In this TedTalks titled “How to get serious about diversity and inclusion in the workplace” the speaker, Janet Stovall, informs us of the true power of single-mindedness and just how it will help in regards to the integration of diversity and inclusion into the workplace. For those who aren’t completely sure what single-minded means, the Merriam-Webster online page defines it as “having one driving purpose or resolve” with synonyms like; decisive, determined, intent, purposeful and resolve. She starts off her speech with giving us a little background about herself while tying it into her main argument. It was in 1984 when she was a junior at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina that she felt a calling to make that college a more diverse. Given that in that town, it was almost segregated by railroad tracks that marked the “white Davidson” and “black Davidson”, as she puts it, it was normal for her to be stopped by cops when headed to the college. When she discovered that out of 1,200 students, only 52 of us were black as well as there was only one black professor and one black assistant dean, it was then she made a decision to start what she called “Project ‘87”. She states that “Project ’87 was really just a challenge to Davidson: in three years, by 1987, enroll 100 black students, hire 10 black professors, create five Black Studies classes and hire one black dean.” So by teaming up with the new president of Davidson at the time, they created a 77 page report for the changes they wished to see by 1987. Now even though she ended up graduating in 1985, it was her single-mindedness that changed Davidson forever. Looking to the present day at Davidson, she says that “there are 185 black students, there are 16 black or multiracial professors, there are four black deans, and there’s an entire degree-granting Africana Studies Department.” It was this accomplishment that changed her life. She became an executive speechwriter for one of the biggest companies in the world. Not only is it a profession that is 92 percent white but also predominantly male. When talking to the CEO’s and senior executives, she has seen that business is in a position that no other entity can do. What she has seen, just like at Davidson, is that racism can be dismantled by it. By incorporating the “Project ’87” ideals of real problems, real numbers, real consequences it is only a matter of time until her vision of diversity and inclusion manifest into reality. In Janet’s own words “That this is what happens if we stop praying for change to happen and actually start moving our feet to making it.”
Now, can you guess the demographics at Crafton Hills College?
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