Message from the IPRA President: Diversity and Inclusion May 2023
7 months ago
Hello, dear PR enthusiasts from all over the world.
May is European Diversity Month 2023, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and in our society. We know from scientific studies that diverse groups and teams are more likely to adapt to challenges.
Let me quote Articles 1 and 2 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the UN, which the IPRA Code of Conduct recalls. Article 1 states: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. And Article 2 states: Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. As human beings we are all equal. As individuals, we are different. Every human being is unique, valuable and divine.
The challenge of diversity and inclusion
To see and experience diversity and inclusion, we need to be open to differences, step out of our comfort zone and engage with unfamiliar situations. We need to leave familiar paths. Not all at once. But in small steps. “A journey of a thousand miles begins under one’s own feet”, says a Chinese proverb. And to quote Emily Dickinson: “One step at a time is all it takes to get you there”.
How about we as communicators make a promise to ourselves for the next few months? Let’s be curious. Let’s reach out to someone we don’t yet know. Let’s read a book we wouldn’t normally consider. Let’s walk a path we’ve never walked before. Let’s get on a train that is going in a direction we have never travelled. Let’s cook a dish we have never tasted. Let’s go to the cinema and watch a film we wouldn’t normally see. Let’s go to an exhibition by an artist previously unknown.
As social beings, we should find out things we don’t know about each other and the world. Let us ask meaningful questions and listen with compassion. Let us communicate according to the original meaning of that word. Communicare means to participate and is derived from the Latin word communis which means together. Communication therefore means connection and understanding between people. Communication and community have the same Latin root. So, let’s expand our community through communication. This is something we do every day – talking to each other, exchanging views, experiences and knowledge. Before we speak and express or share our opinions, we need to connect. The easiest way to do this is to smile to yourself and to others. It is time for innovation, for new ideas, and new ways of acting. The basis for this transformative behaviour is knowing where we are, who we are, and the awareness that we need to share our wisdom.
And another great way to share is the GWA. In case you’ve not yet entered the IPRA Golden World Awards for Excellence in PR, which offer global recognition and acclaim to world-class public relations programmes, just do it here. There is still time before entries close on 15 May 2023.
Anne-Gret Iturriaga Abarzua PhD
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