To have a conversation about judging fairly in relation to inclusion, there are a number of directions that we might go. But I feel pretty confident that I’ve covered a number of them with E is to Expect Competence and in posts like We Judge One Another.
When I chose to add “Judge Fairly” to The ABC’s of Inclusion I was thinking most significantly about those who are advocates of inclusion and work tirelessly toward making our schools, communities and world a more inclusive place.
But there is one aspect of inclusion advocacy that I have always found challenging. Ostensibly we are all on the same team, right? We all want to foster greater inclusivity in our schools, workplaces, etc; and yet, not all of these advocates see eye to eye.
In fact, I have frequently been witness to advocates putting down the efforts of others because they are not “inclusive enough”. There are those advocates who feel so strongly that inclusion is an all-or-nothing proposition that they believe it is warranted or even appropriate to criticize those who are aren’t up to their standards.
This is an extremely dangerous proposition.
Why? Because inclusion is a process.
We have to allow people to take steps within their classrooms, their schools and their communities to move toward greater inclusivity. If we criticize those efforts, where is the incentive to do more? If we say it’s not good enough, where is the validation that there was any progress at all?
This is why it is critical that we judge fairly.
If we willingly embrace the notion that each individual has a story to tell and that each person has a right to his/her own meaningful journey; then we MUST extend this to our organizations and communities. Each will have its own story, each its own journey toward greater inclusion.
Isn’t it most important that there is a journey at all?
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