As Black History Month comes to a close, I want to talk about a strategy to diversify our lives beyond February.
Hopefully we’ve all been intentionally reading books by Black authors, consuming media by Black creatives, and/or educating ourselves on pieces of Black history that were absent from our schooling. These things are excellent, and important. But I’d like to offer an additional call to action.
The challenge is this: let’s be intentional in the months to come about diversifying our networks.
Our social media feeds especially have a tendency to reflect ourselves, to fall heavily into the “like me bias.” This isn’t a cause for shame or embarrassment – we look to social media for connection, belonging, and shared experience/advice – all things that are enhanced by commonalities and likenesses. One of my favorite social media groups is my parents of multiples page – a group bonded over the shared unique experience of parenting multiples.
The danger is, the more like us our network is, the more similar the lens is to our own. That is to say, we’re robbing ourselves of opportunities to widen our scope and see things from new and unique angles that we wouldn’t otherwise have access to.
From exercise and wellness to STEM fields and diy hacks – virtually every interest set has non-white influencers and thought leaders, but often their voices aren’t amplified and they may never show up on our feeds or follow suggestions.
I heard a statistic recently that 85% of art in American Art Museum collections are by white artists. This is just one small example of how the system is biased. A system that we can combat by being intentional.
Do some searching. Diversify your network. Amplify diverse posts and voices whenever possible.
“In diversity, there is beauty and there is strength.” – Maya Angelou
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