Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Is Embedded in the Bible | Sojourners

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Is Embedded in the Bible

DEI is just one way we can repent of and repair the effects of the systemic sin of racism.
The image shows five people looking towards some sort of beam of light. It is a diverse crew, both in age and race. The people are rendered in shades of blue, green, yellow and orange.
Illustration by Allison Vu 

SINCE THE RECORD-BREAKING Black Lives Matter protests in 2020, we have witnessed a right-wing backlash against efforts to advance racial justice, exemplified by state and local laws to ban books and censor how we teach history. Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs, especially those in the corporate world and higher education, are also increasingly vilified.

Of course, these attacks on DEI are just a repackaging of old grievances. I’ve written extensively about how the political right in the United States has long sought to win and maintain political power by inflaming white racial prejudice through a never-ending culture war. To counteract this, we need to make a more persuasive and forceful case for why DEI programs align with and advance our core faith and civic values.

Diversity, equity, and inclusion programs address inequities experienced by people from historically marginalized identities, whether based on race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or any other element of humanity used to exclude and disadvantage. A DEI framework expands an organization or institution’s focus beyond simply recruiting a more diverse staff or student body to include diligent attention to equitable policies, compensation, and opportunities. When equity and inclusion are added to the picture, organizations can better build a shared sense of belonging, possibility, and ownership. That should be reflected not just in an organization’s culture, but in its material realities, including wages and promotions.

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