Friday, September 21, 2012
Change Agents DiversityInc v2.o
Over the past two exhausting weeks, we have managed to do what was once originally unthinkable. We have presented the MOSAIC (Maximizing Our Strengths as an Inclusive Community) workshop once again. And it’s amazing how important that word AGAIN is.
We are finally ready for a new group of change agents. It’s funny to be one of the few people in the room who was present for the struggles of “DiversityInc: Promoting Inclusiveness and Equity” v1.o. To know how much it meant to everyone that their struggles, fights, and resistance was not for nothing. It got us to where we are now, in the present… period. It’s also refreshing and rather amusing to see a new group of students who are tentative and a bit uncertain wonder about what the blue hell they have signed up for. All they really know and see is the passion and unfailing perseverance I funnel into this initiative.
It’s encouraging too, because as the leader and innovator, I can sit back and wonder…. Can we do it again? Will it mean as much? Can we continue to shift paradigms? It’s crazy to think of the difficulty of each obstacle we had to overcome, and how we even made it through everything last time. But it’s that… I don’t know, struggle to overcome that feeling of having to be successful in the face of adversity. That’s what made completing the task so critically important and so terrifically worth it to us all. It galvanized us. We were stirred to be the best; the challenge incited our desire to stimulate the best in each and every one of us.
Last year, DiversityInc’s pilot year was filled with troubles, broken promises, scholarship awards that seemingly faded before our very eyes, class changes, unforeseen schedule shifts, personal breakdowns, and a myriad of other unforeseen complexities and complications. But it was that push back, that struggle to finish no matter what, and that feeling of this HAS to succeed. If only to prove that we were up to the challenge. To show that this program, these ideas, and the notion that we are all important, and different, and those differences are the secret recipe to the single best dish ever imagined. That is what mattered. The idea that was so simple, that is its simplicity was revolutionary. Isn’t it just… cool, that we’re all different?
But as I look forward, I see such an opportunity in the Change Agents of the second generation. I know we made it better, it won’t be the struggle it was last time this go around. But I only hope we can make it mean as much. I hope we can bond as a group, and take that challenge to strive to be the best. Strive and struggle and fight and push each and every one of ourselves and those we encounter to be our absolute truest and very best selves. I want this thing we do in DiversityInc – this role that we fill once we accept the mantle of Change Agent – to have the same effect and impact it did upon the first Change Agents.
Many times I am seen as this person who is so out there, so idealistic, without doubt, and as a champion of causes. But I’m not. As a matter of fact, I personally, am no one special at all. If I were really someone who was great, I would wholly understand this “movement” that we have created. I could teach someone else how to do it and show the world, and attempt to be the spark to set the fire. And I would allow that fire to consume the world in its embrace of a culture of inclusion. But really, I’m not exceptional. I just try to do the best I can. I hope I can matter, and matter to someone and make a difference in his or her life. And at the end of the day, I hope to share that desire to each and everyone I interact with. That’s what I hope to teach them.
Somehow it worked last year. Can it happen again? Can we make it happen again? Are we 2.o?
I don’t know, but I’m putting all of my chips in. I have no reservations, and no hesitation. I encourage and hope you all to do the same.