Diversity –Variety; Solidarity – Unity

I work in a vaccination outreach unit with three other women, all from diverse backgrounds and ethnicity. Black, Brown, Caucasian, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Sudanese, and Eastern European, as well as those of Caribbean, Central and West African descent. We also identify as  Southern, Yankee, and who knows what else. We are each a variety of identities in ourselves.

We’ve been talking a lot in the office about diversity, hate crimes, and the anti-Semitism currently ramped up in Atlanta suburbs and rural counties. Our supervisor suggested that we have a diversity day with exercises and, even better, home-cooked food representing one or more of our identities. (I cheated a bit and convinced my daughter to make a Sweet Lokshen Kugel, a traditional Yiddish / Jewish dairy noodle pudding with cottage cheese, sour cream, cream cheese, sugar, and cinnamon for me to take to our diversity lunch.)

Diversity, however, is such a passive term, formal and legal-ish.  I suggested that we call it Solidarity Day—an active day of unity and empowerment. A day when we pledge to be allies. My colleagues agreed. The food sharing bit stays, but now we have more purpose. We plan to create posters and encourage others to do similar things with their colleagues.

Currently Jupiter and Neptune are in conjunction, bright in the evening sky. I sent texts alerting my team to this spectacular celestial event. Our Caribbean partner in solidarity responded, “Nice to take a moment to take in all the beauty we have the blessing to behold.” We also want to take in and hold dear all the beauty of our friendships we have the blessings to enjoy.

Published by Carole J. Garrison

I’m a conversationalist, an observer, a passionate participant in life. And now, in my later years, I’m a recorder of the lessons of my life through essays, stories, and novels. I live in the fourth moment of life, just outside the normal distribution of most people and it is from this place that I write.

One thought on “Diversity –Variety; Solidarity – Unity

  1. Love, love, love the idea of solidarity! Going to take a page from your book and suggest to one of my “diversity” groups. Thank you for always teaching, leading and guiding!


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