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Fancy Color Diamonds (4 of 4) | Insight, Credibility, Encounters

Here is my big finish, so please stay with me.

To circle back to the diamond analogy, as noted, when considering the value of a diamond, its clarity is most highly prized. However, in the category of diamonds known as the Fancy Color market, only one thing matters – the quality of the diamond’s color. I think the same can be said for skin color in the U.S. – either consciously or unconsciously, white-skin is often inherently more valued, regardless of the quality, or character, of the person. Yet, the cut, or the fashioning of the diamond, has the greatest significance in determining its beauty and value.

The same could be said about people – it is the diverse life experiences that fashion us that make us the most beautiful and valuable that form our character. And, so, to borrow a well-known quote from Dr. King, in terms of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, only one thing matters – the content of one’s character.

It’s time to dispel the myth that “white is right” and the color spectrum from yellow to brown to “Black is whack.” As a leader in your organization championing the pursuit of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging, it’s time to prioritize the importance of insight, credibility, and encounters that are personally meaningful enough to result in real relationships. Insight. Credibility. Encounters. This is the battle cry of people who “get it” and happen to serve in leadership. If you’re not quite sure how to do that, let me close with a personal story.

The other day, I was picking up my dry cleaning and the owner happens to be an Asian-American gentleman. After I got my cleaning, I asked if I could tell him something. We both had masks on, so I leaned in and said how sorry I was for what was happening in his community.

He said it was due to Covid and I said, “No, people are just mean, and I feel badly.” Before I realized it, he had come from around the counter and gave me a hug.

That’s what it means to be our brother’s keeper. To openly express empathy and get love in return. So I invite you to consider various ways in which you can acknowledge and explore the humanity of our Asian-American brothers & sisters by helping them down from the unfair pedestal of “model minority”, bring them front and center from the “invisible minority”, and love them through the pain of being the “hunted minority.”

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