Inclusion is a bit more than dancing at a party.

by Carjamin Scott on October 17, 2019 at 3:30 p.m. CST

Have you heard the quote, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance?” While it seems forward thinking, it still does not reflect what is needed to be truly inclusive.

Let me be transparent for a moment with you. I am a wife, a mom, and I do a ton of community service work. And I do not even want to discuss the demands of my job. My time is limited; so, I do not allow myself to waste it in spaces and places where I cannot thrive.

Before I address the diversity dance quote, here is the criteria that I consider before deciding to attend any party.

1. Who else is going?

Listen, I need to have some people at the party that I can vibe with. I am not going to a party to schmooze the entire time. That’s not a party, that’s a networking event. Plus, I need to know who else is there so I can truly let my hair down to dance, laugh, and have a good time.

2. Where is the party?

Sorry, but I am not going to a party over 15 minutes away from my house. If it is that far away and I have to Uber home, I will not be happy. And, if I am going to a party without a designated driver, it’s likely that I’ll have to Uber. So again, sorry but that’s just too far for me.

3. What is the attire?

I might consider buying something new if the party has a particular theme but I really do not want to have to go through the trouble of that. Don’t waste my or your time inviting me to your color coded parties.

4. What time is the party?

If it starts at 8, I’ll be there about 9:30. That’s just the truth. I have to be on time all day. I have to be on time to pick up my kids, to get to work, to have dinner ready, etc. I do not want to have to be on time for a party.

5. Who is hosting the party?

This should have been the first question on the list. I am not going to your party if it’s going to be stuffy, with one bad genre of music, and corny games. I like parties with all kinds of music, where people do not have to drink to tolerate each other, with good food, and great people.

Thanks for letting me vent to you about that. Any-who, here is the story I really wanted to share:

I thrive in spaces where I feel included, valued, and I where I can offer all of my talents. I love to meet new people and create relationships.

A recruiter reached out to me the other day and asked, “What is something that isn’t on your resume that you think we should know about you?” I replied, “Do I have your permission to be clear and transparent while answering your question?” He said, “Yes, of course, based on the qualifications of this role, you clearly exceed what we are looking for so we really want to know if you are going to fit in with the culture here.”

I said, “Ok, well I was raised on the Southside of Chicago. My mother is a black woman, my father was an immigrant who migrated from Manila, Philippines. I am proud of who I am. In my personal time, I go back to the community that I am from and educate them in an effort to lift as I climb. I do not think that my story is that unique. I think that we are all proud of who we are and where we come from. I also think that we all want to lift as we climb somehow.

I am not sharing this with you for pity and I won’t need anything extra from your company to be successful. I have nearly two decades of experience and a terminal degree. I just want to make sure that I can bring my whole-self to your organization without having to forget where I came from to advance and feel included. I will get the job done. I will likely exceed your expectations.

My track record speaks for itself, my awards have proven my abilities, and my recommendations are credible. However, if your culture will require me to dim who I am or no longer allow me to lift as I climb then I am not the right fit there. I am passionate, culturally competent, resilient, strategic, and creative. I would love to add my skillset to the culture of your organization.

Let me be clear, if you invite me to your party, I will dance; but, I will eventually want to be involved with the party host committee.”

He says he is going to send my information to the hiring manager. 

Back to the quote, “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” When you ask me to dance, I will not dance for you. I’m expecting you to dance with me and that’s only if we like the song that’s playing.

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Carjamin Scott can be reached at carjamin.scott@gmail.com and you can follow her on twitter @scottcarjie, instagram @carjiescott.

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2 thoughts on “Inclusion is a bit more than dancing at a party.”

  1. Good stuff! I took a course that described inclusion as feeling like you’re in the in-group while also feeling appreciated for your unique gifts. I like that because it recognizes all of our desires to fit in with others while also recognizing that we want to stand out for our rare individual gifts. I enjoyed this one!

    1. Hey Mariah, thanks, I hope that my authenticity with the recruiter was helpful. At this point, if it’s not from God, return to sender.

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