Defending Quality Education — In the Workplace
It is physically painful to have to defend that which should be immediately defended and supported by all. The right to teach our children the truth about our collective history. After all, it is only by learning from our past that we can become wiser, stronger, and more aware of the gross injustices so many people have had to face in the United States. But, here we are. It is 2022, and we’re only going backward.
We have just fended off an attempt to overthrow our government. We have watched Roe vs. Wade, a decades-old precedent protecting a woman’s right to choose, overturned. In the previous administration, we watched law-abiding, peaceful protesters in Washington’s Lafayette Square gassed by federal law enforcement. Why? So that the “then” president could take a casual stroll through those streets for a tasteless photo op at St. John’s Church. By the way, those protestors were protesting against police violence. How ironic.
And now, we find ourselves fighting again and still working to defend basic decency. Only now, it is at the school level. Political extremists are working to silence educators from teaching about the nation’s history of battling racism. They are working to silence educators, parents, and children from speaking about their blended families, but only if those blended families involve members of the LGBTQ community. It is unthinkable. It is intolerable. They can disguise these attempts any which way they want. They can attempt to apply lipstick to the pig, but this is nothing more than racism and homophobia. And those who stand in silence should be ashamed.
Critical Race Theory
Politicians striving to “remove” critical race theory from the classroom are twisting the reality. You see, there is no critical race theory “agenda,” “program,” or “curriculum.” The theory is just that — a theory, albeit a solid one. It suggests that racism is far more than individual prejudice or bias. It extends well beyond this scope. Racism is woven into the very fabric of our culture. It’s tied to so many public policies and laws. Just look at the lengths state officials will go to to ensure voting is almost unattainable for marginalized communities, for example. When gone unchecked, racism negatively impacts where people can live and work. It impacts whether or not folks have equal access to social services to survive and thrive. We must recognize that politicizing this, in and of itself, is a form of racism.
Ironically, creating this political frenzy only strengthens the theory and further attempts to suppress the voices of those who fight racism. At the educational level, this bullying tactic can eventually have a chilling effect on what educators decide to teach regarding our collective history. Might they decide to sidestep the teaching of the struggles of indigenous peoples? Might they turn away from discussions involving slavery and the Civil War? Let’s be real; the vast majority of the “majority” doesn’t even know that the Tulsa Race Massacre happened. Creating a heated political debate about the Critical Race Theory does nothing more than push us backward. It suppresses those from rising above, and it greatly and negatively impacts our children’s educational experiences and, therefore, their ability to correct the wrongs from our past.
Don’t Say Gay
Once again, extremist politicians create controversy over a fabricated issue. There is no LGBTQ+ “agenda.” There is no LGBTQ+ program or curriculum. This controversy has been created out of thin air by nothing more than homophobic politicians to stir their base and win votes. How shallow? How despicable? This so-called bill states:
Classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity may not occur in kindergarten through grade 3 or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students in accordance with state standards.¹
Those who drafted this bill are well aware there is no (nor has there ever been) such a curriculum. By creating this fabrication, they have only achieved one thing — targeting members of the LGBTQ+ community. Families are becoming reluctant to speak about their spouses. Children are fearful of speaking about their parents or siblings. School officials are becoming paranoid about any mention anywhere of LGBTQ+ rights. Even businesses are backing away from speaking openly about supporting the LGBTQ+ community. Talk about suppression. Talk about going backward. This is nothing more than outward discrimination and hatred disguised as parental rights to manage their children’s education. And when it affects education, it affects us all.
Business Leaders Cannot Remain Silent About Education
We’ve heard it repeatedly, and perhaps Whitney Houston said it best — “I believe the children are our future.” Children are our future. It starts at home and extends through their educational and social experiences. These children become adults, and those adults who enter the workforce become our coworkers and business leaders. They enter the political arena and profoundly impact “all” of us.
If you are a CEO or a C-level executive at any business in the United States, are you taking a stand? Are you showing your employees that you oppose these shameless tactics to suppress already marginalized communities further? You have an opportunity (and a responsibility) to impact our society for the better — and that includes our educational and political ecosystems.
In a recent Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey, here is what CEOs across industries had to say about their commitment to DE&I initiatives in the workplace.
Data Source: Fortune/Deloitte CEO Survey ²
And, for the language services providers (LSPs) that GIM supports, sending out a strong message about your DE&I initiatives is critical to your reputation. As LSPs, you represent equal access. Yes, you do so from a linguistic and cultural framework, but the issue of “equal access” should never be compartmentalized. If you promote equal access, it should be across the board. Want to join in the fight? GIM can help.
GIM Content Management can work directly with you to build effective content marketing collateral and a robust multimedia portfolio that showcases your organization as an authority in your space. Our content can showcase you as an advocate for social justice and LGBTQ+ rights. We can ensure your messaging aligns with your commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Reach out today and start building your DE&I content marketing portfolio!
If you liked this Snippet While You Sip It, you might want to check out some of our latest, including Work-Life Balance — CEOs Share Their Wisdom, Defending Quality Education in the Workplace, the 10 Best — and Worst — States for Healthcare, and Be an Agent of Change at Work — Escalate Issues.
¹ “The Florida Senate.” House Bill 1557 (2022) – The Florida Senate, https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022/1557.
² Fortune Deloitte CEO Survey October 2020 Highlights. https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/us/Documents/CMO/fortune-deloitte-CEO-survey-october-2020-highlights.pdf.