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Growing Supporting Environments While Growing Ourselves

As we engage in daily practice that thoughtfully includes all communities, backgrounds, orientations, and genders, it’s important to be cognizant of our attitudes, behaviors, and- even more so- our mindset. As a result, it becomes important to actively engage in affirming and inclusive practices with intention. Doing so can help not only to plant seeds for others in our communities but also to help us grow as individuals.

Here are a few tips as you begin to practice:

  1. Words Matter: When we are equipped with the right language and are thoughtful in the words we use, having meaningful conversations is much easier. Using inclusive language can help to bind us together and send a profound positive message. Making assumptions about our clients can make some feel invisible.
  2. Examine Your Biases: Many of us have biases to unlearn that were likely initiated at very early ages. Despite our best intentions, we often have rooted messages of oppression and innate assumptions built into our everyday culture. But fear not; once we begin thinking about things differently, examining our values and aligning them with what we truly believe becomes easier, and fairness, equity, and inclusivity become the standard.
  3. Build Your Knowledge Base: When we examine our beliefs about ourselves and others and gain knowledge, we can begin to make movement to undo thoughts and behaviors that produce inequality, oppression and an unaffirming environment.

Change only comes when we step outside our comfort zones and build on our willingness to embrace diversity, expect inclusion, and demand equity. Let us join together as we work to build a better tomorrow.


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