A board that lacks meaningful number of diverse members is worse than one which doesn’t have any.
“I Don’t Need To Show You My Receipts”, an article by Neeti Pawar, lawyer, mediator, and former president of SABA.
This tweet thread resonated with me. I am not disabled, I do not live in poverty. I recognize the privileges I do have and am working on becoming more aware of my own blind spots. The sentiment, however, of needing to defend my “passion” as though it is implied as a substitute for “reason” is something I (and most women of color) experience daily.
I recently resigned from a board position and declined invitations to join two others. A board that lacks meaningful number of diverse members is worse than one which doesn’t have any. As often the only person of color on a committee or board, I am simultaneously expected to be the voice of all diverse perspectives, while also being gracious to those who invited me in. Inviting diverse individuals to a board without the willingness to substantively respond to their voices and experiences is meaningless. Worse, it’s leveraging the person’s status as diverse to justify the appearance of inclusion. As though the perspective is valued, when it’s merely there to ratify decisions made by the majority. Nothing changes.