantaged.”
However, once we are aware about our own privilege, once we see its source (often a blind spot), we ought to own this awareness and DROP THE GUILT.
This online workshop is designed to help you get close to this objective; we hope it will help you become an equity worker, engage in this “labour of love,” and live your everyday life through the lens of this awareness. Or as Jay Smooth says about race conversations, one needs to engage in this work constantly, everyday:
Click here or proceed to exercise 0 Check My Privilege! from the Workshop Exercises drop-down menu.