Why ‘Diversity’ Is Not the Answer to ‘Inclusion’
I am an atheist.
I am a feminist.
I have been a student of history, a history teacher, and a feminist educator.
I was raised in a world that believed in gender equality and equal rights for all.
As an adult, I have had the privilege to educate women in leadership positions in a variety of fields.
I’ve taught women in the military, in business, and in the public sector.
I can confidently say that my teaching has taught me the values of diversity and inclusion.
My students and teachers understand that there is a difference between “being white, straight, cisgender, able-bodied, male, female, and white” and “being an atheist, agnostic, agnostics, and other nontheistic beliefs.”
They are not ignorant, but they are not comfortable with the term.
There is a huge amount of confusion around the term “inclusion.”
Many people, including myself, think that it means excluding certain groups.
This is not true.
It means allowing other people to live and learn the way they want.
As a teacher, it means having a strong and inclusive classroom culture.
As someone who has been an educator for over 30 years, I can honestly say that the majority of my students, my students’ parents, and the community at large do not have an issue with this label.
As the founder of the secularist advocacy group The Atheist Alliance, I am the first to acknowledge that this label is often used in a negative way.
The reality is that the term is not exclusive, it’s a community label.
The atheist movement is diverse.
We are diverse in our beliefs, values, and practices.
Atheism is inclusive of many different people.
The word “inclusive” is not a slur.
I hope that when people hear the term, they see it as a community of individuals who value the equal rights of all people.
As long as we all work together to ensure that everyone is treated with respect, we will succeed.
I look forward to continuing to work with you as we move forward.