How to become more diverse, inclusive and open

Holly Branson and June Sarpong smiling together.
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Holly Branson
Holly Branson's writing
Published on 13 August 2018

This week, June Sarpong briefly explains the remaining five Degrees of Integration, after you check your ISM. She also encourages us to take some simple steps to become more diverse, inclusive and open in our daily lives - especially with anyone we might have previously considered ‘OTHER’.

Here’s a little more on the four other Degrees of Integration and some little exercises you may want to try out for yourself.

Degree Two: Check Your Circle

June encourages her readers to look at their immediate circle of friends and family. Does that circle reflect the larger society and community they live in? If not, why not do something as simple as joining a community group that brings neighbours together – every area has one you just need to do a little research. Pop along to a local festival - especially one outside of your own community group. A festive atmosphere, by its very nature, is always welcoming to strangers!

Degree Three: Connect with the Other

June freely admits that this degree can be daunting. It is one thing to experience different cultures, it’s quite another to actively seek out a connection with someone you consider ‘OTHER.’ Here is June’s advice: “The cornerstone of Degree 3 is the ‘one in six’ equation: out of every six new people that you are able to ‘choose’ to connect with, make one of them an ‘OTHER’ – someone different from yourself. It’s through genuine interpersonal relationships that the magic happens and the barriers come down – it's then that hearts and minds are opened.”

Degree Four: Change Your Mind

Become “individually conscious of how and why we feel and respond the way we do.” Basically, challenge yourself, question yourself and push yourself to learn about what it is like to be someone other than YOU. Learn as much as you can about what it is to be ‘OTHER’. With knowledge comes understanding.

Degree Five: Celebrate Difference

It's not enough to accept diversity and practice inclusion - we ought to celebrate our differences and the unique experiences we all bring to the table.

Degree Six: Champion The Cause

June urges everyone to spread the message – to embrace the ‘OTHER’ and shape a more inclusive and understanding society together. She gives lots of ways to go about championing the cause – with pointers on what you can do even if you only have an evening to spare per day, week or month out of a year.