Tolerance and diversity are at times lauded as the essential terms for modern social justice movements. From school to community settings teachers, public figures, and political leaders throw these terms around to great applaud and acclaim. And yet who are we trying to serve by using these terms, and whose humanity is preserved through tolerance and diversity? In the following article I address the difference between the simplicity and shortcomings posed by tolerating and diversifying spaces to the more radical movements of inclusion and celebration. I unpack these frameworks through personal narratives concerning my field work and experiences as well as touching on aspects of my research on inclusion. My work and research focuses on the intentional efforts needed to “queer” spaces through dialogue, discourse, and moving through uncomfortable conversations around these topics. I offer a list of steps toward revolutionary inclusion that respects the dignity and humanity of students, teachers, and community members, who may or may not feel convinced of the importance of inclusion and celebration.
Key Take Away Points
- Diversity and inclusion are separate yet linked paradigms
- Radical inclusion means creating open and accepting spaces for conflicting view points to feel safe to explore and evolve
- The experiences of educators and administrators should be included in dialogue with students
Dr. Laura McGuire is a nationally recognized sexuality educator, trauma-informed specialist, and inclusion consultant. She has worked as an instructor, presenter, educator, consultant and trainer. Dr. McGuire earned her Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences from Thomas Edison State University and her graduate degrees in Educational Leadership for Change from Fielding Graduate University. Her doctoral dissertation was entitled Seen but Not Heard: Pathways to Improve Inclusion of LGBT Persons and Sexual Trauma Survivors in Sexual Health Education, which looked at marginalization for sexual minorities in health education internationally. She is a certified full-spectrum doula, professional teacher, certified sexual health educator, and vinyasa yoga instructor. Her experience includes both public and private sectors, middle schools, high schools, and university settings. http://www.drlauramcguire.com
McGuire, Laura Jean
"From Tolerance and Diversity to Inclusion and Celebration; New Horizons for Infusing Queer Theory into Communities,"
Journal of Family Strengths: Vol. 17
, Article 9.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/jfs/vol17/iss2/9