For the rest of the time I’m going to pick a word and reflect on it. There’s likely to be little organization to my thoughts (and they may get a bit esoteric though not intentionally). Who knows? Something encouraging, useful, or inspiring may emerge.
This word doesn’t mean tolerance, simply accepting people without the slightest thought of trying to see them as human or as someone else who can help create meaning within a community space. Inclusivity demands much more.
The idea of being inclusive, for me, hinges on not only making space for someone but also acknowledging and affirming the power accessible to those who occupy such spaces. Inclusivity has no use for silent, powerless spaces; that’s the game of exclusivity. In an environment shaped by inclusivity, all space is acknowledged, seen, heard, gives weight to and against other spaces. They bump against each other, they pull and tug, but they all belong and possess power to engage, inform, and influence the spaces making up the larger space.
Not passively watching on. Actively engaged. Influential. Exclusivity makes spaces, rooms for people but its rooms, its spaces bind to a particular set of biased, discriminating rules, which create dis-empowering norms.
Inclusivity is not about agreement but acknowledging that a disagreement matters. It’s not about seeking sameness but about affirming, even reckoning with, difference.
Inclusivity talks about power, who has it, why, and how’s it’s dispersed. It deconstructs, rearranges, negotiates, and always is becoming an ever evolving disestablishment of unsettled and loosely held occupied spaces of space.