“The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Office of the SCA is committed to promoting the values of inclusion throughout the SCA. The focus is equity, which is just and fair inclusion into an organization in which all can participate, prosper, benefit, and reach their full potential.”https://www.sca.org/dei-office/
What do “diversity”, “equity”, and “inclusion” even mean?
Diversity means the presence of difference, or variety, within our groups. We each have different characteristics, preferences, abilities, strengths, weaknesses, labels, cultures, and beliefs. In the SCA, we do not allow something as organic as variety to hinder the very organization we love and support.
Equity means equal access. When people come together in groups, some have advantages while others have disadvantages. In context of this office, equity means a process to ensure that everyone has equal access to the same opportunities in the SCA. It also means being treated with the same courtesy, respect, and dignity as everyone else, no matter how you are different.
Inclusion means being welcomed and truly valued for what you contribute. It means that no matter your race, culture, religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or able-ness, you are accepted. Verna Myers explains, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” This office will be using the framework of Inclusive Excellence.
What does that mean for us?
First, that we are aware of issues going on in the world we live in and we know that our organization is not insulated from the impacts of implicit bias.
Second, that to be successful we must welcome and value new and existing members who are different from 90% of our populace.
Third, that discrimination, sexual harassment, bullying, and hate speech will not be tolerated in our Society.
Lastly, that we take action. We value chivalry and live by those tenets we claim to hold as ideal. When a participant violates the code of conduct we require, we let them know so they can adjust their behavior. “If you see something, say something” can be applied here.
How do we support and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion while we play in the SCA?
First, Use the information here and on the Society DEI page to educate yourself on bias, cultural intelligence, and inclusive excellence.
Second, Understand that bias exists and it doesn’t make one a bad person; it is simply something to be aware of and to challenge so that you don’t act on bias, mistreat any member of the SCA, or violate our laws or policies.
Third, remember that our job as society members isn’t to judge others. Rather, it is to be clear on what actions are and are not acceptable. Saying things like “we don’t treat people that way in the SCA”, “that violates our core values”, or “that action/statement isn’t acceptable” can be simple ways speak out. If you have trouble or feel uncomfortable, report the incident to your local Seneschal.
Where do we go from here?
This post is the start of the DEI Blog. We intend to use this blog to help cultivate a climate where our members are treated fairly and are able to thrive in a welcoming atmosphere.